Overseeding Tips For Green Grass Year-Round

Overseeding has proved to be one of the most effective methods of improving the quality of your lawn. Overseeding your lawn leaves it thicker, healthier, and weed-free. If your yard is experiencing brown patches or beginning to die in spots, an overseeding treatment can help the affected areas recover. However, there is a right time and technique for overseeding, so keep reading to ensure your grass gets the correct treatment!  

What is overseeding? 

Overseeding is simply placing seeds in areas with existing grass that is now performing poorly. The two most common reasons for overseeding are: 

  1. If your lawn is looking patchy or thin. 
  2. If you’re growing warm-season grass that turns brown during winter, you can overseed with a cool-season turf seed so your lawn remains green year-round. 

The primary reason for overseeding is your yard’s overall look and health. Most homeowners want their lawns to look as green and healthy as possible. 

Best grass types for overseeding

Not all grass types require overseeding; however, this method is most effective for cool-season bunch-type grasses. Some common cool-season turf types include tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass, and occasionally bluegrass. 

When should I be overseed?

For lawns consisting of grasses that thrive in cooler climates and seasons, late summer to early fall is the best time to overseed. Overseeding during fall allows the young grass two or three months to become more established before temperatures drop too low, and growth is halted until temperatures rise to an average level in the spring. 

Then, the grass will have several months to develop a complete root system in the spring before enduring summer temperatures. Therefore, the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall are the perfect times to oversee your lawn. Other reasons to overseed in the fall include: 

  • Eliminate summer weed competition! Overseeding during the fall reduces competition from crabgrass, foxtails, and other weeds that flourish during summer.
  • Warm soil temperatures are necessary for seeds to sprout roots and further develop, while cooler temperatures are better for grass growth, allowing grass to grow through the winter.  
  • The fall will bring more rain, and, in turn, the soil will be more moist and fertile for grasses to grow. 
  • Give your grass a head start! If you overseed during the fall, the grassroots can then establish themselves before winter, protecting your lawn from the potential of an early summer arrival or dryer than average spring. 

Overseeding Preparation

Before overseeding, you can do a few things to ensure that the process works. Using a rake, remove anything that may prevent the seed from attaching, such as grass clippings from mowers, gravel, leaves, or debris in your lawn. It may also help to mow your grass two inches or shorter to collect the grass clippings. For best overseeding results, core aeration is also highly recommended. Core aeration pulls out plugs of grass, relieving soil compaction and allowing more room for your seeds to grow. Don’t worry about picking up the plugs; they will break down naturally and disintegrate quickly. Now it is time to overseed! 

How to overseed

Any method you choose to distribute seeds over your lawn evenly will work. Overseeding does not require expensive equipment; smaller areas can even be done by hand! 

When overseeding by hand, first split the seed amount in half. Then carefully spread half of the seed over the entire area walking in one direction. Then spread the other half of the seed at a right angle to the first direction you walked in. Spreading the seeds in two directions increases the chance of getting complete coverage over the damaged area. 

You may use a drop or rotary spreader for even coverage for larger areas. A drop spreader drops the seed directly beneath the spreader and is ideal for specific areas, such as around garden beds. For wide-spreading over a large section, using a broadcast spreader for complete seed coverage may be more beneficial. 

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