Time To Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn
The best time to overseed or reseed your lawn is in the early fall. The soil is still warm from the summer sun, and the days are getting shorter, which means your lawn will have time to establish before winter. However, if you live in a colder climate, you may want to wait until late fall or early winter so that the new seedlings wont suffer from frostbite.
Can I Overseed With A Different Type Of Grass
Yes! Overseeding with another type of grass over your existing lawn is a good way to increase the diversity of your lawn, which will make it healthier, more resilient, and more unique. Just be sure that you are not using two very different types of seasonal grasses seeds on either side of the warm or cool spectrum will not share ideal growing conditions. However, a mild warm and mild cool seed combination can help keep your lawn thick throughout the year.
Grasses That Benefit From Overseeding
The practice of overseeding lawns is really nothing more than spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. The golf industry has been doing it since the sport began and is an important step in maintaining quality turf. Knowing how to do it correctly is the key. There is no need to invest in expensive equipment, just what is needed to do it correctly.
Not every grass type requires overseeding. The practice of overseeding lawns is primarily reserved for cool season bunch type grasses such as tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass and occasionally bluegrass. There are exceptions, but for most home lawns, grass types that spread by the production of “runners” are not generally overseeded unless it is damaged or diseased. This includes most warm season grass varieties. An exception is bermudagrass that is occasionally overseeded in the fall using a cool season variety.
Understanding Grass Growth
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Why Should I Overseed My Lawn
One of the main benefits of overseeding a lawn is that it revitalizes a thinning lawn without having to start from scratch and reseed the lawn. Over time, even the best lawns can begin to lose the vigor they once had. Factors such as excess traffic, too much shade, weather conditions, and disease can take a toll on your lawns appearance and cause the grass to thin. Overseeding can help to thicken those thinning areas by filling them in with new grass seed.
Overseeding also increases your lawns ability to resist weeds and disease. Thinning, worn-out lawns create ideal conditions for weeds to grow because there is plenty of space available. Overseeding is a quick and easy way to crowd out weeds by thickening the existing lawn and denying space, light, and nutrients needed for weeds to grow. Remember, the best way to keep weeds from taking over is to have a healthy, dense lawn.
Spread The Grass Seed
Before choosing a grass seed mixture, know your grass type. Use seeds for either the same type of grass already growing in your yard or a compatible grass type. Usually, compatible means cool-season grass types with other cool-season grass types and warm-season grass types with other warm-season grass types.
Fill a fertilizer spreader with your chosen grass seed mixture. Walk the spreader across your lawn in rows, following the same pattern you use when you mow. For information on how much seed to use, see the package label.
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How To Spread Grass Seeds On Your Lawn
When spreading new grass seeds, you want to ensure an even spread, unless youre just targeting bare patches.
You dont have to be perfectly even though. As long as you have a good spreading technique, you can do it by hand.
However, grass seed spreaders do make the job a lot easier, especially for larger gardens. Theyre recommended if youre overseeding your entire lawn, because they make it much easier to ensure an even spread over large areas.
In terms of seed quantity, there should be instructions on the packet, as it depends on the type of grass seed. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that there is at least one seed pellet every two square inches.
When Is The Best Time For Overseeding Lawns
When to overseed lawn depends on the type of seeds you are planting. In northern climates overseeding should be performed 45 days before the planting zones first frost. This is ideal for strengthening a weak or thinning lawn. Strengthening turf in the spring is best done when the threat of all freezes has passed their region.
Those living in southern climates with warm-season grasses should overseed to obtain winter colour, when temperatures have dropped below 65 degrees at night consistently. Prepare the area properly prior during elevated soil temperatures to promote germination.
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Do I Need To Overseed My Lawn
The first step is deciding if your lawn needs overseeding.
Overseeding existing grass is recommended if one or more of the following conditions are met:
- You notice bare patches.
- You notice areas of grass where your lawn isnt as thick or as lush as it should be.
- Your grass is looking slightly brown, or at least not as green as it used to be.
- Your grass gets damaged by foot traffic easily. This could mean that it looks worse after being walked on for even a short amount of time.
- You havent overseeded in the previous three years.
Can I Just Throw Grass Seed On My Lawn How To Overseed Your Lawn
If youre someone who is wishing for green and healthy grass, then you may already know overseeding the lawn is part of the process. Still, you might be wondering how to overseed your lawn. More specifically, can you just sprinkle grass seed on the existing lawn?We hear this question a lot. Homeowners tell us that they typically just toss some grass seed down on bare spots to try and fill them in. But oftentimes theyre frustrated that this doesn’t work like they expect it will. Well explain why you really cant just sprinkle grass seed on an existing lawn and expect amazing results.
