What Does Overseeding Lawn Do?
The 5 Things You Need To Know

overseeding lawnOverdoing something sure does sound negative; in the case of overseeding, it's talking about putting something more over your grass and that's a good thing! To keep your yard a lush green carpet, it's good to introduce fresh seed to fill in thinning areas and bare patches, or to supply color for a dormant turf. To cover the why, when, and how, these are the 5 things you need to know about overseeding lawn.

Why? Like all living things, grass suffers from wear and tear. When it starts to get thin or patchy, adding seed will bring new life to your yard. For those yards that have a warm season turf that sleeps in cold weather, an annual rye grass will provide color that's missing otherwise.

When? If the plan is for an annual grass to cover winter's sleep of the main turf, when the weather turns cool in fall is the time to be overseeding lawn. If you're looking to beef up your grass, then spring gives you the best shot of filling in those thinning areas.

 
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How To Prepare: In either case, you'll want to mow your lawn down to 1 1/2 inches to provide lots of sunlight for the new shoots. Completely clear your lawn of clippings and debris by raking thoroughly. Aerating the area is also crucial to provide a welcome environment for new grass. Try to do this 3 days ahead with a liquid aerator, which is far better and easier than coring. Finally, look at adding a thin layer of top soil, especially in areas where tree roots are sticking out, to give the seeds something to grow in. If you top-dress with soil, be sure to rake it in nicely and soak it with water before continuing with overseeding lawn.

How To Apply: With all the prep work done, be sure to buy the right grass seed for your climate. Read the package directions for overseeding lawn, not for seeding a new one. A spreader will make this easier and give a far better distribution.

How To Maintain: Take care of your new grass seeds gently and tenderly, as with any new plant. Never let the surface completely dry out by watering frequently, but with a fine mist so you don't disturb the new seedlings. Keep traffic off your yard to let the grass have a chance to grow first. Finally, be sure to keep the soil fertilized: use a liquid feed that will soak in, rather than sit on the surface, which can cause the grass to get burned. Feed 3 times: once while seeding, then in 5 weeks, and again after another 6 weeks.

With knowing why, when, and how, you're all set to tackle overseeding lawn, and keeping it looking lush and green. Prep your area to provide a nurturing welcome for the seeds, apply them with care, keep them watered, free of traffic and fed with a good liquid feed, and you'll have a yard to be proud of.

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