Spring 2020 Promo: $20 off a Smart Lawn Plan + FREE soil test
Overseeding turns a thin, worn out lawn into a thick, lush lawn. A
healthy, dense lawn will choke out weeds, resist pest attacks, and
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
It's an important cultural practice that should be included in your lawn maintenance program, combined with aeration, even if your lawn is already thick. You should plan to overseed at least every 3 to 4 years, but, if you aerate and overseed every year, you'll see real nice results -- a lush, green lawn that fends off weeds, insects and diseases.
Some types of warm-season grasses can be kept green through the winter when they are overseeded with perennial ryegrass in the fall.
Summer weather, use and traffic abuse your lawn, causing thin and bare spots. Older lawns get "tired" through the years. Fall overseeding renews your lawn. Thin and bare patches fill in quick. You'll end up with a dense weed-free yard.
New seed varieties are constantly being developed. Overseeding adds these improved grasses to your lawn. Some of these might grow better in the shade or under trees, need less water, grow better in high traffic (or soil compacted) spots, or resist diseases better. Mixing diverse grass species into your lawn will improve it.
Are you growing a warm season grass...like bermudagrass?
Overseeding with perennial ryegrass will keep it green and protect it
grass this winter. Golf course and sports field managers overseed to
keep their playing surfaces green and protect the dormant grasses, and
keep winter annual weeds in
Late August/September is the best time to overseed. This gives the new seed time to grow before frost. And good growing conditions in the spring to prepare for summer stresses.
If you need to spray weeds, get this done at least 14 days before seeding.
Plant grass that matches your existing lawn. When shopping for seed, you'll notice many bags of seed come in blends of grass cultivars (cultivated varieties) and types. A bag of Kentucky bluegrass will have creeping red fescue and perennial ryegrass mixed together. These grasses complement each other. You don't want to overseed tall fescue into a bluegrass lawn.
Purchase quality certified seed. Buy the cheap stuff and that's what you'll get -- cheap seed full of inert fillers and weed seed. So get the good stuff! For a few bucks more...it's worth it. Your success depends on making good seed to soil contact. Core aerating before seeding yields nice results. Grass seed finds its way into the plug holes where it is protected and moist. Be sure to run the aerator over your lawn in at least three directions - making a lot of holes.
Power raking thatch build-up and mowing low also helps prepare your lawn for seeding. A slit seeder is a good option for really thin lawns.
Spread seed at the recommended seeding rate found on the label.
Tip: Use a drop spreader to seed the edges of landscape
beds and boundaries of your lawn. Then you can use a broadcast spreader
on the rest. This keeps grass out of areas you don't want it growing.