Learning how to overseed your lawn is the number one way to having a super-lush turf that will leave your neighbors green with envy. By adding fresh grass seed you replace any grass plants that have died, fill in bare patches, and crowd out weeds. This is an ideal project for spring lawn care, but it can also be done in the fall. Here are the seven simple steps to overseeding.
1. Rake To Give Your Grass A Break
The first step is to get all the leaves and other debris off your yard so the grass can breathe and soak up the sunshine. This is a critical part of spring lawn care and should be done whether you are overseeding or not.
2. Mow To Let The Seeds Grow
This is the one time you should mow your lawn short, down to 1 or 2 inches. Part of knowing how to overseed is giving the fresh seed plenty of sunshine and that means cutting your lawn far shorter than the usual 3 inches.
3. Dethatch Your Patch
Thatch is dead brown plant matter that is between the soil and the blades of grass. Having more than a half inch chokes the existing lawn, and makes it impossible for new seeds to grow. Again, this is spring lawn care that should be done every year, not just because you’re overseeding. Use a garden rake to pull out that dead layer, or use an organic de-thatching liquid.
4. Aerate The Soil, No Need To Toil
Raking exposes the green to air, but the roots need air, too (especially tender new seed roots). The trick to knowing how to overseed is to make sure to aerate the lawn before you spread any new seeds. The machines are expensive, so hire a pro, rent a machine, or use an organic aerating liquid. Remember, aerating is another part of spring lawn care you should do every year.
Combining the dethatching and aerating liquids is completely safe and can be done in one application. Don’t worry; foaming is completely normal with the aerating liquid.
NEVER apply a pre-emergent herbicide when overseeding, as it kills lawn seeds as effectively as it does weed seeds!
5. Fresh Dirt To Make The Grass Feel Pert
How to overseed with the greatest success? Add a layer of topsoil to your yard! Not only is this giving the lawn seed a great growing medium, it does much more. You can level any low spots on your yard by adding soil to them, for smooth mowing and elimination of puddles. Plus, adding topsoil is a great way to replenish the nutrients, too. Simply add the topsoil to your turf and rake smooth with a garden rake. This too, is a great spring lawn care job to tackle every year.
6. Now You Need To Spread The Seed
Now that you have your entire how to overseed prep work done, it’s time to sprinkle the seed. A spreader makes it easy to do evenly, but you can do it by hand. Simply follow the directions for amounts for overseeding on the bag of seed.
Did You Know? There are grasses that like shade, ones that prefer sun, and varieties that grow best in your plant hardiness zone. Pick a type, or a mixed type that’s best for where you live and your conditions.
7. How To Overseed? With Care Proceed
As soon as you’ve finished overseeding, gently water the lawn. For the next few weeks, you’ll need to keep up that gentle watering so the ground stays moist, probably twice a day. This is not part of regular spring lawn care, but it’s essential for the new seed to have moist soil in order to sprout. Keep as much foot traffic off your yard as possible, and do not mow until the new grass is at least an inch high.
Overseeding is a great part of successful spring lawn care. Of the seven steps, only the last two and your mowing height are different from what you should do every spring any way. Now you know how to overseed, so get out there and grow your lawn green.