A thick, lush green lawn doesn’t happen without any effort, and though professional gardeners and landscaping experts may know the secret, a lot of us don’t. Well, what is the secret? The secret to a beautiful lawn is to overseed it and we have written this article to tell you everything about it.
Proper overseeding will get your lawn looking healthy, thick and make all your neighbors jealous, so why not read on and learn a little more about what it is and how to go about overseeding for yourself!
What is Overseeding Your Lawn?
Overseeding your lawn means planting grass seeds on your lawn or turf without turning it over. This results in a lawn with no holes and you do not have to tear up your existing lawn turf. Overseeding is best when you use it as a preventative measure, rather than when your lawn has already thinned out. As a preventative measure, it can help prevents weeds from taking over your lawn.
Overseeding is incredibly important to anyone looking to improve their lawn and can be a method of filling in bare spots in your lawn. These spots could have been caused by a variety of factors, from stray toys, dogs, children playing, or even the weather.
Overseeding can also help to improve the density of your lawn and can prevent any weeds from taking root, as well as enhancing and making the color bold and enhancing the uniformity of the entire lawn.
Overseeding is a lot easier than tearing out your entire lawn and starting again from scratch, however, you must bear in mind that it is also easy to accidentally overseed incorrectly.
Making a mistake when overseeding can damage your lawn instead of helping it and since grass seed can be so expensive, you also need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth as you start to spread the seeds across your lawn. We have included common mistakes made when overseeding your lawn later in this article.
When to Overseed Your Lawn?
Overseeding requires proper timing and if you end up doing it at the wrong time of year, you will only be wasting time and money and you’ll be disappointed with the results. The timing will also depend on the different types of grass.
For cool-season grasses, the best time is usually in the latter half of the summer or the start of fall as to overseed this type of lawn properly, you need to wait for when the grass is already thriving and growing fast. The warm soli from the summer months encourage germination, yet the circulating cool air will stimulate growth. On the other hand, for warm-season grasses, the best time is usually in the second half of fall or the beginning of winter.
If your grass is particularly tough, you should overseed anytime before the first frost, not later than 45 days before. Yet if you live in a warmer climate, you need to do this 45 days before it hits the coldest time of the year.
A lot of people prefer overseeding their lawn in the spring as this keeps them organized ahead of the summer. However, while this can be successful, the hot summer months will put stress on younger grasses and you, therefore, will not get value for your investment if you choose to overseed your lawn ahead of the summer or in the spring.
Preparing to Overseed Your Lawn
Before overseeding your lawn, you need to ensure you are preparing the area. To do this, make sure you mow your lawn shorter than you would on a normal mow and remove all the extra clippings. You will then also need to loosen the turf with a rake.
Mowing your lawn shorter than you would on a regular lawn mow improves the percentage of seed that gets into contact with the soil. You also need to delay mowing your grass after overseeding as this will rip your new grass out as it won’t have strong enough roots.
For normal mowing, we suggest you mow ⅓ of the grass length yet when overseeding, aim to get ⅔ of the grass length cut and then ensure you rake it.
After you have mowed and bagged your clips, rake over the lawn. This will get rid of excess clippings and debris and will start to turn over the soil so it can receive the new seed.
Raking allows you to loosen the soil in your lawn and this way, your grass seed can have good contact. Without good soil contact, your seed will not germinate and it will not grow properly.
Different Types of Grasses
You need to choose a seed that will work in your climate and will work with your existing grasses. You also need to choose the highest quality seed that you can rely on and this should keep growing throughout the year.
It is also important to consider how much sunlight your lawn will get. Avoid choosing a seed that requires a lot of sunlight to be healthy and grow if you live in a heavily shaded area.
Try to pick grass seeds that are spread by Rhizomes. These grasses send the roots up in a horizontal fashion and will fill in bare spots without any proper maintenance from you. This will give you that lush, green, thick lawn that has been the dream all along.
Spreading the Seed
Once you have prepared the area, mowed the lawn, and chosen your seed, you need to start the spreading process. Double-check the label to find out the rate of overseeding of your seed.
You will need to use a lawn spreader. You can buy these at gardening stores in your area and you will need to use them to start spreading the seed around your lawn.
Spreading the seed should be a simple process, yet you need to make sure you do it once the air is calm. Don’t attempt to spread the seed when you have a mild storm or when it is extra windy as you will miss the parts of the lawn you are spreading and waste your seed. When your air is calm, it’s much easier to get a more even distribution of the seed.
Taking Care of The Seed
Fertilizing your new seed is essential to make it grow. It delivers the nutrients needed to help the lawn germinate and grow into that thick, lush, healthy green lawn you’ve always wanted.
An all-natural fertilizer is the best option when fertilizing your new seed. Phosphorus can support and promote the growth of new roots. However, there are restrictions based on the area when it comes to fertilizer so double check these first.
You can place a thin layer of compost over the lawn after spreading a new seed. This will give a great contact with your new lawn seed as it feeds your established grasses. It’s also pretty cheap to order a delivery of compost or fertilizer and you can easily spread it with a wheelbarrow and a shovel.
