The Season for Overseed

Now that the weather is starting to warm up it is time to do a little tune up on our lawn.  I normally overseed my lawn mid-April but I wanted to get it done early so everyone has a chance to see how it is done with plenty of time to come up with their own plans.  As many people have probably noticed there have been people around town throwing down seed as early as a month ago.  This is not a horrible thing to do and in most cases grass will grow.  The earlier you throw down seed the cooler it is, the air and ground temperature are not usually high enough for the seed to germinate, and the grass will not grow as fast.

Still in most cases this does not sound that bad but here is why I don’t want to do that.

  1. When the temperature is just high enough it means it is low enough the risk of freeze damage is higher.
  2. The weather is worse earlier in the year meaning that the rain can wash away the seed before it can take root.
  3. When you overseed, in most cases you disturb the soil by clearing out thatch/old dead grass first, thus exposing weeds in the lawn. At this point it is survival of the fittest between the new grass and the weeds and we want our grass to grow in faster and fuller than the weeds.
  4. I just like my grass to grow faster.

Here is what I did with my lawn step by step. I will explain what I am doing and also tell you if there are other options to make it easier.

Before Picture

Before the Overseed



Before the Overseed



Before the Overseed


These Pictures are before I started any work.  The lawn is not perfect but does not look that bad some people may look at this and say it is good enough and not over seed.  That would cause more problems in the future.  All the thin and bare soil will be just inviting for weeds.

Step 1.

Walk the lawn if you find grasses that do not look like the grass you planted, pull it out or have us spray Glyphosate a day or so before doing the work.  If you have pets like mine when the weather is bad they don’t venture very far in yard and go in the same spot every time.  For these spots take note and we can apply lime to correct the pH.


Unwanted Grasses



Pet Damage


Step 2.

Mow the lawn at the lowest setting on the lawn mower. Don’t worry about scalping the lawn a little it will grow back. This makes it easier to rake or dethatch the lawn.


Lawn Mowed at Lowest Setting



Lawn Mowed at Lowest Setting



Lawn Mowed at Lowest Setting


Step 3.

If areas in your lawn look looks like this, rake or dethatch until you see soil like the next picture.


Area of Thick Thatch



Thick Thatch Cleared Out


If areas looks like this, don’t kill yourself trying to dethatch, just lightly scuff and throw down seed.


Bare Spot that Needs to be Roughed Up.


Here is the final product as you can see I heavily raked only certain areas. Keep in mind, every lawn is different and may need a Dethatching machine to accomplish what is needed for seed germination.  Now I throw down seed, fertilizer, Lime (in pet areas), and then wait.


Finished Lawn



Finished Lawn



Finished Lawn


Right now, the weather is mild and there is plenty of moisture, so you shouldn’t need to water at this time. However,  if the soil seems dry it is not a bad idea to turn on the sprinklers for a very short time.  If you are not able to overseed soon the temperature may be warmer and you may need to use peat moss.  If this is your situation do not overdo it on the peat moss as a little goes a long way.

If you have questions about the process of spring overseeding, contact us to set up your free consultation. We can help with the planning, and also discuss the best course of action for fertilizer and weed control to keep your new lawn looking great all season long.