Overseeding: The Answer To A Sad, Sad Lawn?

Like most folks, our lawn looks pretty sad right now. And we have plans to do some much-needed first aid.

Q: Does your lawn tend to look thin in spots?
A: Yep, it looks awful right now.

Q: Would you like it to be a lush green all year long?

If you answered like I did, then you should consider the practice of lawn improvement called overseeding, which is what we’re going to do.

Overseeding means that you plant more seeds than necessary to improve the density of your lawn. By planting more seed than is needed, more seeds will germinate than would otherwise have done and your turf can become much thicker. However, simply throwing some seed on top of your existing grass won’t do the trick. Do really make overseeding work, you need to do some prep and have some knowledge.

Overseed At The Right Time

Choosing the right time means knowing when the type of grass you are seeding for will germinate best. If you’re overseeding using a cool season grass, do it in the autumn, which is the best growing time for cool season grasses. If you’re using grasses that flourish best in warm weather, overseed in the spring.

Prepare The Soil Correctly

Rake away all dead, thatched grass and aerate the existing turf if your soil is clay. Testing your soil at this point is a great idea because then you will know exactly what amendments to make to improve soil nutrients and balance pH correctly.  Add organic compost or fertilizer if necessary.

Cut It Short

Most garden experts advise against mowing grass very short as this can allow seeds to gain a foothold.  However, when you are overseeding, you’ll need to mow it quite short to make it easier for the added seed to germinate and begin to grow. The idea is to allow the new seeds as much contact with the soil as possible, and mowing the existing lawn very short helps this to happen.

Seed Lavishly

Overseeding means exactly that—using a lot more seed than would normally be required. You should at least plant double the amount of seed you would plant if you were planting the seeds on soil unencumbered by existing turf.

Pamper Your New Grass

Don’t be deceived by the presence of existing turf grasses. Your new little grass sprouts need tender loving care to ensure they thrive and grow. They are every bit as delicate as a brand new lawn. Use protective mulch; apply good organic compost or fertilizer to enrich soil and support growth and water consistently and sufficiently.

Finally, to complete this lawn overseeding instruction, until your overseeded lawn has reached the point in its growth at which it can stand up to human feet and animal paws, keep off the grass!

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