Overseeding: The Key to a Beautiful Lawn


Aug 14, 2019

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We all enjoy the look and feel of a lush, beautiful, green lawn that is well maintained and looked after. Unfortunately, many homeowners simply don’t have the time or the energy to attend to a lawn. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Overseeding your lawn is one of the key secrets to growing the lush lawn that you’ve always wanted.

Let’s dive in.

What Is It?

You probably already have a lawn that has seen better days. It may be green in parts, but there might be patches of it that are struggling to grow or it may even be down to bare soil. So, what can overseeding do for your lawn?

In simple terms, this is throwing grass seed over a lawn that’s already there. This is ideal for lots of people because it means not having to clear the lawn and start over again. It saves time and leads to a fantastic looking lawn if it’s done in the right way.

What’s the Best Way to Do It?

man seeding grass in the backyard

If you want to overseed your existing lawn, it’s best to follow these easy steps:

1. Seasonal Questions

Even before you throw out the first lot of grass seed, you need to establish what time of the year is best.

If you live in the South, the best time to overseed your lawn is late spring through mid-summer. This is because warm-season grasses need warmer soil temperatures to germinate.

For the folks with cool-season grasses in the North, the best time to overseed is in the fall. During this time the warm soil encourages seed germination, the cool air stimulates growth, and the soil moisture stays more consistent. If you miss the fall seeding window early spring is the next best time to seed for these types of grasses.

Ideally, you need to overseed when your grass is growing at its best so that your seed doesn’t sit there under the soil dormant because it’s too cold (or too hot) to germinate.

2. Why Should You Overseed?

Most people overseed their lawns at home when they find that patches of it are thinning. This will certainly produce a lawn, but the problem is that just fixing these thinning areas won’t result in the lush lawn that you really desire.

The best way to approach seeding in this context is to overseed even before your grass is thinning. This gives it time to establish and also makes for the thickest and lushest looking lawns.

3. Make Preperations

Before you toss out all of that seed, you need to ensure that you’ve mowed the lawn quite short. While you don’t want to expose the roots to the sun and dry them out, you should mow it down to an inch or two so that your seeds can get right into the surface of the soil.

It’s also really important to do your best to fix any lawn problems that you might already have, such as bare spots and thinning areas. You can aerate the soil to allow water to penetrate compacted areas. It may also be a good idea to use a good quality fertilizer.

Liquid fertilizer is ideal, and if you have the time a slow-release formula is excellent. Just make sure that you do this well in advance of your seeding so that you give the soil time to be replenished with nutrients.

4. Buy the Best Seeds for the Job

The truth is that you need to buy the best grass seeds that suit your climate. Ryegrass is ideal for cold climates and it can be combined with existing grasses when you overseed to produce a rich lawn all year round.

Even before making a decision on this, you need to ask these kinds of questions: Do I need warm or cool season grass seeds? Is the area shaded or in full sun? What kind of soil do I have? Do I need a fast growing or slow growing grass?

Here are some good example of grasses that are ideal in cool seasons and cooler climates:

  • Kentucky BlueGrass: This is a popular and very tolerant type of grass that exhibits a lovely blue-green color when mature. This is one for people who may not have a lot of time to maintain their lawn and want something tough.

  • Ryegrass: As mentioned earlier, Ryegrass is a popular cool season grass and it grows quite thick. This makes it excellent if you want good coverage over thinning areas of your lawn. It also grows quite quickly, making it an excellent choice for people who need a lawn quickly.

  • Red Fescue: If you have a lawn or garden that is partially shaded, this is the grass for you. It will tolerate shady areas with some exposure to the sun. In this context, it’s an excellent choice for people who don’t have a lot of time to maintain their lawn.

Likewise, here are some great warm season grasses:

  • Bermuda: This is a really tough and durable type of grass that is ideal for people who don’t have much time for garden maintenance. The only issue is that it needs to be in sunny areas.

  • Zoysia: Another grass that doesn’t need much maintenance and tending, Zoysia grows in lot of different kinds of soil types and grows quite densely.

  • Bahiagrass: Another grass that doesn’t need too much maintenance and tolerates lots of soil types and lots of sunlight, Bahiagrass is great if you just want a covering that tolerates lots of foot traffic. It doesn’t grow too densely, but if you really want a hardy grass, this one is excellent.

  • Buffalo: This grass is native to the country, which is possibly why it has become so popular with many gardeners. Though it’s hardy and can deal with drought and cold weather for short times, it’s not great for lawns where it might be trampled underfoot.

5. Spread it Far and Wide

Now that you’ve prepared your lawn and bought the right seed, it’s time to spread it liberally. The best way to do this evenly on a larger lawn is to use a seed spreader, such as a drop spreader. You can use a hand spreader if the lawn isn’t too big. Either way, you should ensure that you do this on a calm day without wind so that you can spread the seed as evenly as possible.

How Should You Look After Your Lawn?

large beautiful fenced backyard with playground and house

Once you have your seeds in place, you need to maintain it. This is when it’s really important to keep the lawn watered each day. By giving the seeded area a light watering each day, you keep the soil moist and encourage the new seeds to germinate. In fact, this is the really crucial time where you do need to make sure that your new lawn is watered each day, so time needs to be made for you to do this.

It’s also a good idea to invest in some slow-release liquid fertilizer. This will ensure that the right nutrients are getting to any existing grass and are there for your germinating seeds. You’ll start to see results in no time with the right premium fertilizer!