Even the most well-behaved of pup-playmates can be prone to destructive digging once in a while. And in a way, your dog can’t help it -- digging is just part of doggy nature. You can work on correcting the behavior, but that won’t fill the holes.
Holes in your lawn are more than an eyesore -- they’re a twisted ankle (or worse) waiting to happen. Here’s how to fix them, fast, in five easy steps.
1. Mow the Grass Around the Holes
Fixing holes in your lawn is going to involve some reseeding. Before you can lay seed in the spot your dog explored, you’ll need to make sure that the surrounding area is as level as possible.
Start by mowing the grass around the edges of the holes. Mowing the grass around the holes will help the “patched” area of grass look less noticeable as the new growth starts to fill in.
This is also the time to remove any weeds, dead overgrowth, big rocks, or other lawn debris from the area.
2. Fill in the Gaps
Using a topsoil mix, fill in each hole so that it is just about level with the surrounding area. You can use a garden shovel to gently tap down the soil, adding more until the holes are completely filled up. You can take a rake and gently comb over the new topsoil to get it ready for seeding.
This might go without saying, but make sure your furry friend is safely inside while you start the refilling and reseeding process. The scent of fresh dirt might be enough to drive your dog right back to digging up the place where the problem started, and you don’t want to have to refill the same hole twice in one day.
3. Spread Grass Seed and Fertilizer Over the Refilled Hole
Grab your Bad Spot!™ container and start to seed the area. No need for a special spreading tool -- you can just use the special cap that comes with the product. Start at the edges of the hole and work inward in a circular motion, overlapping slightly with each pass. If you get a little grass seed on the surrounding lawn, it’s not a big deal. Just take special care to avoid pavers, garden areas, and your driveway as you spread.
4. Water the Seed
After you’ve filled in the holes with topsoil and added Bad Spot!™ to get some new growth started, you’ll need to fully saturate the area. Use a watering can or a garden hose to water until soil is holding water, but not soaked. You don’t want to make mud out of your brand new topsoil, so stop when the dirt feels spongy and damp to the touch.
Keep the spot saturated for the initial 2 weeks of new growth, watering daily unless it rains. The mulch in Bad Spot!™ will turn dark brown when it’s saturated, and will become light brown when it needs more water. Avoid pooling water and overwatering, as that can hurt the growth of your new grass.
5. Keep off (This One Small Section Of) the Grass
Once you’ve done the work of preparing the grass, refilling the hole, and spreading new seed, nature will take over and do its thing. After 5 to 10 days, you may notice little green grass blades starting to peek out from the soil. If not, not to worry! You may need to repeat reseeding until new growth becomes established.
If nothing has grown after 3 weeks, you can repeat the same process with Bad Spot!™ Before you try again, you might want to consider why you didn’t have success on the first try. Common missteps include seeding when temperatures aren’t at their ideal range (between 60 and 80 degrees for cool season grasses and 70 to 90 for warm season grasses), forgetting to water or overwatering freshly seeded grass, and neglecting to prepare soil before repairing the spot.
In the meantime, you’ll need to keep your dog (and any other curious pets or family members) away from the holes that you have filled. This isn’t permanent -- your dog can be reunited with every inch of your glorious lawn soon enough -- but it is necessary to establish new growth in the damaged area.
While you’re waiting for new grass to sprout up, you might want to take some time to address your dog’s digging behaviors so you can avoid repeating your repair work.