Want to have a thicker greener and more lush lawn? There are many ways to help your cause. Proper watering, fertilizing, weed control and lawn aeration are all important steps in maintaining a beautiful lawn. Overseeding is also a valuable step, but one that is often overlooked. If you can spread the blades of the grass and see soil, your lawn could benefit from overseeding.
After about three years the reproductive rate of grass slows down & it eventually reaches a point where it cannot keep up with the need for new plants. Most of the cooler season grasses in our area (doesn't include zoysia & bermuda) grow in bunches. when these bunches start to die out space is left for weeds to thrive.
Newer cultivars of grasses are engineered better. K 31 was a popular variety of fescue for quite some time.however it is a wider bladed grass that doesn't blend well with other types of turf. It is also prone to disease when fertilized on a regular basis. Newer versions of tall turf fescues are more drought tolerant and less susceptible to disease. They are also thinner bladed, blend better with other grass types and have a more robust green color.
Mixing different types of grasses that have different growing seasons can make a lawn look vibrant most of the year. Overseeding a bermuda grass lawn with a perennial rye can keep a lawn green in the cooler months when the bermuda has gone dormant.
When to do it
Late summer through early fall is the best time to overseed in our area.Early Spring works also. The warm soil (necessary for germination), the abundant sunshine & cooler air (both good for growth) make for ideal conditions to overseed.
How to do it
Start by mowing the lawn. Cut it shorter than normal. This will allow the new seed more sunlight. Bagging the clippings is also helpful. The nect step is to rake the area you plan to overseed. This removes debris and makes it easier for seed to soil contact. The next step is to spread the seed.Drop spreaders work well for smaller areas because they are more precise (keeps stray seed out of those landscape beds). Broadcast spreaders work well for larger areas. Split the seed and spread it - half while walking one direction and half wile walking in the opposite direction. This will make for a more even distribution of the seed. There are many different types and blends of grass seed, so make sure to check the label for application rates.
Things that improve your rate of success
- use a granular slow release starter fertilizer in conjunction with the seeding
- aerate the lawn first. Core aerators can be found at most rental places
- remove thatch. A mechanical dethatcher will do a better job than raking by hand.
- top dress a thin layer of compost or topsoil (1/4 " at the most) will help hold in moisture.
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP
Water twice a day until the seed germinates(may take 3 weeks) & continue to water after that. You want to keep the seeds moist all the time but not water to the point where they wash away. Ryegrass will usually start in 4-6 days. Fescues 7- 10 days. Bluegrass can take 2 -3 weeks. Forgetting to water for just 1 or 2 days can decrease the germination rate by 20% to 30%. It can take a full month for new grass to establish well and it needs to be watered while this occurs.
Providing detailed product information for different grass seed products available locally with the hope of making it easier for homeowners to pick a product that best suits their needs.
( /k = for every 1000 square feet of grass area - approximately 30 feet by 33 feet)
Seed Rate - new lawn = 3lb/k over seed = 1.5lb/k
Germination - 8 to 14 days
Approximate price/k to overseed = $7.50
Approximate price/lb of actual seed =$10.24
General info - Scotts most cold tolerant grass seed mix
Content Variety Germination
12.29% Jump start bluegrass 83%
11.05% Courtyard bluegrass 83%
11.04% moonlight SLT bluegrass 83%
7.20% Midnight II bluegrass 83%
7.19% Prosperity bluegrass 83%
50% Water smart® coating
Water smart® coating - grass seed absorbs twice as much water as uncoated seed. This is to help prevent it from drying out in the event that you miss a day of watering.
Courtyard - medium fine texture, dark green color, high traffic, dense growth, good winter color
Moonlight SLT - medium texture, high traffic, dark blue green color, dense growth, good in clay soils
Midnight II - dwarf growth habit, high traffic, dark blue green color, dense growth, good in clay
Prosperity - medium fine texture, high traffic, dark blue green color, low growth habit, dense growth, heat tolerant,
Notes - Generally speaking, bluegrass can take longer to germinate than other types of grass. Manufacturer info say 8 - 14 days but you may want to consider watering as if it will take 3 weeks (maybe even 4) to germinate - just to be safe.
Similar info on other grass seed products found here
Similar info on other grass seed products found here.