Does Grass Spread? Will Grass Fill In Bare Spots On Its Own?

does grass spread on its own

You generally want to fill up any bare places on your grass as soon as possible. Depending on the type of grass you have, there are different approaches you should use to fill up barren patches. Many house owners are unsure whether the grass will naturally fill in dry places or whether they would need to spend time and money repairing and reseeding their lawn. In this article, I’ll explain why the grass won’t spread on the lawn and how to get it done more quickly.

How Does Grass Spread On Your Lawn? 

Here Are a Few Ways That Grass Can Spread-

1. Rhizomes 

The stem is called rhizomes to, emerge from the soil surface rather than growing upward. Shoots and roots both develop at each node of the rhizome. Each plant shares the same genetic makeup as its parent. Growing horizontally has the benefit of preventing defoliation, which benefits the grass. A notable illustration of this spreading strategy is Kentucky bluegrass.

2. Tillers 

The grass’s erect stem is known as a tiller. The crown, where the roots and shoots converge, is where tillers develop. The portions of the grass that are mowed are called tillers. It takes more time for grass to spread when it grows up rather than out.

3. Stolons 

Rhizomes spread underground, while stolons sprout above ground and move over the soil’s surface. They can go far or near the mother plant, and when the root node makes contact with the earth, it takes root and produces a new grass plant independent of the mother plant. Buffalo grass and St. Augustine are two plants that spread in this way.

4. Bunch Grass 

Different types of bunch grass stretch out. From its crown, each plant will produce several tillers. The mass keeps expanding. This is a relatively ineffective method of spreading grass, and empty spaces typically require seeding to be filled with grass. Ryegrass clumps together.

5. Rhizomes And Stolons

Some grasses proliferate by stolons in addition to rhizomes. They tend to be aggressive, filling in bare spots and taking over other plant species. Examples of this type of spread include Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass. Both of these kinds of stems are used by Bermuda grass, which is notorious for encroaching on flowerbeds.

Will Grass Fill In Bare Spots On Its Own? 

If your grass has runners, the bare places should ultimately fill up on their own. Runners allow grass to cover dry spots, disseminate, and continue to grow.

The two varieties of grass that are most frequently utilized on residential properties in the US are kentucky and bermuda grass.

  •  Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Bermudagrass.

When your lawn is covered in any of these grass varieties, the bare spots can be filled up by the grass on its own. Since these two varieties of grass have runners, stolons grow above ground while rhizomes grow below.

This implies that the mother plant can produce more plants that will sag in and cover those barren regions. The grass should fill the bare places on its own, given enough time and good lawn care.

Types Of Grass and How Grass Spread

I’ve made a table with some of the more popular grass varieties below and how they spread.

Grass typeMethod of Spreading
BahiaRhizomes and Stolons
BermudaRhizomes and Stolons
FescueBunch grass
RyegrassBunch grass
Zoysia grassRhizomes and Stolons
St. AugustineRhizomes and Stolons
Kentucky BluegrassRhizomes

Why Won’t The Grass Spread On The Lawn?

The grass does not always grow. Your grass may not be growing for several various reasons.

  • It’s a bunch of grass out there.
  • Not enough sun is received there.
  • Water availability is insufficient.
  • It receives too much moisture.
  • To fertilize, it is necessary.
  • Mowing causes you to remove more than one-third of the grass blade.
  • Dethatching of the area is required.
  • Aeration of the area is necessary.

What To Do When Grass Doesn’t Spread?

Simple environmental adjustments ought to do the trick.

1. Soil and Sunlight Issues 

Verify that your grass falls between the pH ranges of 6 and 7, which is slightly acidic to neutral. Using a pH meter, check it. Lime amendments raise pH levels, whereas sulfur amendments lower the soil. If your soil was improperly prepared before installing turf, your grass wouldn’t grow, especially if it lacks organic matter that is rich in nutrients.

2. Irrigation 

While freshly sown grass has different irrigation requirements than existing grass, neither will flourish if watering is not applied correctly. As an illustration, freshly sown areas only require the top 1/2- to 1-inch of soil to be watered to promote germination. A thorough watering to a 6-inch depth is required to maintain the active growth of grass in an established lawn that has become stunted.

3. Aeration

Compacted soil may be present in an older, dormant lawn. The earth below your turf steadily clumps together while you walk and play on it, giving the roots a suffocating environment. Air pockets vanish, preventing roots from exchanging oxygen and spreading to absorb nutrients.

You must aerate your lawn to solve this problem. With a hand tool, you can remove small plugs or cores of soil from the grass, allowing air to permeate the soil layers for a more crispy consistency. With the right irrigation and access to sunlight, your grass should grow nicely.

Ways To Make Grass Spread Faster On Your Lawn

It is possible to hasten the proliferation of grass. Generally speaking, grass spreads more quickly when it is better cared for. Before attempting to encourage the living grass to extend into and fill a barren patch, ensure the dead grass is eliminated.

Ways To Make Grass Spread Faster On Your Lawn

1. Watering 

While it is established, water new grass frequently. As the grass establishes roots, switch to weekly deep watering to encourage those roots to dig deep. The grass is more drought resistant as a result. Grass needs an inch of water per week in both situations.

2. Fertilizer 

After germination, about 4-6 weeks, fertilize freshly established grass made from the seed. New lawns made from sod, plugs, or sprigs should be fertilized six weeks after planting. Distribute the nutrients that the soil test has advised. Don’t overfertilize because doing so weakens the grass, which makes it worse than not fertilizing at all.

3. Soil test 

For each bare area, you’re trying to cover with grass, acquire a different soil test. This will reveal the nutrients that are already present and those that need to be added.

4. Mowing 

The majority of grass spreads. You can promote its spread in several ways. If you take good care of your grass, it should develop into a thick, lush lawn.


If you reside in the US, your land likely has a range of grass species that contain runners. This kind of grass will gradually naturally fill in any barren places.

With regular lawn care, new grass seed should gradually spread to the bare places and produce a thick, even lawn. And if it doesn’t seem to be working, you may always seed the bare areas again to hasten the process.

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