Here at Lawn Serv, we get a lot of questions about overseeding–what is it? When is the best time to do it? How does this change my strategy for applying nutrients, weed products, etc. throughout the season? Well, the answer is … it depends! But, the good news is that overseeding is one of the best things you can do for your lawn to help improve the density of grass, fix bare spots, crowd out weeds, and keep your lawn healthy. Read on to find out more!
What is “Overseeding”?
Overseeding is pretty simple. It’s the process of laying down new grass seed to (mostly) already seeded areas of lawn. Overseeding is ideal for thin lawns; if your lawn is mostly bare in spots, but generally in good shape, you may want to consider a seeding program that is more focused on those spots.
When should I overseed my lawn?
Fall is generally the best time to introduce new seed to your lawn, particularly in cool grass areas (think roughly the top half of the U.S., where cool season grasses are most prevalent). While there are also benefits to overseeding in the Spring, this tends to be a “pickier” time to do it. If you seed too early in the Spring, late freezes and frosts–and snow!–can still hurt your seed’s chances of germinating. If you seed too late in the Spring, your grass may not have enough time to develop deep enough roots to survive the summer’s heat.
What should I do before Overseeding?
In general, you cannot just open the bag of seed and throw it down! The sun will cook your seed, the wind will take it away (if the birds don’t!), and the seed is unlikely to make the contact with the soil that it needs to sprout healthy roots.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for overseeding is aeration. This involves pulling small cores of soil from your lawn using an aeration machine. There are manual aeration devices (ever seen those spikey shoes that you strap on?), but we don’t recommend these–they’re a lot of work, and might actually compress the soil more! Aerators can generally be rented at your local hardware or rental store and are very effective.
By aerating your lawn, you’re allowing water, air, nutrients, fertilizer and seed to reach deeper down into the soil ecosystem, providing a much greater environment for your grass to grow deep, healthy roots. In particular, aeration greatly improves the soil-to-seed contact that will allow the best chance at seed germination and seedling growth.
Wait, why should I overseed again?
In addition to promoting a more dense, beautiful lawn, overseeding also introduces new and improved types of grass to your yard. This diversity protects your lawn from disease, bugs and drought, and generally improves your lawn’s ability to resist the harsh stresses of summer!
But, in order to do all of this, you need to make sure you’re applying the highest-quality grass seed, as well as addressing any underlying challenges that your lawn may be facing. The best way to do this? A Lawn Serv subscription, of course! Our plans are all tailored specifically to your lawn by using the most advanced soil testing available. And, we work directly with some of the leading grass seed suppliers–including those that supply professional sod farms with their seed!–so we can offer our customers the highest quality seed and best advice along the way.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions–we’re here to help along the way!