Create A Healthy Lawn By Starting Over
Lets get this straight right from the get-go: A healthy lawn doesnt get taken over by weeds. So if it looks like youre raising weeds instead of grass, thats a sign of a more serious problem. And that may mean killing off the grass and starting over. Its a big reseeding lawn project thatll take several weekends and may cost you up to 25¢ per sq. ft. for equipment rentals, soil conditioners and seed. If youre willing to spend more, you can lay sodinstead of planting seed, but dont skip the soil testing and remediation steps. Heres how to balance your soils pH level properly.
Are you ready for a fresh start? Just follow our guide for how to plant grass seed on an existing lawn and youll be the happiest gnomeowner on your block.
Correct Existing Lawn Problems
For troubles beyond normal thinning, test your soil and make corrections before overseeding. Follow test recommendations for using soil amendments and repairing bare lawn spots. If needed, take time to dethatch and core aerate compacted lawns so air, moisture and seed can get to the soil. Pennington One Step Complete products combine premium seed with a stabilized-release fertilizer and wood mulch to simplify lawn repairs.
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.
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First Lets Talk About Some Benefits And Disadvantages Of Seeding A Lawn Versus Sod
Lets talk about what you have there now. Do you have a blank canvas to work with or are you going to have to start over? Examine the lawn for any weeds first. If your lawn has more than 50% weeds, moss, tough thatch, or clover, it may be time for a do-over.
Test your soil. This is a part of any successful lawn project. Testing can eliminate the guesswork on what type of nutrients to add to the soil and what type of seed or sod to use.
So When Is Sod A Good Idea
Sod is a great quick fix. It might be good for an open house or to sell a home quickly and you dont have a chance to let the grass grow.
It can be good for instant beautification for weddings or venues so long as you dont have to maintain the yard thereafter.
But honestly, other than that, there are not a lot of great reasons to choose sod over seed. It may take longer but you will be rewarded greatly in the long run with a healthy lawn, healthy grass and a lawn to last.
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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.
When Do I Reseed My Lawn
For cool season grass, the best time of year to reseed your lawn is spring or fall. Both seasons offer benefits for perfect results.Reseeding at the end of spring ensures that cool season grass seed will have enough time to establish before the cold weather sets in. Reseeding in the fall means less risk of weeds, but the soil will still be warm.
Rake & Till Your Lawn
Using a spreader, fertilize what remains of the lawn. It is best to use a starter fertilizer because it has the proper nutrients that grass seeds need to germinate and grow quickly.
Note: Always follow the manufacturers instructions for proper spread rate for a new lawn.
Spread Grass Seeds
Water Your New Lawn
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How Do You Best Prepare The Reseed For Growing
Lawns in general need a lot of water in the first period. If you have already laid sod or sown your lawn yourself, you probably remember this. So water to reseed daily for 4 to 6 weeks. On hot summer days, you can also water it in the morning and in the evening. It is important to avoid burning in the initial period.Some gardeners also swear by peat on the reseeding. The peat is supposed to protect the grass seeds from flying away in the wind, as well as cover the reseed so that it cannot be eaten by birds. Peat protects against drying out and also against excessive rain. Because, especially at the beginning, heavy rain can simply wash away the reseed.
Spread The Grass Seed
Its seeding time! Just fill up your Scotts® spreader with grass seed, adjust the spreader settings according to the label directionsuse the New Lawn coverage rateand apply. The Scotts® Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader is an extremely easy-to-use choice for small lawns , while the Scotts® Turf Builder® Edgeguard® DLX Broadcast Spreader brings exceptional precision when youre applying seed to larger lawns . For really big lawns , the Scotts® Elite Spreader, with its 6-foot spread pattern, will help you get the job done quickly.
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What About The Summer
Summer is the best time reseed your lawn, right now! Just kidding: The summer is a great time to..go fishing or camping. Dont try reseeding a lawn in the heat of June, July, or the super hot August. Summer should be spent enjoying your yard, not so much working on it. You prepare the property in other months so summer can be spent relaxing by a fire pit at night and cooking out on the peaceful patio at supper time.
Which Seed Should You Use
If you want the best-looking grass in the neighborhood, be sure to choose the highest quality grass seed. Jonathan Green Black Beauty® grass seed mixtures look and feel so much like Kentucky Bluegrass that even the pros have a hard time distinguishing Black Beauty® from Bluegrass.
Jonathan Green Black Beauty® grass seeds are:
- Deeply rooted
- Drought tolerant because of the invisible waxy leaf coating that preserves moisture in the plant .
- Naturally dark green in color
- Uniform in leaf size and texture
- Contain Endophytes for natural insect resistance
To encourage your new grass seed to grow quicker and thicker, we highly recommend Green-Up Lawn Food for Seeding & Sodding. This high-phosphorus formula helps to build a vigorous root system, gets new grass plantings off to a fast start for a thicker, greener lawn, and will continue feeding your lawn for up to two months.
Look no further than Jonathan Green for information about when is the best time to put grass seed down and how to get the very best results. Visit us online or find your local independent home and garden retailer where youll receive excellent lawn care advice.
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Pro Tips For Overseeding
- Select the best seeds for your lawn. The quality and type of seed you choose are crucial for the overseeding process. You can buy the same type of seed as your current lawn, or choose a couple of different options that go together nicely.
