© Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Pro tip: For this type of mowing, ensure that you use a grass catcher to bag the clippings. It might take about 2-3 weeks before all the grass seed germinates. If you want to just replenish the grass in your lawn, you do not have to do as much prep work. Mow the lawn and rake to remove any loose grass. How Long to Wait Before Mowing an Overseeded Lawn, Use the Lawnify Lawn Starter Fertilizer Box, Best Soil pH Tester Kits Reviews – 2020 Edition, Power Rake vs Dethatcher: Differences + How They Work, Different Types of Crabgrass (With Pictures), Best Crabgrass Killer & Preventers – 2021 Reviews, When to Apply Crabgrass Preventer [ Before or After Rain & Wet Grass? Properly dispose of the thatch. During this time, maintain good soil moisture levels to ensure you get maximum germination rates from the grass you put down. In the North, spring and fall give you the ideal conditions for cool-season grass seed: cooler temperatures and more moisture. Cut the grass in your lawn to a height of 2 inches with a lawn mower. The best time to water grass seed is in the morning and evening. You might want to wait a little longer (probably 20 days or so) if you overseeded with bluegrass because this grass establishes and grows slowly to reach the recommended height for mowing. Grass seed should be sown using a seed spreader if possible to ensure even distribution. Can you just sprinkle grass seed on the lawn? While the seed is one of the most resilient … Work your way across the yard for complete coverage with the aerator. Do not bury the seed with too much topsoil. Fertilize with a starter fertilizer and then water the lawn lightly until the grass grows to a good mowing height. Follow manufacturer's directions for rates, but a typical amount is 3.8 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn. Apply the Treatment. Alternatively, the second variety is sown to provide year-round grass when the first variey goes dormant. That said, here’s how to overseed your lawn without aerating first: The first thing to do when overseeding without aerating is to mow the grass. If you don’t have a good spreader, mix your seed with sand and spread it with your hand especially if your lawn is small. The new grass seed is encouraged to overtake the old lawn without having to remove the old grass. Done right, it's a straightforward process that gets results. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Overseeding Your Lawn, How to Kill Fescue Grass in a St. Augustine Lawn. Take a traditional bow rake and turn it … Overseeding is a great way of making your lawn grow thick and full. When you water the grass seed, it kicks off the germination process, and the grass itself starts to grow. My grass looks a bit dead in areas and i just want to take the easy way out and just use a spreader to spray grass seeds … The new seedlings need light to … If you have this type of soil, it would be a great idea to aerate first before overseeding. This is the optimal time to begin working toward a healthy stand of grass for next season by planting seed in an established lawn by overseeding. Apply a starter fertilizer with a rotary spreader to the area such as an 8-8-8. Follow the seed manufacturer's directions for seed application rates. You need to prepare the soil before you plant grass seed. Also, mowing when the grass is wet due to the heavy watering can easily cause lawn diseases such as fungus or brown patch disease and derail the growth of your overseeded lawn. Depending on the turfgrass you have, you may want to cut the grass much lower than that. If you know you want to plant grass seed, prepare the area and the soil and seed mixture so it is ready for you to spread on a day when you are expecting rain. Rake or bag clippings. Reduce the height of grass to allow for easier raking and seeding. Apply seed to the lawn with a rotary spreader. If thatch is 3/4 inch or more…,” you may need to power-rake it before you reseed. These are the coolest parts of the day, which allows water to absorb into the ground instead of evaporating. You can help reinvigorate your lawn by overseeding. I am too lazy to plant grass seeds by using the comon practice of top soiling, adding fertilizer, and placing the seeds on top and then covering with some top soil (to keep birds away) and then watering....That is too much work. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. It also allows sunlight to reach the soil for the much needed warmth for germination. Therefore, do not be afraid to mow low just before overseeding, but be careful not to scalp the lawn. When seed sprouts emerge, water once a day to keep the ground moist. If you just sprinkle the grass seed on hard-packed soil as soon as it rains or you water all of the seed will wash into puddles and … Yes; but there is more to know when seeding your lawn. Walk all the way across the lawn and all the way back in paths that are next to each other until the entire lawn is covered with your grass seed. You will have to prepare the ground like any seed bed to have any luck with it all, else the existing grass will … Loosen the surface of your soil up to about 2-inches before … The standard procedure usually starts with aerating and probably dethatching, but when you don’t want to do these, how do you overseed a lawn without aerating? If you want to make your lawn thick faster, you may want to spread much more seed almost as if you were establishing a new lawn. It might be smart for me to get a professional to help me with that step. I would recommend you rake toward all directions as opposed to one direction. How Long Does it Take for Fescue to Germinate? Spread the grass seed and then rake over it gently. This method is preferred to one session of heavy watering which can wash away the grass seed. I liked that you pointed out that it would be smart to try to germinate your grass seed a few weeks before laying them down. