Whether you are maintaining your first lawn or have years of experience, seeding lawns can improve your results. Over-seeding your lawn will thrive while you fill in bare and blotchy areas without having to start over. The basics of overseeding are the same everywhere, but destinations and timing will vary based on geography and the type of grass being grown. Follow our guide to successfully seeding your lawn:
Seeding Lawn: Everything You Need To Know About Seeding: Overview
What is overseeding?
Overflowing means planting grass seeds directly into your current lawn without harming your grass or soil. This helps create thicker grass and brings improved types of grass to your lawn.
What are the benefits of overseeding?
Seeding your lawn is an easy way to …
- Fill in blank spaces
- Improve the density of your lawn
- Create enriched grasses
- Enhance the color of your lawn.
Older lawns are laid out with common lawn grasses, which are often susceptible to disease and pests and require more fertilizer and water. Over-sowing will add newer turf grass varieties and your lawn can develop resistance to insects, disease, drought, shady conditions, and heavy pedestrian traffic.
Seeding the lawn: why do I have to seed?
Over-sowing is an excellent option for lawns that have suffered from heat stress, insect or disease damage, showing signs of bare and thin spots, or showing no color. Seeding your lawn with newer, improved turf grass varieties is often a great way to thicken the grass and improve its health and appearance.
When is the best time to seed lawns?
The best time to overseed lawn is in early fall. With germination in the fall, the seedlings have about two to three months to better establish themselves before temperatures drop too low and grass growth stops. When spring is over, the new grass roots have a few months to develop deeper roots before the summer heat sets in. Here are a few more reasons to overseed your lawn in the fall:
- Over-sowing in autumn can reduce and even eliminate competition from pesky weeds in summer.
- Soil temperatures stay warm while air temperatures stay cooler in the fall. This is important for seed germination.
- Autumn consists of ideal amounts of rain and soil moisture.
- The fall sowing gives the grass a head start for spring as the roots are established before winter.
While spring can be successfully seeded, keep in mind that the hot summer months will inevitably put a strain on your young grasses and lead to unsatisfactory results.
What kind of seeds are used for overseeding?
When you go the DIY route, be sure to pick the right seeds that are recommended for your local climate and gardening conditions.
Our seed mixes at Tee Time are high quality commercial seeds and contain multiple types of grass so you get the highest success rate.
Do I need to prepare my lawn for overseeding?
Seedlings need to come into contact with the soil in order to germinate. The seedlings will not grow if they rest on your grass, grass clippings, leaves, etc. It can be helpful to briefly mow your lawn and collect the grass clippings so the soil is exposed and ready to be overseed.
The ventilation is perfect for preparing your lawn before over-seeding. Core aeration is the means to pull plugs of soil and grass out of your lawn. Removing the plugs will reduce soil compaction while allowing nutrients, oxygen and water to get to the base. Tee Time offers core ventilation to prepare your lawn for overseeding. Aerators can also be rented or purchased from home and garden stores.
Seeding the lawn: maintenance after seeding
How and when should i water the seeds?
After overseeding, the seeds need a lot of moisture to germinate. Make sure the soil is damp (but not too damp). Once your grass begins to grow, you can reduce the amount of water. Instead, pour less often, but deeper. Be careful not to soak the soil. When the grass starts to grow, let the soil dry slightly before watering it again. At this stage, be careful not to pour over and soak the soil, which will create problems with lawn diseases or underwater and lead to the base drying out.
What if I don't water the seeds?
From this point onwards, you should maintain moisture in the seed area. Remember, if the seeds are allowed to dry out, the grass seeds will die.
How long after overseeding should I wait to mow my lawn?
Leave your freshly sown lawn for at least two weeks and longer if possible. Waiting to be mowed will give the new seedlings time to develop roots.
Should I stay away from my lawn after overseeding?
Yes, it is best to reduce foot traffic and the wear and tear of your lawn for at least two weeks after sowing.
Do you prefer to go the DIY route? Follow these overseeding steps to ensure successful seed germination.
Prepare your lawn
Seed germination requires seed and soil contact. Some problems that can get in the way of this are excessive straw and compacted soil. Prepare your lawn by removing the excess straw or aerating the compacted soil before spreading seeds into the bare areas of your lawn.
You can also prepare your lawn by mowing it. After you've cut your grass short, wrap up the clippings. While you usually leave the clippings to feed your lawn, this time you'll want to remove the clippings so the grass seeds can make contact with the ground. Raking after mowing is another great way to loosen the soil in your lawn so that your grass seeds are in contact with the ground. Remember, ground contact = faster germination.
Sow the lawn
When choosing your lawn seeds, make sure that you are choosing the right seeds for your regional climate and that you are following the directions for the selected grass seeds. Use a seed spreader to distribute the seeds evenly.
Aftercare of lawns
Irrigation is one of the most important aspects of successful overseeding. Be sure to keep the soil moist. Once your grass begins to grow, reduce the amount of water. Instead, pour less often, but deeper. At this stage, be careful not to pour over and soak the soil, which will create problems with lawn diseases or underwater and lead to the base drying out.
Limit lawn activity and mowing for at least two weeks. Continue mowing as soon as the new grass height matches your existing lawn.
Seeding the lawn: Lawn Care Professional or DIY overseeding?
A professional lawn care company like Tee Time Lawn Care can help you make sure overseeding is the right option for your lawn. Many other problems can lead to uneven, bare lawns, and you can waste your time and money on unsuccessful overseeding. Our team of lawn care experts can evaluate and improve your lawn to keep it looking good for years to come.