Does Grass Spread and Cover Bare Spots On Its Own?

A lush, green lawn is a beautiful addition to any landscape. However, maintaining a healthy lawn can be challenging, especially when dealing with bare spots. In this guide, we’ll explore whether grass spreads and covers bare spots on its own, how to encourage it to do so, and when to consider other solutions.

Can Grass Spread and Cover Bare Spots On Its Own?

Grass has the potential to spread and cover bare spots, but it depends on several factors, including the type of grass, climate, soil fertility, and traffic on the lawn. Here’s how each of these factors can affect grass growth.

  • Grass species and climate:
    • Some grass species are more aggressive and spread more quickly than others.
    • Climate plays a significant role in grass growth, with warmer temperatures and adequate rainfall promoting faster growth and spread.
  • Soil fertility and pH:
    • Grass needs proper nutrition to grow and spread, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
    • Soil pH also affects grass growth, with a range of 6.0 to 7.0 being optimal for most grasses.
  • Traffic and wear:
    • Heavy foot traffic and other types of wear can damage grass and prevent it from spreading and covering bare spots.

How to Encourage Grass to Spread and Cover Bare Spots

While grass has the potential to spread and cover bare spots on its own, you can encourage this process by following these tips.

  1. Overseed bare spots with grass seed: Choose a grass seed that matches the existing lawn and climate. Apply seed evenly to the bare spots, using a spreader for larger areas. Finally, rake the seed into the soil and water the area well.
  1. Apply fertilizer to promote grass growth: Apply a slow-release fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the instructions on the package to ensure proper application. Also, remember to water the lawn well after applying fertilizer.
  1. Water the lawn regularly to promote deep root growth: Water the lawn deeply and infrequently, encouraging grass roots to grow deeper into the soil. Aim for about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. We recommend watering in the morning to allow the grass to dry before evening.
  1. Mow the lawn at the proper height to encourage lateral growth: Set the mower to the appropriate height for the grass species. Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time and leave the grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil.
  1. Reduce traffic on the lawn to prevent damage: Avoid walking or driving on the lawn, especially when it’s wet. Use pathways or other designated areas to reduce traffic on the lawn. Also, consider using pavers or other hardscaping materials in high-traffic areas.

When to Consider Other Solutions

In some cases, grass may not spread and cover bare spots on its own, and other solutions may be necessary. Here are some situations when other solutions may be appropriate.

  • Reseeding or sodding the entire lawn:
    • If the lawn has extensive bare spots or is in poor condition, reseeding or sodding the entire lawn may be necessary.
    • This is a more extensive process but can result in a healthier and more beautiful lawn.
  • Using a lawn repair product:
    • Lawn repair products can help fill in bare spots quickly and easily.
    • These products typically contain grass seed, fertilizer, and other ingredients to encourage growth.
  • Identifying and addressing underlying soil or pest problems:
    • Bare spots may be a symptom of underlying soil or pest problems.
    • Soil testing can help identify any issues with soil fertility or pH, while pest control measures can address any pest infestations.


A lush, green lawn is a beautiful addition to any landscape, but bare spots can detract from its beauty. While grass has the potential to spread and cover bare spots on its own, encouraging this process through proper lawn care is key. By overseeding bare spots, applying fertilizer, watering properly, mowing at the correct height, and reducing traffic on the lawn, you can promote grass growth and fill in bare spots. In some cases, other solutions such as reseeding or sodding may be necessary. Remember to properly identify the cause of bare spots to ensure that the underlying issue is addressed. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful lawn.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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