Lush, green lawns are the pride of neighbourhoods, but dead spots and muddy areas in the yard make the dream of a perfect lawn disappear. Grass seeds need loose, moist soil, not a sopping clump of mud. The composition of muddy compact soil is caused by heavy clay content in the soil. Growing grass seed in mud is possible with the right amendments added to dry the soil.
Wait for the mud to dry as much as possible before you amend the soil; late in fall is considered the best time to sow grass seeds. You may need to wait several weeks before you attempt to fix the mud damage. Grass seed will not grow in sopping wet conditions, so waiting until fall will help dry out the muddy area.
Add soil amendments to the muddy area of the yard. Rototill sand and compost into the mud to break up compact clay and improve soil drainage. Use enough sand and compost to mix with 6 inches of soil.
Allow the mixed soil to dry well before preparing for the grass seed. If needed, add more sand and compost to the soil to aid in the drying process. Once the soil is dry, rake with a landscapers rake and level the yard, but do not pack the soil.
Apply one-half pound of nitrogen fertiliser to approximately 1,000 square feet of lawn. Spread into loose dry soil with a landscapers rake. Add phosphorous and potassium if a soil test indicates it is needed.
Spread the seed using a hand spreader or a rotary drop spreader, depending on the size of the area. Follow package directions for measuring, because some seed is pre-mixed with Milorganite to aid in uniform spreading.
Walk in sections as you spread the seed. Go north to south, then east to west to facilitate uniformity. Rake lightly leaving, about 10 per cent of the seed above the soil.
Water the seeds lightly, because too much water can wash away the newly planted seeds. Water the grass seed twice a day, in the early morning and late in the evening, for about five to 10 minutes. If you start to see standing water let the water soak into the soil before continuing. Cut back on watering to about 15 minutes once a day when the seeds start to grow.
Things you need
- Landscapers rake
- Nitrogen fertiliser
- Hand spreader or rotary drop spreader
- Grass seed