- If your lawn has not been fed for some time, use pre-seeding fertilizer up to a few days before overseeding. This will contribute to the overall result.
- Apply topdressing this is not a must-do. However, topdressing along with the overseeding will provide your lawn with much-needed nutrients for the new grass, so we highly recommend this. You simply need to apply a very thin layer of dressing to your existing lawn and use a rake to spread it around evenly. In case of doubts, you can review this article for more details.
- Aerating essentially this is the process of perforating the soil with small holes by forking the lawn or removing small plugs of thatch. Aerating will help reduce soil compaction and allow vital resources to go deep into the roots, ultimately improving the quality of the soil.
- Make sure you dont overdo it. Apply only the needed amount of seed. We already mentioned a few times that if youre not certain how much to use, you can follow the instructions on the seed packaging.
- Minimise the traffic on the newly overseeded lawn for about 7 to 21 days.
Lawn Tips When Is The Best Time To Reseed Your Lawn
Is your lawn looking thin and brown? Well, we can help you get back to the thick, lush, green lawn youve always wanted and all you need to do is reseed. The fall is the best time to reseed when the air is cooling down but the soil is still warm.
Why Its Best to Reseed in the Fall
The fall allows grasses to establish before winter sets in. Two months before the first frost is the best time. Fewer weeds and fewer active lawn diseases occur during the fall therefore your grass will not have to compete for access to sun and water. Sunlight begins to increase during fall as the tree leaves begin to drop. Healthy lawns require a lot of moisture, making spring the second most popular season for seeding.
Why the Spring Is the 2nd Best Time to Reseed
The moisture and warm air are beneficial to grass growth but there are a few things about spring that make it less than ideal for reseeding. Spring provides a good environment for crabgrass and weeds to begin germinating, which causes grass to have to compete for the nutrients it needs to thrive. Then summer comes around with its hot temperatures and lack of rainfall, which are undesirable stresses to your new lawn.
Keep the Following In Mind While and After You Reseed
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Tips For Spring Grass Reseeding
When your lawn revives in the spring, it may not be as thick or green as you would like. Even if you are mowing, fertilizing, and watering your lawn properly, a yearly reseeding might be necessary to keep it in tip-top shape. Here are ten easy steps to help you with the reseeding process.
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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How To Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn Properly
Overseeding or reseeding your lawn is a great way to improve your yards overall health and appearance. By planting new grass seed, you can fill in any bald spots or thin areas and help your lawn become thicker and more resistant to weeds and pests.
There are a few things to keep in mind when overseeding or reseeding your lawn: first, be sure to remove any debris from the area where you will be planting the new seed. Next, spread the seed evenly over the site, and then use a rake or broom to gently press it into the soil. Finally, water the area well and keep it moist until the new seed has germinated.
There are a few things to keep in mind when overseeding your lawn:
- Ensure that you select a seed blend appropriate for your climate and soil type.
- Make sure to rake the existing lawn thoroughly before spreading the new seed.
- Water regularly until the new grass has germinated and taken root.
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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Things To Avoid When Overseeding Your Lawn
Overseeding costs money and time, neither of which you want to waste. You want as many grass seeds as possible to reach maturity. In order to make sure you get the best results from overseeding, beware of the following:
- If youve applied crabgrass preventer, wait at least 16 weeks before overseeding. Crabgrass preventer will also stop your grass seeds from sprouting.
- If youve applied broadleaf weed killer, wait 4 weeks before overseeding. These can also inhibit grass growth in some cases.
- Remember any weed and feed products youve used may have included crabgrass preventer, broadleaf killer, or both.
- Make sure to choose the correct grass seed type. Cold-weather grasses dont grow well in warm climates and vice-versa. In the northeast, cold-resistant fescue seed blends are often the best choice.
- Overseed at the correct time. Spring might seem to be the obvious time, but youll find more success in the northeast if you overseed in fall.
- Dont mow too soon. Wait 2-4 weeks after overseeding before you mow your new grass seedlings for the first time. Mowing too soon could damage or kill young seedlings.
Diy Or Hire Professionals
There are some benefits to hiring a professional lawn service A professional lawn care company can help you make sure that overseeding is something your lawn actually needs. Since patchy, scraggly lawns can be caused by other problems, you could be wasting your time and money on overseeding. A professional lawn care service can thoroughly evaluate your lawn and come up with a more complete plan to get your lawn green and healthy.
Professional lawn service also have more advanced equipment than most homeowners. Tools like de-thatchers, power rakes, and slit seeders get the job done quickly, accurately, and more effectively than you can with a rake and a seed spreader. Ensuring that the job is done right the first time is often well worth the investment.Regardless of your approach, overseeding is an easy and effective way to give your lawn a boost and help it look great for years to come.
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Preparation Is Key To Success
You can apply all the seeds you want, but if the ground isnt properly prepared, they just wont grow. If they do sprout, they wont have a healthy root system that helps them withstand disease and drought.
Youll want to, first, dethatch the areas that will be getting seeds applied to them. This is done with a dethatching rake or tractor attachment. This has thick tines that scrape up compacted dead grass, clippings, and other organic matter from the ground surfaces.
You should also consider having the surfaces aerated prior to planting. Plug aeration is generally considered better than the spike method. It uses a special tool to remove small plugs of soil. This helps break up hard, compacted soil, allows better water penetration, and helps new seedlings establish their roots deeper into the soil.