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. The only seed I have deliberately surface broadcast onto unprepared soil has been grass seed. Remove accumulated thatch from the lawn with a rake, or use a dethatcher pulled behind a riding mower. In the South, … However, late summer and early fall can be just as busy. My neighbor pointed out that if I scratched the surface with a garden rake before sowing then lightly watered the surface each evening that I might actually grow a lawn . It is best to fertilize with a fertilizer with adequate phosphorus to help with root development when the grass germinates. How Often Should You Water New Grass Seed? Once the grass starts to bud, remove … With clover, white nettles and daises though you will be able to sow direct. Grass seed is resilient. ], How to Kill Crabgrass Using Baking Soda (Steps & Side Effects), 6 Best Milorganite Alternatives for Your Lawn in 2020, Steps for Killing Quackgrass With Vinegar, Crabgrass vs Quackgrass: Identification & Differences (With Pictures). When watering, you want to avoid water puddles because they can damage the overseeded areas. Sure, you just sprinkle grass seed on your lawn, or your carpet, or your head. You don’t want to mulch the lawn because it will prevent grass seed from being in contact with soil for proper germination. Here’s how tall your … You can overseed a lawn in spring … After that, however, moisture remains an important condition for your grass to grow … In addition, mowing low makes sure the grass gets enough sunlight for growth soon after germination. In other words if you are growing a warm season grass that dies in the fall and winter you can overseed with a cool season grass seed … This practice is called “dormant seeding” and is certainly an effective way to introduce new species and/or varieties of turf into your existing lawn. Mowing short before overseeding prevents weeds and established grass from competing with new seedlings. For this step, it’s crucial that you follow the directions to a T. Make sure you … You can use a drop spreader or a broadcast spreader to overseed as both will get you great coverage. Make sure there’s good good seed-to-soil contact. Ensure that you power rake early in the season to leave enough time for your grass to recover for the rest of the season. Also called overseeding, sowing grass seed in lawns is part of general lawn renovation, including controlling weeds, improving soil condition and supplying fertilizer. Overseeding – the one activity we do a lot in the fall to fill in the bare spots and choke out weeds. The reason for mowing low is to make sure as much of the grass seed as possible gets into contact with soil. Dethatching is better for overseeding compared to aerating the lawn too many times. If you have just reseeded your lawn and its quite patchy, it could be that the local wildlife are eating the seeds. If you simply throw grass seed onto compacted soil, you will get poor germination. I’ve used SodSoludions Ryegrass seed with good success in the past and plan on using it for this season as well. Work the rake or dethatcher across the lawn to loosen and remove accumulated grass clippings throughout the lawn. Walk behind the spreader and push it across the area you wish to sow your grass. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my families lawn but also my neighbors. Apply seed to the lawn with a rotary spreader. Covering grass seed is easy. If it is perennial ryegrass, you might want to mow after 10-14 days because this variety of turfgrass grows a lot faster than most other species. As grasses mature, thinning is normal—especially if you enjoy your lawn … Apply twice the seed that you would use if starting a lawn from scratch, allowing the path … Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. It is even a much better remedy if your lawn has bare spots due to damage from pests such as grubs and chinch bugs. Aerate the lawn to help break up heavy soils such as clay, to increase water absorption and to add air to the soil. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you. Some grass types such as Bermuda grass require full sunlight all day for optimal growth. It’s green and it’s growing well. Fill your spreader up with grass seed. Most good starter fertilizers are 10-10-10 N-P-K formulations such as the Lawnify New Lawn Starter Box. To overseed a lawn without aerating, start by mowing it lower than 2 inches and follow it up with raking to remove debris and loosen up the topsoil. Hooray! Some compost can be too hot for newly germinated plants and that is why watering adequately is important. Keep the soil moist and not too wet and maintain it at that especially if you did lay down some compost before overseeding. According to the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, “It is important to have less than 1/4 inch of thatch when overseeding. A water timer can simplify the … Don't mow the lawn for approximately three weeks and until the new grass grows to a height of 3 to 4 inches. Richly green and lush. Additionally, Crabgrass Lawn (crabgrasslawn.com) participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links. After overseeding your lawn, you should wait long enough before you start mowing again to prevent causing stress on the newly germinated grass. Recommended Fertilizer: Use the Lawnify Lawn Starter Fertilizer Box. Hi, Alex K. here. When you understand the basics of your soil and what