What is Overseeding?

[fa icon="calendar"] Wed, 11/18/2015 - 13:44 / by Lynn Tootle

overseeding lawn

With our mild and moderate temperatures in Georgia, we are fortunate to enjoy the beauty and benefits of a green lawn year-round. Overseeding is a popular way to plant grass seeds as it does not require removal of old turf and soil, but rather sows seeds right over your existing lawn. Overseeding is typically done in late summer or early fall to sow cool-season grasses as warm-season grasses become dormant over the winter.

This method is considered less labor-intensive and time-consuming and the results are a lush green lawn. However, overseeding and maintaining your turf requires a bit of work and lawn care knowledge. Here are some basic overseeding tips and information to get you started.

Benefits of Overseeding

There are many reasons why you should overseed your lawn. As you can imagine, the process of overseeding is quicker and less expensive than traditional methods as the seeds are sowed right over your current lawn. If your lawn has bare patches, overseeding is a great way to fill in empty spots for a more even, lush lawn. Overseeding is also an effective way to introduce or combine a new type of grass for the cooler season. If weeds are beginning to sprout on your lawn, overseeding is a successful way to manage them and keep them to a minimum.

In order for a lawn to look healthy, it requires new grass growth — overseeding introduces young grass to replace older grass. Typically, a blade of grass has a life span of up to 60 days before reproduction. Older grasses take longer to reproduce which is why overseeding is helpful to spread young grass throughout your lawn for quicker regeneration.

Common Types of Grasses to Overseed

The grasses that are most commonly used when overseeding are perennial/annual ryegrasses, bluegrass and tall/fine fescue. These are cool-season grasses that when allowed enough time to germinate and grow, will provide a green lawn during the winter months and ensure your lawn is healthy when spring arrives.

Preparing Your Lawn for Overseeding

Before you start overseeding, it’s important to do some quick prep work for best results. Begin by raking your lawn to remove dead grass and thatch. This helps to ensure the grass seeds make contact with the soil. Next, mow your lawn slightly shorter (2 inches or less) and remove all grass clippings.

Next, it is recommended that you water and aerate your lawn. While there are different ways to aerate a lawn, core aeration, which is the process of pulling a small plug of lawn out, is the best way to loosen up soil and improve water circulation. Forget about removing the plugs — they can be left on the lawn to break down.

How to Overseed

There are many different methods of overseeding from hand-spreading seeds to fill in small patches, to rotary spreaders and broadcast spreaders for larger areas. The actual process of overseeding can be a bit tricky without the proper knowledge.

Gro-Masters helps take care of everything for you from selecting the type of grass seed best suited for your lawn, applying the correct amount of seed-to-lawn, evenly distributing the seed and aftercare maintenance of your newly seeded lawn.


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Lynn Tootle

Written by Lynn Tootle

K. Lynn Tootle is the General Manager of GroMasters Inc., a division of TideWater Landscape Management Inc. Lynn is a certified arborist and turf grass professional, a past president of the Coastal Landscape and Turf Professional Association and a graduate of the Urban Ag Leadership program. He graduated from Clemson University in 1999 with a BS in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Forest Resources.

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