The Prime Time To Overseed
As a simple rule of thumb for northeasterners, if you overseed in late-August through early-September youll get good results. This timing is in the sweet spot to let those new grass seeds take advantage of the fall grass growth spurt, while at the same gives them enough time to mature and get ready for winter. Before the first snowfall, youll see your lawn transformed!
We know climates in the northeast vary by region. Coastal areas, such as New Jersey and Delaware are usually more temperate than the northern portions of states such as Maine, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. To help precisely time your overseeding, its recommended by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance to overseed roughly 45 days before the first fall frost.
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Why Overseed Your Lawn
Overseeding is important because it can act as an easy way to fill in bare spots in your lawn.
These spots may have been left by a variety of factors, such as weather, stray toys, neighborhood dogs, etc.
Overseeding your lawn can also help to improve the density of your lawn grasses. This can prevent weeds from taking root.
It can also enhance the color and uniformity of your lawns appearance.
Overall, overseeding a lawn is important in maintaining a healthy lawn. While its much easier than tearing out your lawn and starting from scratch, it is super easy to overseed incorrectly. Making mistakes can damage your lawn instead of helping it. Also, grass seed is expensive. You want to make sure youre getting the most value from every seed you spread on your lawn.
Here are my best tips on how to overseed a lawn the right way.
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The Benefits Of Overseeding
Once your lawn has been aerated, its time to overseed. Overseeding is exactly that laying down lots of weed-free grass seed. The seeds will fall in the fresh holes and be able to take advantage of soil that is now healthier, turned, and ready to produce lush grass. Overseeding will produce a healthy carpet of thick grass that will revitalize your lawn and restore it to its natural beauty. Healthy grass is much better equipped to prevent weeds, fight off disease, be resistant to insect infestations.
While this is a simple process, it does require a lot of work. Aerators can be heavy and difficult to maneuver, so if you want some help this fall to revitalize your lawn just give us a call!
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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.
How to Overseed a Lawn
You will need:
Step One: Mow and Rake
Begin the overseeding process by mowing your lawn on the lowest setting and bagging the clippings. Next, rake the lawn to remove any loose grass or debris, further exposing the soil to accommodate the new seed.
Step Two: Amend the Soil
Add a thin layer of one-quarter of an inch or less of enriched soil over the existing grass and gently rake it in to provide a healthy environment for the new seeds to settle into.
Step Three: Add the Seeds
Fill the seed spreader and adjust the settings according to the directions on the label, and apply over the entire area, refilling as needed. For smaller areas, you may want to use a hand spreader while a drop or broadcast spreader is more suitable for larger lawns.
Step Four: Feed the Grass
Step Five: Water the Lawn
Should You Overseed Often
Youre probably curious about how often you should overseed your lawn. Its only something you do if your yard is dying, right? Actually, its best practice to overseed a lawn every year.
Overseeding helps make lawns stronger and more resistant to disease. The seeding technique also increases resistance to pests and drought.
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Do Lawns Reseed Themselves
We let a section of our lawn go wild and cut little paths through the tall grass and wildflowers it looks lovely and the bees and butterflies love it too. So do lawns just keep on growing?
Lawns can reseed themselves, and it takes two months for most lawn grass varieties to produce seed heads. These heads then disperse naturally or with help from a mower, and take 7-30 days to germinate given enough moisture, sunlight, and heat.
In this article, were going to look at the lawn reseeding process in more detail and consider what the benefits and drawbacks of letting your grass grow could be
Why Overseed In The Fall
It’s fine to overseed in spring, although many people wait too long and end up seeding in the summer when it’s much more difficult to get new grass to grow. However, if you’re in the habit of applying a crabgrass prevention herbicide, you can forget about spring seeding. Most pre-emergent herbicides inhibit all seed germination for up to 12 weeksand that puts you right in the middle of summer. Instead, it’s best to overseed right after aerating the lawn, which is ideally done in the fall.
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Seeding Warm Weather Grasses
If you live in a climate where the temperatures soar to 90 F and upward in the summer and the sun shines almost all the time, you probably have a warm weather grass. Bahia , Bermuda , Zoysia and St. Augustine are the most popular of the warm weather grasses as they have a high tolerance for hot weather and thrive in sandy soils.
