What is Overseeding?

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October 11, 2018 at 9:02 am Category:

Does your turf look tired? Overseeding can provide a boost

Overseeding is the process of spreading grass seed on top of existing turfgrass to promote new growth, or in some cases, swap out seasonal turf varieties. You may have seen (or experienced) patchy lawns in your neighborhood and burned or bare spots, typically caused by summer heat. The question is often asked, “How can I reinvigorate my lawn?”

The answer is either:

  • A. Complete renovation
  • B. Overseeding

One of the options is much more feasible than the other, at least for most people. A complete renovation involves removing all turf, cultivating the soil and then re-sodding. On the other hand, overseeding is a much simpler, straight forward process — we’ll get into that later. The most important thing to remember is that the easiest way to create a healthy, uniform-looking lawn is overseeding. Keep in mind, depending on geography and turf type, the optimal time for overseeding may vary.

Who should overseed?

Overseeding is a practice that can be effective for homeowners, golf course superintendents, grounds managers and many others.

If your turf is not at full strength, give overseeding a try. As grasses mature, it is normal to see some thinning or bare spots, especially with excessive use.

Overseeding Basics

Before you get started, it’s critical you identify which type of grass you are working with. Also, depending on your location, the timing of your application will vary. If you are not sure about your type of grass, consult a local expert like a Reinders Sales Rep. 

To start, aerate the turf. Removing the soil cores offers the best opportunity for seed-to-soil contact, as well as moisture and nutrient retention.

Reinders offers aerators for home and commercial use. The Ryan – Lawnaire V is a great choice for homeowners or smaller jobs. The Toro – ProCore 648, touting an aerating depth of 4″ and width of 48″, is capable of efficiently aerating a golf course or sports field.

Next, you’ll want to mow your grass short. Take a metal rake and remove all clippings, thatch and debris. This will also help loosen and expose the soil to the new grass seed you’re going to apply.

Get yourself some high-quality grass seed, and apply that seed at the label-recommended overseeding rate. Use a spreader that is suitable for your project — a drop or broadcast spreader should be used for larger areas of turf while a handheld spreader will suffice for smaller areas. It’s best to spread seed in calm conditions as wind may affect seed distribution.

Factors to Consider

Geography 

Depending on your location, the type of grass and timing of overseeding will vary. Because of the varieties of grass and unique climates associated with the different regions, growing conditions dictate what time of the year is best to overseed. 

Timing

Reference the chart below for the ideal times to overseed across the United States.  

Benefits of Overseeding

The biggest benefit of overseeding is the rejuvenation of your lawn without undertaking a complete renovation. With a few simple steps, get rid of the brown and bald spots and make your lawn luscious once again. If you have pets, overseeding will combat their … activities, and extend the life of your lawn.

A healthy lawn also reduces the risk of pests and disease which means it’ll requires less chemicals and should save you some money. 

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