What is Overseeding
Overseeding is a process of adding seed to an already established lawn. Overseeding can fill in thin or sparse areas left by drought, fungal or insect damage or just make a healthy lawn more lush and beautiful.
Why should I Overseed
Grass is a living organism, and while it seems that a lawn properly cared for with fertilizers and good care habits will be everlasting, this is really not the case. Old grass dies and new grass takes its place. There is a natural decrease in the reproduction of turf over time and overseeding can revitalize an older and thinner lawn. New grass seedlings are naturally more resistant to disease and insects. Also, a thick and dense lawn doesn't leave room for weeds to move in.
Additional seed can make your lawn lush and healthy. Instead of just spreading the seed on top of the soil, we use a slit seeder that actually plants the seeds into the soil so they don't wash away or become nothing more than expensive bird food.
The optimal timing to overseed your lawn is in the spring or fall when the temperatures are moderate. Any seeds that do not germinate in the fall will do so after the dormancy period the following spring. You can really seed at any time of the year but the watering requirements make it cost prohibitive in the warmer months. Once you seed your lawn, you don't want the seeds to dry out. We recommend watering 10-15 minutes per zone, 2-3 times daily for 4 weeks after a seeding.
For the best results when you seed your lawn we suggest the following
- Do not use pre emergent or post emergent weed control for 12 weeks prior to or following a seeding. Weed control should not be applied until after seed has germinated and the lawn has been mowed at least twice.
- We recommend watering 10-15 minutes per zone, 2-3 times daily for 4 weeks following a seeding. However, on warmer days, additional watering may be necessary in order to compensate for evaporation.
- Leave any thatch that is dislodged on the lawn if possible - while a bit unsightly, it acts as a natural protection for the seedlings.
- We also recommend a "Starter" fertilizer with your overseeding to maximize nutrients and cell wall structure. Bear in mind that while you seed you want optimal growing conditions, i.e. lots of water and nutrients and nothing to prevent the seedlings from flourishing. Unfortunately, prime turf growing conditions are also great weed growing conditions. You might see the weeds start to grow right along with your grass. If that is the case, we can treat them with a post emergent once it is safe for the new seedlings to do so.
- Keep foot traffic to a minimum.
- Do not mow until your grass has reached a height of about 3 inches.
On most lawns we use a blend of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass seed. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season turfgrass that has a long length of green season. Although it is not native to Colorado, it has excellent tolerance for the heat extremes and compaction. The only drawback is that it does produce thatch more readily than other grasses. The perennial ryegrass establishes much more quickly than the Kentucky bluegrass, and can be more drought tolerant as well. It also does not produce thatch and blends in well in color and texture with the Kentucky bluegrass so it makes for a great mix for Colorado lawns. Occasionally we will use a Tall Fescue seed if the turf is overly susceptible to insects or fungus or if a lawn is very shady. As always, if you have any questions about overseeding, don't hesitate to call the office.
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