The winter months are the most unattractive times for warm weather grasses. They go dormant, turn brown and look like theyre dying. When daytime winter temperatures climb to the low 80s, the soil temperature is ideal for seed germination. The seasonal rains provide the irrigation, and seeds take easily to the environment.
Be sure youre past the frost zone to avoid a late winter freeze, and seed only after the soil is warm and not drenched with rain. Seeding in the spring allows the grass to mature during the summer and take hold before the cool season sets in.
If youre looking to boost the attractiveness of your lawn during the winter, drop some perennial ryegrass seed into the lawns mix. Wait until the temperatures start to cool off and your lawn starts to turn brown before adding the ryegrass. Youll have a green lawn all winter.
Overseeding Your Tired Grass Can Give It A Much
Summer can take a lot out of your lawn. Hot, dry conditions and heavy shade cause the most grass damage. Outbreaks of disease and insect activity can make matters worse. And if you have kids or pets, your lawn may be worn to shreds, exposing the soil beneath. Not good!
General yard maintenance helps. But like other home assets, such as your exterior walls and kitchen appliances, the amount of TLC you give your lawn can go a long way. Overseeding after a summers worth of stress and abuse will pay dividends, keeping your lawn looking and performing its best once the snow melts next spring.
Your lawn cant dodge general wear and tear caused by Mother Nature. And the way you and your family use your lawn can add to your maintenance woes. By seasons end, your lawn is tired and showing signs of stress.
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Patching Bare Patches: A Mini Re
Bare patches can be caused by hot, dry weather. These conditions are also conducive to several lawn diseases, such as: rust dollar spot brown patch and dog spot. Heavy traffic is another cause of bare patches.
Here are the steps for patching bare spots in the lawn. The steps for re-seeding the entire lawn are nearly the same.
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Overseeding A Lawn: How And When To Repair Your Lawn
During the warm months, its only natural to spend more time outside. And when you have a garden, what better place to catch some sunshine, play with your dog or make barbecue? But sometimes, after winter or a long and hot summer , you might notice your lawn doesnt look too appealing.
Bald patches taking up more space than the greenery is not only unappealing, but they make room for moss to grow in the lawn, along with different weeds. Without addressing this problem quickly, with time, it gets harder to repair. So consider overseeding your lawn timely and rejuvenate it for good. Heres how.
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The Timeline For Warm Weather Grasses
If temperatures in your area consistently reach 90 degrees F or higher throughout the summer, and the sun shines nearly every day, you likely have warm weather grasses in your yard. These thrive in sandy soils and can endure long periods of hot weather. The most popular warm-weather grasses include:
Spring seeding gives these grasses time to mature throughout the summer and establish healthy roots before cooler winter temperatures set in. But its key to ensure youre outside of frost potential to avoid a late freeze. The soil should be warm but not soaked with water, and daytime temperatures should be in the low 80s.
The Toll of Winter
In the winter, warm weather grasses look dead because they often turn brown. You can boost your yards aesthetics during this time by laying some perennial ryegrass seed. Again, timing is everything do this only after temperatures have started to drop and your lawn looks brown. The ryegrass will give a fresh green hue throughout the winter.
Why Reseed Your Lawn
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There are a few different reasons for reseeding your lawn, including:
- Thinning. Grass thins as it matures, and a very mature lawn might look pretty bare. You may also find the grass dies in areas with high foot traffic if an appropriate type of grass seed wasnt used.
- Weeds. Another reason to reseed your lawn is if it has been completely overtaken with weeds. Reseeding gives you the opportunity to take everything down to dirt level and start fresh. Be careful on your pesticides, and consider alternatives to those with a high toxicity.1
- Damage. Your lawn may have become damaged due to flooding or having items sitting in one area for too long. This can result in a large patch of dead grass. Removing the dead grass and reseeding the area can help bring a more uniform look to your lawn. Removal of the dead grass may be helped by finding the right sweeper.
