Is your lawn looking brown and thin? We can help you get back to the beautiful, green, and thick lawn you have always wanted. All you need to do is overseed it. We do a lot of seeding of Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue.
If you put down a layer of fresh seed over your lawn in the fall or spring, the thin areas will soon thicken up and your lawn will start to look healthy again.
When Is the Best Time to Overseed?
In the North, the best period to overseed in the fall, when the soil is warm and the air is cooler. Since the trees are starting to shed their leaves, you will have plenty of sunlight. Another factor is diseases. Diseases are less active during this time. If you live in the North and you are not able to overseed in the fall, the next period is early spring. If you live in the South, the best period to overseed is late spring or mid-summer as warm-season grasses require warmer temperatures to grow.
Although the best time to seed your lawn is in late summer or early fall, bare spots should be overseeded regularly. By doing so, you will be able to reduce the chance of soil erosion, reduce weed invasion, improve water infiltration, and use fertilizer more often. This is the time when you can introduce improved varieties that may have better fertilizer efficiency, more pest resistance, and lower water requirement.
If you are looking for a low maintenance grass consider fescues. Tall fescue is one of the grasses to consider for home lawns. Because of its upright growth and wide blade, it doesn’t blend well with Kentucky bluegrass so it should make up at least 90% of the grass mixture. Tall fescue requires more frequent mowing and is most successful when grown from seed in early August. Turf type tall fescue performs best when fertilized with nitrogen.
Kentucky bluegrass is another common cool-season grass type used in home lawns. It is associated with providing a beautiful and high-quality lawn. It spreads by rhizomes or undergoing stems which allow it to form a nice sod. Kentucky bluegrass flourishes in well-drained fertile soils and full sun. It should be fertilized regularly and will need irrigation to avoid summer dormancy.
Why Overseed Your Lawn?
Over time, the grass gets old and needs to be renewed or replaced. We all know that worn-out lawns invite diseases and weeds. Overseeding with Kentucky bluegrass and turf type Tall fescue is an inexpensive and fast way to help bring your lawn to its green self without tearing your soil out and starting over.
Overseeding newer turf varieties into a worn-out lawn can help it better withstand disease, insects, shady conditions, drought, and heavy traffic. In fact, the investment in overseeding pays off by reducing the amount of water, pesticides, and fertilizer required. What’s even more important, a renovated lawn looks thicker and healthier.
We can’t ignore the fact that overseeding comes with several benefits to your lawn, including:
- Repairing lawn damage: Our lawns suffer from insects, diseases or drought stress. Our overseeding services can improve thin and bare patches of grass and revive your lawn. The thicker the turf grows, the better it is to withstand diseases in the future.
- Works better with aeration: We usually combine overseeding with lawn aeration. For those who don’t know, lawn aeration involves pulling cores or plugs of soil from the lawn. The holes allow the seeds to make better contact with the soil. This overall leads to a lusher and thicker lawn.
- No chemicals or pesticides necessary: Maintaining a robust and healthy lawn means you don’t need to apply pesticides or chemical fertilizers to solve problems. When you maintain a green and healthy lawn with best practices like overseeding and correct watering, pests don’t have a chance to take hold.
What To Do Before You Overseed?
For some reasons, old grass deteriorates or dies out. Overseeding with a new grass seed mixture can get new turf growing in bald areas and sprucing up areas where the turf is unhealthy looking.
However, the first thing you need to do is analyze the problems that caused the turf to die out or deteriorate. There are various reasons, it might be due to special conditions, if not treated, will cause the overseed lawn to deteriorate.
Some of the most common problems are:
- Improper drainage
- Poor soil condition
- Insufficient water
- Soil compaction
- Poor air circulation
- Poor fertility
- Grass varieties not suitable for your area
- Excess thatch
- General neglect
If you can’t identify the problem, we are here to help. Our lawn professionals can identify the problem for you and offer the best solution before you establish your new grass.
Overseeding is intended to be a small project, not a major operation. If large areas of your lawn have no or little grass in them, you will want to fill those patches earlier. If you know you will be overseeding your lawn in the fall, take care of the patches during springtime.
Another step that may be necessary is core or lawn aeration. Lawn aeration reduces lawn thatch. Core or lawn aerators can be rented from rental centers.
In dry weather, you will need to water carefully before using the dethatcher. Go over the lawn several times back and forth, in different directions and use a mower with a bagging system included to get rid of the junk pulled up by the dethatcher.
Dethatching will pull up a lot of green and dead grass. Grass slipping left on the lawn can form a thick mat. Luckily, dethatching will remove most of it.
How Much Seed is Applied when Overseeding
The amount required for overseeding lawns with Kentucky bluegrass or Tall Fescue is recorded on the label. Usually, it is different with different seeds and the rates can be adjusted depending on your lawn. If you overseed every year, less seed is required.
If you want to overseed your lawn all by yourself, here are some helpful tips:
- Use 2-4 lbs per 1000 square feet if your lawn is thick. Such lawns require more maintenance.
- When overseeding lawns with trouble spots such as open dirt areas, use 4-8 lbs per 1000 square feet.
- For complete renovation, 8-12 lbs per 1000 square feet may be necessary.
- For the best results, follow good irrigation tips and techniques. It may take some time for the lawn to look green and healthy. If you want help, don’t hesitate to use our professional lawn care services.
- A key point when overseeding home lawns – Try not to apply too much seed. Vibrant and thick lawns are created over time as plants grow. Applying extra seed in an attempt to get a thick lawn may lead to overcrowding.