Watering Your New Lawn
New seeds need a lot of water and you need to keep your soil moist with light watering at least two times a day for at least the first week. After this, you can water it more heavily for a week.
After two weeks have passed, water when the lawn needs watering to prevent wilting and promote a healthy lawn. With this schedule, you will promote healthy roots and this will result in a beautiful, healthy, lush, green lawn.
Proper maintenance is key to keeping the lawn so healthy and thick, and once the first two to three weeks have passed, you can return to normal lawn maintenance. Your new seed should be sprouted at this stage, as well as rooted, and it should look the healthiest it’s ever looked.
Though overseeding can be an easy process, as we mentioned earlier in the article, it can be easily done incorrectly. These are the common mistakes people make when overseeding their lawn:
- Using the wrong seed type: When overseeding your lawn, you need to pick a seed type that will work with your lawn, as well as with your climate and the sun patterns of where you live. If you simply choose the cheapest seed, you will get older seeds that are past their planting prime and these will be filled with a lot more weeds.
- Doing it At the Wrong Time: We know how tempting it can be to start overseeding your lawn when you see it starts to thin out but to do the job properly, you have to make sure you are doing it at the right time of year, as well as with the right seed type that will work with your climate. Ensure you follow our season recommendations for warm and cold seasoned grasses.
- Ignoring Seeding Rates: Seeding rates are a guideline and not simply a recommendation. You need to use the right amount of seed for your project otherwise you are decreasing your chances of success. Growing a lawn from scratch or repairing a dead spot will take double the amount of seed you need to fill in a thinning area, so keep this in mind. However, avoid using too much seed as this can cause damage to your grass by causing excess competition for the necessary resources for growth.
- Using Weed Treatments Too Soon: We know weed treatments can be a great way of keeping your lawn healthy. However, you must avoid using them directly after overseeding as the products cannot distinguish between new blades of grass and new weeds. This is why we recommend you stick to the all-natural fertilizer.
Benefits of Overseeding a Lawn
Though we have reinforced in this article how overseeding a lawn can reduce holes in your lawn and make your grass healthy, thick and green, we’re going to take a look at the benefits in more detail and how overseeding your lawn can help your overall garden in the long run.
You Will Not Need to Use Harmful Chemicals
Maintaining a healthy and robust lawn that is lush, green, and incredibly thick doesn’t always have to be the result of chemical use.
You do not need to apply chemical fertilizers or pesticides if you choose to overseed your lawn and overseeding can correct any problems just as easily. It also helps to have a watering schedule you can stick to and with this, pests are usually unable to take up residence.
It Can Reduce Erosion
Grasses have roots that are compact are do a great job at binding together. A lawn that is dense and thick, that is overseeded will ensure your water and soil will stay where you need them to stay, you need to root at the right zone and this will reduce run-off and any soil loss.
This will improve how healthy your lawn is and since it can hold onto essential nutrients and moisture, it will thrive and grow.
We have mentioned how overseeding your lawn can significantly improve appearance, and this is because if you are going to dedicate as so much time and space in your garden to a lawn, you’re going to want to make it impress all your neighbors and make you smile every time you look at it.
Overseeding your lawn can help fill in those horrible brown and balding patches which have been damaged by pets and pests. You need to rough up the spots that need your attention with a rake before casting your seeds, and this will keep your soil moist for the seeds to germinate.
Using a sprinkler that you can move easily is also a great idea for watering and keeping this appearance up and no matter how big or small your lawn is, a densely planted one is much more inviting and one you can be proud of. Not only will it look good, however, but it will also feel fabulous underfoot.
Reduce the Risk of Pests and Disease
Keeping your lawn as healthy as possible is a great way to prevent and combat pests and diseases. To keep your lawn at its healthiest, try to water less frequently and for much longer periods. This will help to develop a well-developed root system that is strong and thriving.
Another solution would be overseeding and this is why we have written this article. If your lawn often has visitors from pests, you don’t have to immediately run to chemical use. Instead, you can use grass seeds that grow steadily and healthily in the climate you live in.
Remember, it is always best to choose a variety of seeds that will need less water and are resistant to diseases. A mixture of grass seeds with daisies is also a great solution and they can attract and support pollinators and instead of pests, beneficial insects will be invited onto your lawn.
Increase Overall Thickness
Since overseeding is used to combat thinning lawns, if you want a thick carpet of grass instead, look no further. Overseeding with the right seeds and at the right time of year can transform your lawn into a beautiful stretch of green.
The blades of grass can no longer be counted on one hand, and instead will flow together without leaving gaps or holes. This also makes the lawn much more durable and will make it able to withstand foot traffic and children’s play. You will also be able to withstand natural weathering and environmental stress.
Even though overseeding your lawn can be a scary and daunting process, if you follow our tips and guidance, you should be on your way in no time.
Ensure you take note of common mistakes so you do not end up making them yourself and if you are stuck, consult a professional gardener. We promise, overseeding is worth it in the end and will help you achieve that beautiful, lush green, healthy lawn you’ve always dreamed of.