Updated: Dec 11, 2021
What Is Overseeding?
You may have heard the term “overseeding the lawn” and wondered what it means. We’ve even mentioned it on some of our social posts lately.
Overseeding is a process used by professional gardeners to sow new seeds into an already established lawn. Primarily used by experts, this method of sowing new into old will revitalize your exhausted lawn into a lush, bright green, and healthy covering of grass.
When Can I Overseed My Lawn?
Very late summer or early fall is the best time to overseed your existing lawn. As the climate cools, the soil temperatures during the day are still sufficient to support seed germination and encourage growth. Then the cooler nights make sure the new grass seed has a break from the heat.
How Do I Successfully Overseed?
Overseeding is a process. Although this process might differ depending on the condition of your current lawn or whether you’re using warm season grasses or cool season grasses, you will find that the principles are similar across all lawn overseeding projects.
The aim is to thicken and rejuvenate a tired lawn, which can look a little lackluster after the summer months. This could be from wear and tear, sun damage, or poor nutrients in the soil that inhibit healthy lawn growth.
Here are the top 5 tips to ensure successful overseeding this fall to ensure you get a healthy and lush yard when the seed germination is complete.
1. Mow & Remove Thatch
Mowing your grass to approximately 25mm allows all of the damage and older elements of the lawn to be removed so the new grass seed can germinate and essential nutrients can work from the bottom upwards.
Removing the thatch, which is all the dead matter that creates a barrier to new growth, can assist with regrowth later on. The process is often called scarification. You can read our recent article about aeration for more information on removing thatch, or give us a call and let us do the heavy lifting for you!
2. Aerate The Lawn
Aerating using a simple garden fork can increase the permeability of nutrients and water mobilization throughout the soil underneath, which is imperative for successful lawn regrowth.
This spiking process can also allow the new lawn seed to fall deeper into the soil and root in better for successful growth during germination.
See the article linked above for more detailed information here, too!
3. Fertilize & Spread The Grass Seed
Fertilizing your lawn if you haven’t done so for a while is super important. It helps to get all of the proper nutrients into the soil, giving your existing lawn and the new seeds the best start to becoming a beautiful springtime lawn.
If you are using a regular or starter fertilizer, you can begin overseeding around 4 days after the fertilizer has been placed down. It’s better not to spread seed on your lawn immediately after fertilizing.
When spreading grass seed and fertilizer, make sure there is an even and sufficient coverage of loose seed across the lawn. This will give a better chance of having an even lawn pop up in the springtime. Using a seed spreader or fertilizer spreader for both jobs helps with this part.
Hiring a professional, however, takes all of the guesswork out!
Choosing the best type of seed is also important. Of course premium grass seed is going to be better than bargain store seed brands, but there’s also grass type. You need to know if you already have cold or warm season grass and even the species. Do you have Kentucky Bluegrass or perennial rye grass?
4. Keep It Moist
Whether you are overseeding a few bare spots of grass or several acres on your property, you need to keep the area you have overseeded moist.
Water your lawn after 2 or 3 days, especially if no rain has fallen in that time or if the fall season is particularly warm. Maintaining proper soil moisture levels keeps your grass seeds from too little water, as well as too much, which can encourage root rot diseases.
5. Keep Off!
It goes without saying that a freshly overseeded lawn needs to have as little traffic on it as possible, so make sure that pets and little feet have somewhere else to go!
It may also be a really good idea to protect the freshly sown lawn seed from birds and animals with a physical barrier, such as fine netting, to keep the seeds where they are meant to be. Let us know if you need more ideas for functional ways to prevent contact with the soil in your yard!
Overseeding is the best method to ensure you get a lush regrowth if your existing grass is looking tired from the summer months or even if you just want to fill in thin lawns.
Overseeding is a simple process, but it is often carried out by experts like RLB Landscape Group, as we can take the right actions for the process as a whole.
To successfully overseed your lawn, it is best to remove any thatch, mow your lawn, and fertilize it before sowing your new lawn seeds to give them the best chance of solid germination and lush growth!
Remember, keep your overseeded lawn areas safe from excess footfall and safe from animal and bird invasions; the last thing you want is for those seeds to be stolen!