Maintenance and Care After Overseeding
Depending on the type of seed (Kentucky bluegrass or turf type Tall Fescue) and the conditions, new grass seed will start to emerge in one week after seeing when soil temperatures and moisture are ideal. An overseed lawn will be fully established in less than two months.
Keeping the Seeds Moist
After overseeding, the seeds will need moisture to grow. Keep the soil moist but be careful cause you don’t want it to be too wet. You can sprinkle two or three times a day throughout the germination period. Once the grass starts sprouting, you can water less frequently but deeper.
Pay attention not to soak the soil or you could encourage turf diseases. As the seeds germinate and the grass grows, allow the soil to dry before watering again. Two of the biggest enemies to seedings is overwatering which could easily lead to disease and underwatering and drying out the roots.
The following is a recommended watering program:
- After overseeding: water to wash grass seeds into slits.
- Until seeds germinate (the first two weeks): water lightly every day, soaking first 1 inch of soil.
- After germination: water less frequently and allow for deeper soaking. This stimulates root growth.
- After grass become established: water at the recommended level for the type of turf planted.
When overseeding lawns, the existing turf provides shade and cover. In worn-out and poor lawns with exposed dirt, the soil will probably need to be raked to cover the seed. It is best to use a thin layer of dirt.
If, for example, you plan to spread compost, it is best to apply the compost first and then seed. This way, you won’t bury the seed too deep. After that, rake the seed so the compost you’ve just applied covers the seed. There are various seed coverings that reduce evaporation and shade the seed at the same time. The least expensive is wheat straw.
There are no specific rules, just spread a layer of wheat straw over the lawn. The wind will catch the straw and lightly distribute it over ten feet or more. After a few mowings, it will disappear. It is straw is applied too thick, you may need to remove it after the turf starts growing.
Our lawn care professionals will spread seed after soil preparation and mowing. Don’t mow it again until the seed starts germinating and reaches at least two inches. Usually, it takes two-three weeks, depending on the seed type.
Use a Starter Fertilizer
You may also find it necessary to apply fertilizer after overseeding your lawn. This is true if a soil test says your soil P or Phosphorus is low. Starter fertilizers contain higher amounts of P.
Your soil may contain plenty of phosphorus, but since it doesn’t move, it may not be where the roots can reach it. The biggest drawback to adding Phosphorus is that weed seeds will also benefit from it. However, a thick turf is the best defense against lawn diseases and weeds so adding P will help you achieve your goals.
About Kentucky Bluegrass Lawn Care
With Kentucky bluegrass, as well as, other cool-season grasses, the best time to do lawn maintenance is early fall. Because of the growth, the grass develops thatch which can add to stress and potential for lawn diseases.
Depending on your care practices, your lawn may need overseeding every year or two.
Water management is very important for Kentucky bluegrass lawns. Thorough irrigation helps encourage root growth while frequent and shallow watering discourages it. During normal weather, Kentucky bluegrass needs at least 1 inch of water weekly. During warmer weather, 2 inches or more per week will be needed. While the shallow roots of the Kentucky bluegrass require more water than turf type Tall Fescue or warm-season grasses, modern developments have improved water efficiency.
Like other cool-season grasses, bluegrass should be mowed higher than warm-season grasses. During periods of lower rainfall and high temperatures, recommended mowing heights increase to 4 inches.
Bluegrass lawns require more fertilizer than Tall Fescue. The optimal soil pH for Kentucky bluegrass is 5.8 – 7.0. Regular soil testing can help you maintain healthier pH balance and rich color with the help of mineral supplements, soil amendments, and quality lawn fertilizers.
If your lawn calls for a durable and dense cool-season grass, Kentucky bluegrass is the answer.
About Tall Fescue Lawn Care
The best time to plant Tall Fescue or perform other lawn tasks is during the growth period in fall or spring. Due to its bunch-forming and specific growth, turf type Tall Fescue rarely needs dethatching. They benefit a lot from overseeding to keep good density.
The roots benefit from proper water management. Stimulate deep growth by watering infrequently and deeply. Ordinary tall fescue varieties require more irrigation than warm-season grasses. Mow your lawn as needed to keep the recommended height of 2-3 inches.
Tall fescue adapts to different soil types and requires less fertilizer than Kentucky bluegrass. Soil testing determines your lawn’s soil pH, soil type, and nutrients required so you can fertilizer properly. Tall fescue grows with soil pH from 5.5 to 7.5.
With the advent of growing awareness of lawn benefits and new varieties of Tall fescue, many lawn owners consider this resilient and tough grass a great component of their cool-season lawns.
Green Turf Care: The Easiest Way to Get a Better-Looking Lawn
If your turf experienced insect damage, weeds, lawn diseases or drought, weak spots are almost inevitable.
Don’t worry – we have a solution!
Overseeding is a great way to improve the density and color of your turf. Overseeding is the process of seeding existing grass for one purpose – thickening your lawn.
This is done with a variety of grass types (Kentucky bluegrass or Tall Fescue) and spread with a spreader. Overseeding should be done once a year to get that beautiful, green lawn that every homeowner wants.
A thick lawn is your best defense against lawn diseases and weeds. If overseeding is done right and seasonally, you can not only prevent diseases but save money on weed control products as well.
Let us prove it to you how professional and experienced we are at overseeding, aeration, and lawn maintenance.