Whether you are tending your first lawn or have years of experience, overseeding lawns can improve your results. Overseeding keeps your lawn thriving while filling in bare and patchy spots, without starting over from scratch. The basics of overseeding are the same everywhere, but goals and timing vary based on geography and the type of grass grown. For success with overseeding your lawn, follow our guide:
Overseeding Lawns: Everything You Need To Know About Overseeding: Overview
What Is Overseeding?
Overseeding is planting grass seed directly into your current lawn without damaging your grass or soil. This helps create thicker grass and introduces enhanced varieties of grass to your lawn.
What Are The Benefits Of Overseeding?
Overseeding your lawn is an easy way to…
- Fill in bare spots
- Improve your lawn’s density
- Establish enriched grass species
- Enhance your lawn’s color.
Older lawns are established with common turf grasses that are often prone to diseases and pests and require more fertilizer and water. Overseeding will add newer turfgrass varieties and can help your lawn build resistance against insects, disease, drought, shady conditions, and heavy foot traffic.
Overseeding Lawns: Why Do I Need To Overseed?
Overseeding is an excellent option for lawns that have suffered heat stress, insect or disease damage, show signs of bare and thin spots, or lack in color. Seeding your lawn with newer, improved turfgrass types is often a great way to thicken the grass and improve its health and appearance.
When Is The Best Time For Overseeding Lawns?
The best time for overseeding lawns is in the early fall. With fall germination, the seedlings will have about two-three months to become better established before temperatures drop too low, and grass growth stops. When spring rolls around, the new grassroots will have a few more months left to develop deeper roots before the summer heat sets in. Below are a few more reasons for overseeding your lawn in the fall:
- Overseeding in the fall can reduce, and even eliminate, competition from pesky summertime weeds.
- Soil temperatures remain warm while air temperatures remain cooler in the fall. This is important for seed germination.
- Fall consists of ideal rain amounts and soil moisture.
- Fall overseeding gives the grass a head start for the spring since the roots have become established before winter.
While you can succeed with overseeding in the springtime, be mindful that the hot summer months inevitably stress your young grasses and yield unsatisfactory results.
What Type Of Seed Is Used For Overseeding?
If you are going the DIY route, be sure to select the right seed recommended for your regional climate and your yard conditions.
Our seed blends at Tee Time are a high-quality commercial seed and contain multiple grass types species so that you have the highest success rate.
Do I Need To Prep My Lawn For Overseeding?
Seedlings need to come into contact with the soil to germinate. The seedlings will not grow if they are resting on your grass, grass clippings, leaves, etc. It may help to mow your lawn short and collect the grass clippings so that the soil is exposed and ready for overseeding.
Aeration is perfect for prepping your lawn before overseeding. Core aeration is the means of pulling plugs of soil and grass out of your lawn. Plug removal relieves soil compaction while allowing nutrients, oxygen, and water to reach the grassroots. Tee Time offers core aeration to prep your lawn for overseeding. Aerators can also be rented or purchased at home and garden stores.
Overseeding Lawns: Maintenance After Overseeding
How and When Should I Be Watering The Seeds?
After overseeding, the seeds will need plenty of moisture to germinate. Make sure to keep the soil moist (but not overly wet). Once your grass begins growing, you can cut down on the amount of water. Instead, water less frequently, but deeper. Be careful not to soak the soil. As the grass begins to grow, allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. During this phase, be careful not to overwater and soak the soil, leading to lawn disease problems or underwatering, leading to drying out the grassroots.
What Happens If I Do Not Water The Seeds?
You will want to maintain moisture in the seeding area from this point on. Remember: if the seeds are allowed to dry out, the grass seed will die.
How Long After Overseeding Should I Wait Until Mowing My Lawn?
Leave your newly seeded lawn for at least two weeks, and longer if possible. Waiting to mow will allow the new seedlings time to develop roots.
Should I Stay Off My Lawn After Overseeding?
Yes, it is best to reduce foot traffic and wear on your lawn for at least two weeks after seeding.
Prefer to go the DIY route? Follow these overseeding steps to ensure successful seed germination.
Prepping Your Lawn
Seed germination requires seed and soil contact. Some issues that can get in the way of this is excessive thatch and compacted soil. Prepare your lawn either by dethatching that excess thatch or aerating your compacted soil before spreading seed into the bare areas of your lawn.
Also, prepare your lawn by mowing. After cutting your grass short, bag the clippings. While you might typically leave the clippings to help feed your lawn, you want to remove the clippings this time so that the grass seed can make contact with the soil. Raking after mowing is another good way to loosen the soil in your lawn, so your grass seed has soil contact. Remember, soil contact = faster germination.
Seeding Your Lawn
When choosing your lawn seed, be sure to select the right seed for your regional climate and follow your chosen grass seed’s directions. Use a seed spreader to help spread the seed evenly.
Overseeding Lawns Aftercare
Watering is one of the most critical aspects of successful overseeding. Make sure to keep the soil moist. Once your grass begins growing, cut down on the amount of water. Instead, water less frequently, but deeper. During this phase, be careful not to overwater and soak the soil, leading to lawn disease problems or underwatering, leading to drying out the grassroots.
Limit lawn activity and mowing for at least two weeks. Continue mowing once the new grass height is the same as your existing lawn.
Overseeding Lawns: Lawn Care Professional or DIY Overseeding?
A professional lawn care company like Tee Time Lawn Care can help you ensure that overseeding is the right option for your lawn. Many other problems can cause patchy, bare lawns, and you might end up wasting your time and money on an unsuccessful overseeding. Our team of lawn care experts can evaluate and give your lawn a boost to help it look great for years to come.