In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and host Kevin O'Connor patch a lawn with grass seed.
1. Mow the lawn relatively short.
2. Use a grub hoe to remove the damaged grass and weeds, but leave the topsoil.
3. Rake up and remove the excavated lawn debris.
4. Use a steel edger to cut a clean border between the damaged area and the healthy lawn.
5. Stomp down on the edger, then pull back on the handle to loosen the soil. Rake up and remove any remaining lawn debris.
6. Loosen the topsoil with a spading fork. Stick the fork down into the soil, then twist the handle to break up the soil.
7. Add a little granulated lime, and then rake it into the soil.
8. Sprinkle grass seed over the area, applying it ⅛ inch thick.
9. Use a garden hose to lightly moisten the top ¼ inch to ½ inch of soil. Water frequently to keep the soil moist.
10. When it comes time to mow the newly seeded lawn, adjust the mower height to remove no more than one third of the grass.
11. To prevent the mower's wheels from tearing out the newly seeded lawn, don't pivot or turn the mower on the lawn.
12. Collect and bag the clippings; raking them up can damage the new lawn.
13. Apply lawn fertilizer about two weeks after the first mowing.