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How Long To Wait Before Mowing An Overseeded Lawn
After overseeding your lawn, you should wait long enough before you start mowing again to prevent causing stress on the newly germinated grass. Since youve been watering the lawn a lot, youll end up tearing up the new grass easily if you mow too soon before the roots take hold.
Also, mowing when the grass is wet due to the heavy watering can easily cause lawn diseases such as fungus or brown patch disease and derail the growth of your overseeded lawn.
When to mow after overseeding will depend on the grass type. If it is perennial ryegrass, you might want to mow after 10-14 days because this variety of turfgrass grows a lot faster than most other species.
You might want to wait a little longer if you overseeded with bluegrass because this grass establishes and grows slowly to reach the recommended height for mowing.
While you wait before the grass seed establishes, you can cut the grass to allow the seeds access to sunlight. However, as soon as you see the seeds start to come up, stop mowing and allow them time to grow to a good height.
- Colorado State University Extension: Renovating the Home Lawn 7.241
How And When To Overseed Your Lawn
Are you an avid gardener taking the best possible care of your lawn – watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing and everything else needed for it to flourish? Do you still have issues with your lawn looking worn out, thin and unhealthy despite that? Dont worry, this is something that happens more often than not and we have just the solution you need.
Overseeding is the process of sowing new seed into an existing lawn. This method is used by professional gardeners and knowledgeable garden enthusiasts and will turn your tired lawn into a fresh and vibrant paradise. Overseeding could take some time and effort, especially if you have a bigger lawn, however, its very useful, produces great results and is environmentally friendly as it reduces the need to use chemicals to support your lawn. Read on if you want to learn how to overseed the right way.
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Watering And Maintaining Your Lawn After Overseeding
Watering is one of the most important aspects of successful overseeding. You need to water the seeds into your lawn immediately after spreading, and continue to water daily until the seeds germinate, which can take up to two weeks. The first watering should be a heavy watering . After that, your watering can be lighter. Once the grass has germinated, be sure to water every few days giving the grass a good deep soaking. When the grass is fully established and the same height as the existing lawn, water it according to the instructions for that type of grass. While the new grass is getting established, try to limit activity on the lawn and avoid mowing as long as possible. Once the grass is the same height as the existing lawn, you can continue to mow as you normally would.
Is It Too Late To Overseed Today
The answer is almost always, No. If you havent overseeded your lawn this fall, today is better than tomorrow, and tomorrow is better than next week. In fall, days get shorter, and nighttime temperatures drop. Crabgrass, foxtail, and annual grassy weeds turn yellow and fade, leaving room for turf seed to germinate in cold soils. Fall overseeding helps thicken existing turf eliminating bare spots. Next spring, if no bare spots, there will be no weeds.
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Mow The Lawn Lower Than 2 Inches
The first thing to do when overseeding without aerating is to mow the grass. Cut the grass lower than you usually do. The rule of thumb here is to mow lower than 2 inches, preferably as low as 1-1/2 inches.
- Mowing short before overseeding prevents weeds and established grass from competing with new seedlings.
- It also allows sunlight to reach the soil for the much needed warmth for germination.
- Mowing also prevents grass seed wastage .
Pro tip: For this type of mowing, ensure that you use a grass catcher to bag the clippings. You dont want to mulch the lawn because it will prevent grass seed from being in contact with soil for proper germination.
Depending on the turfgrass you have, you may want to cut the grass much lower than that. This is true for dense and tall grasses such as Bermuda grass which can form a very dense canopy.
The reason for mowing low is to make sure as much of the grass seed as possible gets into contact with soil. In addition, mowing low makes sure the grass gets enough sunlight for growth soon after germination.
Some grass types such as Bermuda grass require full sunlight all day for optimal growth. Therefore, do not be afraid to mow low just before overseeding, but be careful not to scalp the lawn.
Remove Weeds And Thatch
Start the actual renovation by removing weeds especially the perennial ones manually or with a herbicide. This keeps other species from competing with your new grass. If you use herbicides, be sure to read the labels and follow the instructions. Most products will allow you to seed in seven days, but some weedkillers will keep your seeds from germinating for three to six weeks.
Check if you need to manage thatch by digging up a small plug of turf, several inches deep. If the spongy layer is more than three quarters of an inch thick when you compress it, its time to have your lawn dethatched. If your lawn is larger than 300 square meters, you would want to use a power rake or a scarifier. For smaller lawns, a manual thatching rake will do.
