Expert garden advice from the RHS: how can I repair the patches in my lawn?

The experts at the RHS answer your gardening questions...
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Question: I put in a lawn two years ago and now have some bare patches. Seed doesn't appear to take. What would you recommend doing to repair the patches? I also struggle in some shady spots as well.

Answer: It can be difficult to encourage seed to take in bare patches. Often it's the watering that gets overlooked just at the critical time when the seeds have just germinated. timing is important, so now that the days are getting longer and the soil warmer, your chances of success are good. Mow the grass before sowing and use a wire rake to disturb the surface of the soil to help anchor the roots. Sow the grass seed at a rate of 10-15g per sq m and apply a general fertiliser such as Growmore. Unless your garden receives more than five or more hours of good light or sun, it may be worth considering planting shade-tolerant plants rather than lawn. Shade grass seed mixes are available, but for success, the four or five hours of sun would still be needed.

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