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Why Early Fall Is The Best Time To Reseed
Not only does early fall have the best weather conditions, and soil temperatures, but it also allows you enough time to kill your existing grass and reseed your lawn before the first frost arrives. Typically in early fall, the air temperature is cool enough that the seedlings wont dry out and warm enough that conditions are right for seedlings to germinate. Reseeding in fall also gives the grass time to grow and establish a deep root system before the hot summer months.
When To Reseed Vs Overseed
Reseeding is often confused with overseeding, which is the process of applying seed to your existing lawn to thicken up thinning areas in your yard. Reseeding, in comparison, involves first, killing the existing grass and weeds, then starting over with new grass seed.
While overseeding is a great way to thicken an existing lawn, Jonathan Green recommends reseeding a lawn when more than ½ of your yard is full of weeds or bare spots.
Starting from scratch may seem extreme, however, reseeding is sometimes your only option if you dont want to fight weeds for years to come. In order to have uniform, green grass, you have to hit the reset button and reseed your lawn.
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What To Do To Reseed The Lawn: Three Steps To Renewed Greenery
If you are ready to sow your new lawn, the only question that remains is how to do it. But dont worry, in this section, well explain in three simple steps what you need to consider and how to proceed. Follow these three steps and follow the tips and hints for sowing, then nothing will stand in the way of your desired lawn.
Determine Your Grass Type
Before getting started, it’s important to understand your grass type. If yours turns brown in the winter, then you likely have warm-season turf. Common varieties include Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, or St. Augustine, explains Mayer, all of which respond more favorably to sodding or sprigging opposed to overseeding. However, if you reside anywhere throughout the Midwest or Northeast where grass remains green through the winter months, then you’re dealing with cool-season iterations, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue, or Ryegrass.
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Prep The Soil For Reseeding
Once the old grass and weeds are gone and its safe to lay down new seed , its time to prep the soil.
Remove any large debris, then use a garden rake to level the ground and break up any large clumps of dirt. If the area is covered with mulch or compost, lightly work it into the top couple of inches of soil.
If your soil is compacted, you may also want to aerate it at this point. After aerating, rake the area level and loosen the top ¼ inch of soil. As a final step, spread a 1-inch layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® LawnSoil evenly across the entire lawn. Its specifically formulated with a blend of rich, composted materials to provide an excellent growing environment for young seedlings, and also makes it easier for them to sink their roots in.
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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Preparing Your Lawn For Overseeding
Seed germination and establishment requires good contact of seed with soil. Inspect your lawn for presence of thatch. If too thick, its best to aerate your lawn before overseeding or if filling in patches remove the thatch and dead grass before spreading seed in bare areas of your lawn. To prepare your lawn for overseeding, cut the grass short, using the lowest setting on your mower. Dont forget to reset the blades to a higher setting after the overseeding is complete and resume a normal mowing height as you typically dont want to cut the grass this short. If cutting your lawn short before overseeding, bag the clippings. While you might normally leave them to help feed the lawn, you want to remove the clippings so that the grass seed can make good seed:soil contact for faster germination. After mowing, rake your lawn to remove any remaining debris and thatch, and to loosen the top layer of soil.
Can You Overseed A Lawn With Weeds
You can overseed a lawn with weeds, but its best if you dont. The grass seeds and weeds will compete with the soils nutrients, and you dont want to risk the seeds winning.
The best way to overseed a weedy yard is to kill the weeds during the late summer and seed during the fall. You wont get all the weeds during the summer, but you can control whats left with herbicide.
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Should I Rake Dead Grass Before Seeding
Its important to rake dead grass before seeding to allow more air and water to reach the soil and facilitate germination. Removing dead grass by raking also allows direct soil contact between the new grass seeds and the soil. Full contact between soil and seeds results in better rooting and healthy turf development.
Raking dead grass also allows you to see which areas of your dying turf have more bare patches than live grass. You can spread the grass seed accordingly, ensuring you sow more seeds in the bare areas.
Note: You can choose to leave dead grass on your lawn and let it decompose. But this usually takes up to 2 months which might be too long before you can reseed your yard.