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How Much Seed To Apply
The amount needed for overseeding lawns are usually recorded on the label. It is different with different seed varieties. The rates can be adjusted depending on the thickness of your lawn. If you currently overseed on an annual basis, less seed is preferred.
- Use 2 to 4 lbs per 1000 sq. ft if your lawns is thick already. It is more of a maintenance activity for thicker lawns.
- When overseeding lawns with open dirt areas and other trouble spots, use 4 to 8 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
- For complete renovation, 8 to 12 lbs per 1000 sq. ft. may be needed.
- Make sure you follow good irrigation techniques for the best results. It may take a couple of years, overseeding each year, for the lawn to look it best.
- Remember a key point when overseeding lawns: Try not to apply too much seed, and I emphasize “too much“. Thick, vibrant lawns are created over time as plants grow and enlarge. Applying so much seed in an attempt get a super thick lawn in three months may lead to overcrowding as plants mature.
Golf courses often use 15 to 30 lbs of seed when overseeding important areas. Why? Because they have an extremely high user expectation. They don’t have the luxury of “allowing it to grow in over time.” They know how much of a particular seed the turf can handle. Don’t try to follow their example or you may create problems for yourself.
When To Overseed Warm
Warm-season grasses grow most actively in the heat of late spring and summer, and they thrive in the southern half of the country. Common warm-season grasses include Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass.
If youre overseeding your warm-season lawn with warm-season grass seeds, plant them in late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature is between 70 and 90 degrees.
But theres another option for overseeding warm-season grass. Many homeowners choose to add cool-season ryegrass to their lawns in fall so their lawn remains green throughout winter. If youre planting ryegrass seeds, overseed in fall, when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees.
In the extreme South, you should use annual ryegrass for winter color. It will die out in June when the temperatures start to rise.
If you live in a milder climate in the middle of the country, you can plant perennial ryegrass, which will survive and go dormant during summer and green up again next fall. That way, you dont have to keep overseeding every fall. Dont bother planting perennial ryegrass in the extreme South, though it will die in the heat just the same as the annual variety.
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Water Your Lawn Generously
Right after spreading the seeds and fertilizer, water the lawn deeply. After that, water lightly every day to keep the soil moist while the new grass establishes. Continue watering every day until the new grass is as tall as the established grass.
Always water in the morning, before 10 a.m., to keep the water from evaporating in the heat of the sun. Watch for signs of overwatering, such as puddles or spongy soil. If you notice these signs, cut back on the watering immediately.
How To Overseed An Existing Thin Lawn
When the existing turf is thin or bare, applying new seed within the proper growing windows can make a big difference in the turf’s appearance. You’ll want to seed when several weeks of good growing conditions will follow. For cool-season lawns such as Tall Fescue, September through October is ideal, and early to mid-spring is also acceptable.Follow These 7 Steps When Overseeding a Thin Lawn:1. Aerate the turf before overseeding. 2. Mow the grass lower than usual, but DO NOT SCALP IT. You are only trying to open up the turf canopy. 3. Remove clippings to help the seed reach the soil. 4. Add new topsoil to low-lying bare spots or over visible tree roots. 5. Broadcast the seed or work it into the soil. 6. New seeds need Phosphorus to promote root growth and establishment. Apply a fertilizer high in Phosphorus like TurfGro 6-20-10 ProStarter Fertilizer. 7. Lightly cover seed with 1/81/4 inch of fine mulch or seed topper to maintain moisture and warmth, and protect the seed from birds.
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Revive Your Lawn By Overseeding
Is your lawn looking thin and brown? Well, Scotts can help you get back to the thick, lush, green lawn you’ve always wanted and all you need to do is overseed. If you put down a layer of seed over your lawn in the spring or fall, the thin areas will thicken up, and your lawn will start to look terrific again.
Why Is Overseeding Lawns Necessary
After several years, mature plants begin to slow down their reproduction rate. Since a blade of grass lives only an average of 45 to 60 days, production of new tillers must continually outpace the dieback of older leaves. Young grass will produce tillers faster than older grass. Therefore, one of the most important secrets to maintaining a healthy, thick lawn is to make sure your grass is young. The practice of overseeding lawns is the easiest way of Keeping grass young.
When is the Right Time for Overseeding Lawns
Overseeding lawns consisting of Cool season grasses should be done in late summer or early fall. There are many reasons for this. With fall germination, the young grass will have two or three months to become better established before temperatures drop too low and growth stops. Next spring, the young plants will have another few months to develop deeper roots before the summer heat sets in. This is the primary reason, but there are also other reasons for overseeding lawns in the fall. Below are a few:
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