Overseeding is the process of planting seed on an already existing lawn or turf without overturning any land. In other words, you can think of overseeding as applying more seed to an already existing lawn to increase its thickness and body.
Overseeding is very important because it makes your lawn more lush and green. When you first seed your lawn, you likely won't get every spot. The result is that your lawn might be bare in some areas or patchy. Overseeding is a way to plug these whole to give your yard a full body and make it look healthier.
Aside from aesthetics, a properly overseeding lawn can help with things like drainage, preventing weeds, and landscaping integrity. So overseeding is vital for more than just looks. It also serves a significant function.
Now that we have answered why overseeding is important, let's talk about how you actually do it.
Overseeding a lawn is a simple process that starts with preparing the yard and mowing the grass, followed by spreading the grass seed. Once you've spread the grass seed, it's time to take care of your lawn and ensure it has the proper food, water, and nutrients.
Like most things in landscaping, overseeding requires the right timing. Depending on the type of grass you have, the best time to overseed will differ depending on the season.
For example, if you have a cool-season grass like tall fescue, then the best time to perform overseeding is during the late summer and early fall seasons. Warm soil encourages the seeds to take root, and the cool air in the fall helps them grow.
Alternatively, if you have a warm-season grass such as Bermuda or Buffalo grass, the best time to overseed is in early winter. These grasses will then have the proper time to germinate during the colder months before they start growing at the onset of spring. Experts recommend overseeding warm-season grass about one month before the coldest part of the year.
Here are the steps you'll want to follow to overseed your lawn.
Preparing the Area
You can't just toss seed wherever you want and expect to get good results. You need to prepare your lawn to uptake the seeds and let them grow properly. The first thing you should do is cut your lawn, so it is very short, and remove all the clippings. Next, take a rake to the soil to slightly loosen the turf. You only want to loosen the turf at this part, not overturn it.
You want to mow your lawn shorter than usual because it will give the new grass more time to grow before being cut for the first time. If you try to cut freshly planted grass too early, it may rip out of the ground because the roots have not had time to take hold. Raking the soil also gives seeds a better chance to take hold and germinate.
Spread the Seeds
Once you have adequately prepared the area, it's time to spread the seeds. You should already have a lawn spreader on hand from when you first set your lawn. If not, you can buy one from your nearest home improvement store.
Start with one patch of your lawn and continue spreading in a methodical manner, making sure to get every spot. If you overseed unevenly, then your yard will consequently look uneven and non-uniform.
If you have seeded a lawn before, then you should know how this process goes. One tip we have is to try to overseed your lawn on a day with low wind. If it is windy outside, then you will basically be wasting seed. Seeding on a non-windy day also helps ensure that your lawn is even and uniform.
Caring for Your New Lawn
You cannot just spread your seed and call it a day. Your overseeded lawn needs proper care to make sure it takes hold and grows. The first thing to do is fertilize your new lawn. This will give the new seed nutrients so it can grow. The best option is to spread fertilizer in a uniform layer with a shovel and wheelbarrow.
New lawns also need water to grow. Try to water your lawn twice a day for the first week, then water as needed to respond to withering and growth. You do not want to overwater your lawn, as this can drown the seeds and kills them before they take root.
After approximately 3-4 weeks, your new grass should have taken hold, and you can return to your regular lawn maintenance. Regular maintenance for your lawn is critical for its health, and now you can enjoy a fuller and healthier overseeded lawn.