Overseeding Weedy Lawn

Overseeding Weedy Lawn

If you have ever had to look after a lawn yourself, then one thing we are sure you are aware of is just how quickly weeds can start to spread.

Once you have weeds in your yard, it can feel almost impossible to get them out of there. And no matter how many different herbicides you use, sometimes it can just feel like they are not doing anything.

The reason for this is that weeds are inherently opportunistic and they will claim any patch of grass which is bare or thin in your yard. 

So, because of this, a lot of people have seen overseeding their lawn as a solution to make it so the weeds can not take advantage of any more opportunities. But, is this a good option, or will you just be crowding your garden and not actually stopping the weeds at all.

One thing that a lot of people do not know is that one of the best things you can do to stop weeds and get rid of them, is to simply grow a lawn which is lush enough to kick out the weeds. 

If you are not giving the weeds somewhere to grow, they will just stay away from the yard. One of the best ways you can do this is to periodically overseed your lawn.

If you do not know what overseeding actually is, this is when you spread grass seed onto a lawn which is already established in hopes to thicken it up. 

This can work and it will usually improve your lawn, however, it is worth knowing that this method is also not going to be a quick fix. This method will require quite a bit of thought and effort, however, once you have done it properly, the results are worth it.

So, let’s go over how you can overseed a lawn effectively and when is the best time of year to do this!

Does Overseeding Help Your Lawn?

So, in what way can overseeding your lawn actually help it? The overseeding method is a way to revitalize your lawn, and all you do is add more seed to the lawn which seemingly does not need it because it is already established. 

To do this method you will not need to till your lawn, and you do not have to tear up the lawn either to make it effective.

When you overseed the new grass will grow to fill in any of the bare spots that are in your yard, this means that the yard will grow thicker, and greener.

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If you overseed at the right time of year before the weeds can become established, or after the annual weed pressure will start to ease, then you are most likely to be successful.

How To Succeed With Overseeding A Weedy Lawn?

One thing we have already referenced, but if you want the best results when you are overseeding your lawn, you are going to need to have the best timing, as well as be prepared.

You will not want to overseed your lawn in the summer, this is because the weeds you are trying to attack will be mature and they have started to grow more vigorously. This will just be a waste of your time, as well as the money you spend on seeds. 

Instead, the best option is to overseed your lawn in the early spring and the early to mid-parts of autumn. This is mainly due to the soil temperatures you will be working with will be in your favor.

The time of year you choose to overseed the weedy lawn will end up depending on the reason why you are doing it. 

For example, if you have a lawn which is thin, then you want it to grow thicker and this will stop the weeds from growing, if so, then the early spring time is the best for growing the seeds.

However, if you want the lawn to have a hard reset because of weeds, then you will want to go with late autumn since this will not give your grass any pressure from the annual weeds. 

We recommend against trying in the hot summer months since this is very harsh for the new seedlings, and the later springtime is also not a great time for this either. So now you know when, how do you overseed your lawn?

Overseeding Weedy Lawn

Preparing The Lawn

So, on top of choosing the best time to overseed your lawn, you will also need to prepare your lawn to be overseeded. 

There are a few things you can do to ensure this works as best as possible. For example, you will want to cut the grass short, when you usually mow your lawn, you only want the grass to have about a third of its length cut.

However, this is not the same when you cut the grass for overseeding as you want the grass to be shorter so the grass seeds can easily get to the surface. 

So, when doing this you want the grass to have about 2 thirds cut so it is about an inch and a half tall. You will also want to clear your lawn of any clippings you might have resting there. 

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You want to make sure that when you have finished mowing your lawn, that there are no clippings on the lawn since these will end up interfering with the new grass seed as well. You can do this by gathering them in the mower, or raking after.

You will also want to allow more air into your yard as well. This will loosen up your soil and improve the potential contact your soil can have with the new seeds. This is also a great time to remove any thatch from your yard as well. 

You will either want to aerate your lawn, or just use an iron rake to help loosen up your turf. So, now everything should be prepared for the overseeding, what are the steps you need to follow?

Seeding The Lawn

Once you know what time of year is best to overseed the lawn, and also how you should prepare your lawn for overseeding, then you should be ready to overseed your lawn.

To do this, first you will want to choose a seed type which will match your climate, as well as pair with the grasses. 

You will want to pick a grass type which you will be able to depend on. You want this grass to be able to grow all throughout the year, and to be able to adapt to the conditions in your yard.

This is usually something like whether your yard tends to be more sunny or more shady. 

There are often guides you can find with manufacturers of grass seeds that will help you work out what type of grass will be the best for you so you do not make an ill-informed decision.

Once you have a type of seed which you are happy with, you want to check the label on the bag of grass seed, this will usually suggest the best rate for overseeding.

This information should be easy to find and will help inform you on how to work with this type of grass seed in particular. 

This is because you will want to ensure you are using the right amount of seed for your yard, and if you end up using too much, your grass is going to be bad at growing since the seedlings will just end up fighting over the little moisture there is to go around, and if you use too little, then the grass will not grow thick enough to be effective against the weeds. 

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Once you understand what application rate you need to be working at, you want to find a lawn fertilizer spreader, with a broadcast spreader being the best option for this job, and this will help spread the seed evenly over your yard. 

You will want to ensure that you are spreading the seed on a dry day, as well as with no wind to ruin the job. Something which can also aid with the germination will be spreading about a quarter inch of compost over your new seed. 

This will aid massively with the germination process and will ensure that your seedlings can thrive. You will also want to research what the instructions are for watering your new grass, and this should also be easy to find on the bag of the grass which you have purchased.

Summary – Maintaining New Grass

As we just mentioned, watering the new grass you are growing is very important to ensuring you prevent weeds with this method. You will also want to make sure that you know the stages of watering as well!

For example, your new grass is going to need a lot of water, and because of this you will want your water to stay moist for as long as possible. 

To do this, you will want to water the grass lightly about twice a day for the first week after you have grown it, and then water a little more heavily for the second week as well.

Once the seeds have been in for 2 weeks you want to water even more heavily, but less often. You will want your soil to be getting saturated down about at least 6 inches each time you are watering after it has been 2 weeks. 

This is going to encourage the seedlings to have deeper roots which ensure that your lawn has a stronger resilience against heat, as well as drought. You are also going to want to wait a few weeks before you try to mow your lawn again. 

Then ensure that your grass is longer than 3 inches, but we prefer 4 inches, if you do not, then you will risk ripping out the seedlings from the turf as the roots will still not be deep enough.

Then when mowing, bag the clippings at least a few times, and adjust the mowing deck so you are not cutting more than a third of the blade. Also avoid herbicides for at least a few weeks.