Below are some recommendations to keep in mind when overseeding your lawn.
Overseeding is the process of placing grass seeds on the thinning parts of your lawn. The types of seeds you use depend on the upcoming season, as different varieties thrive under different conditions. Overseeding can be applied to existing grass to maximize protection and growth. This helps your grass stay green all year long through rotation of the seed varieties introduced to your grass.
Mowing too short
Throughout the year, cutting your lawn too short can lead to patches of torn or dead grass. Before overseeding, it is essential that you cut your lawn to an appropriate length. Make sure to use the bag attachment on the back of your mower to prevent grass clippings from spreading all around your lawn. If the grass escapes and spreads, the seeds will have difficulty reaching the soil to set and germinate. You’ll also have to rake the grass clippings out of the way so the seeds can reach the soil and the clippings don’t become a barrier if your grass clippings aren’t contained. Generally its recommended to leave grass clippings on your lawn, but when overseeding, you don’t want anything to get in the way.
Over time, the soil can become more dense and compressed underneath your lawn. You can check this by sticking something long and sharp into the soil and observing how easily the object pierces it, then repeating somewhere less condensed. To find where the soil is more condensed, look for grass patches around your lawn that have low volume. The ground around that area is more likely to be hard and condensed, which isn’t good for overseeding. The difference between packed soil and soft soil is how aerated it is. Softer soil will allow more oxygen and nutrients to seep into the ground and grow the seeds. The compressed soil needs to be aerated, and the best way to aerate your lawn is through a professional service or renting a lawn aerator. Be aware of your sprinkler systems and the pipes around your lawn to prevent accidental broken pipes or leaks. Aerating your soil before overseeding will leave holes in your lawn, allowing air, nutrients, and seeds to seep into the soil.
The thatch around your lawn can consist of dead grass, grass clippings, and torn roots from weeding. Thatch is not good for overseeding since it blocks the seeds from reaching the soil beneath. Seeds can get caught in these brown clumps of thatch, making it impossible for them to reach the soil. It’s recommended that you rake away any possible thatch around your lawn before overseeding.
Mulch can be a great asset to your seeds before overseeding. It contains vital nutrients and nitrogen that can increase the effectiveness of your seeds and the soil beneath. Spreading a thin layer of mulch before you overseed will help the seeds in germination. Usually a layer of grass clippings would cut it for a normal lawn, but for overseeding it’s recommended to invest in mulch since it breaks down faster. When grass clippings are wet, they can weigh down and deprive the grass of oxygen and moisture it needs. Overseeding requires a heavy amount of water, so grass clippings aren’t the best option.
Weighted rollers press the seeds on top of your lawn into the soil to ensure that they are in the right place to set and germinate. Rollers can be bought at most garden or home improvement stores.
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