How to Overseed A Lawn
Lush green lawns do not happen on their own -- a lot of effort goes into making a lawn green and beautiful. An essential step in lawn maintenance and care that gardeners are often either unaware of or conveniently ignore is overseeding.
Whether you have only recently devoted yourself to creating a beautiful lawn or have maintained one for years, overseeding can enhance your garden's charm by multiple times.
What Is Overseeding?
In simple words, overseeding is the process of relayering your existing lawn with new grass. Many gardeners think that once grass gets old and loses its vigour, the best option is to replace it with a new layer.
Unfortunately, not only is grass expensive, tearing an entire lawn and building it from scratch to how you want it to be is a time and effort-consuming process, and this is where overseeding becomes handy.
When you overseed, instead of tearing down a whole patch of grass, you simply layer the whole patch with new seeds. If done right, overseeding can infuse new life into your old lawn.
Why Is Overseeding Important?
Overseeding is not an option; it is a necessity. Here's why. If you spend a good amount of time in your garden each day, chances are your lawn registers high foot traffic on a daily basis.
This high foot traffic causes the grass to become thin with time. More importantly, thinning grass invites weeds, which in turn, can damage all the hard work you have poured in your lawn. Overseeding is an essential step in lawn care and does not only keep your lawn green and healthy but also safeguards it against weeds.
What Is the Best Time to Overseed Your Lawn?
Overseeding requires proper planning and should be done at the right time. Improper timing can cause all your efforts to go to waste. So, what is the best time to overseed your lawn?
Many people prefer to do overseeding during the spring season as the lawn appears to be in its best health during this season. However, the hot weather conditions are not suitable for young grass and thus, more often than not, overseeding efforts do not return expected returns during the spring season.
Ideally, overseeding should be done between late summer and early fall. During this time, the weather conditions are ideal for the growth of young grass. More importantly, warm and moist soil promotes seed germination.
Though the time between late summer and early fall is considered ideal for overseeding, the perfect time for the process also varies based on the type of grass.
For instance, cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue, respond best to the weather conditions that exist between later summer and early fall.
On the other hand, warm-season grasses, such as bermudagrass, centipedegrass and Zoysiagrass, grow best during the winter season and thus, the best time to overseed them is during late fall and early winter.
Here's How to Overseed a Lawn
Overseeding may seem simple but it's a tricky process -- one small mistake and all your efforts will reap no results. Thus, follow these steps to stay right on track.
1.) Preparation Is Key
Preparing the soil for overseeding is one of the most key steps in the whole process. To prepare the soil, trim down your grass.
Next, loosen the top layer of the soil through raking. You will also have to make sure that the clippings are removed or else the young grass won't get enough sunlight and water to grow.
2.) Get Rid of the Preexisting Problems
Before you move to the actual step of overseeding, make sure that the soil you have prepared has no dead grass or debris to stop the roots of the grass from reaching the soil. If your lawn has significant thatch, it is extremely important to dethatch the lawn for beginning to overseed.
Similarly, if the soil has become compacted, make sure to aerate the lawn before overseeding. These steps are important to ensure that seeds get the soil and moisture they need to grow properly.
3.) Decide on the Type of Grass You Want in Your Lawn
Once you have done the basic preparations, the next step is to figure out the type of grass you want in your lawn. This decision will depend on your region's climatic conditions.
Once you have decided which type of grass you wish to go with, make sure to spend your money on best-quality seeds. The quality of the seed also plays an important role in ensuring the good health of the grass.
For more info on this, read our guide on The Best Types of Grass for Your Lawn
4.) Overseed and Fertilize the Overseeded Areas
The next step is to spread the seeds all over the lawn. If you have a small lawn, you can use a handheld spreader to overseed your lawn.
However, if you have a big lawn, rent out a lawn spreader to do the job. Once overseeding is done, you will have to make sure to find time to fertilize the overseeded area. Use fertilizers rich in phosphorus and nitrogen as they support root and top growth.
5.) Regularly Water the Overseeded Area
For the first ten days after overseeding, make sure to water the overseeded area at least twice each day.
Seeds need water to germinate. After the first ten days, give only sufficient water to prevent wilting. Regularly watering your seeds will allow them to develop healthy roots.
6.) Take Proper Care of Your Lawn
If you have done everything right, your efforts will begin to show results within the first week itself and within eight weeks of overseeding your grass will be ready.
However, while your grass is germinating and even after it has reached full growth, continue with essential lawn care practices, such as fertilizing, watering, mowing, aerating, etc., to keep your grass lush green and your garden healthy.
If the grass in your garden has thinned and your lawn has started to look lifeless, it's not the time to change the grass but simply overseed it. Overseeding will help you save time, money, and efforts.
However, while overseeding, following the right steps is crucial.
We hope this comprehensive guide on how to overseed your lawn has cleared all your doubts regarding this tricky process and will help you overseed your lawn the right way.
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