grass seed works best for your region, you are on the … As a rule of thumb, apply 2 to 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. After sowing the seed, water the area … This is why aeration is important especially in lawns with soils that compact easily, such as clay soil. Pro tip: Power raking damages a lawn to some extent. Spring and summer months involve a variety of activities, including fertilizing and mowing, to maintain a good-looking lawn. But to get rid of the insects first, use a systemic insecticide labeled to treat them before overseeding so that they don’t eat the new grass as well. That seems like it could be a very tricky thing to do on a large scale. This is true for dense and tall grasses such as Bermuda grass which can form a very dense canopy. Avoid using weed and feed fertilizers when planting grass seed because some of the pre-emergent herbicides found in such products can inhibit germination or root development of the new grass seeds. This will prevent the seeds being eaten by birds and also being washed away as soon as you start watering the area. Set the dial on the spreader according to the indicated rate on the grass seed bag. Spreading rates vary with the variety of grass you are overseeding with. For the best coverage, spread the seed in opposite directions using a drop spreader. Some seeds on the soil’s surface will sprout in spite of harsh treatment, but the germination rate will diminish and you will waste … Power rake the lawn to remove the tight layer of roots, stems, and rhizomes that build on the surface. Crabgrass Lawn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Topdressing is not recommended after overseeding because it buries the seed deep leading to poor germination. Another option you could try is taking plugs from other spots of the lawn… It is important to make sure the soil is loose enough so that after germination, the roots can grow deeper for better water and nutrient access. The simple answer is, yes. This is true for lawns with … We do not specifically market to children under 13. But don’t get it twisted – a lawn growing on sandy soil may not need much aerating as much as a turf on clay soil would. She has professional experience in banking, accounting, travel and teaching. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, County of Lancaster. While you wait before the grass seed establishes, you can cut the grass to allow the seeds access to sunlight. Hard raking to remove thatch after mowing low will help loosen up the topsoil, making it great for grass seed to germinate upon. We encourage you to ask questions or Check Out Our New Free Guide ‘Lawn Care for Newbies 101‘ here. Yes, this is fine. Grass seed can be sprinkled on top of soil, but without a cover they are subject to drying out, washing away, or getting eaten. You can rake the bare spots before sprinkling grass seed to improve the germination rate. Add top soil to prevent birds from eating the grass seeds and allow them to germinate properly. Cut the grass lower than you usually do. Keep all activity off the lawn for several weeks while the grass seed sprouts. That is good for me to know because my new house doesn’t have a lawn at the moment. New grass will grow healthy and dense if the roots develop properly. Shore is also a master gardener and a travel agent. However, how much seed you want to put down will depend on how thick or thin your lawn is. Tara Shore holds a Bachelor of Science in business finance and has written for online publications since 2007. Germination can be poor in lawns with a thick layer of thatch. When to mow after overseeding will depend on the grass type. Follow the seed manufacturer's directions for seed application rates. You can either over-seed, where you fill-in bare patches, or cover an existing lawn over, and seed the whole lawn. Here are great tips for overseeding your lawn without aerating: Here’s a guideline on the standard grass seed rate for cool season and warm season grasses: Avoid adding sand or top soil after overseeding your lawn. CrabGrassLawn is a Wiki for Lawn Enthusiasts by Lawn Experts. The rule of thumb here is to mow lower than 2 inches, preferably as low as 1-1/2 inches. If you’ve missed that window, but you still want to conduct seeding practices this fall, my recommendation is to wait until November to seed. Loose topsoil also draws water easily to keep the seed moist for germination. Water the new seed two to three times a day for the first 10 to 14 days to promote proper germination. So, consider checking for compaction first. If you’re overseeding a lawn that has a lot of mulch or grass clippings left behind every time you mow, you may want to rake the dead patches of grass off the areas and spread grass seed over visible soil. As a rule of thumb, apply 2 to 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Otherwise, you should follow the label recommendations especially for overseeding even though you’re doing it without aeration. Allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. I quickly discovered that "strewn & walk away" wasted most of the seed and my effort. Water two times a day to maintain great moisture levels for better germination. Mowing also prevents grass seed wastage (seeds may lodge in the tall grass). However, since aeration loosens up compacted soil, improving the supply of oxygen, and provides nutrients and minerals to the new grass seed, it will improve germination and growth rates and help the grass grow thicker faster. Watering is important for newly seeded lawns, so ensure … To provide an excellent seed germination environment when overseeding without aerating, the soil must be exposed. Do you need to aerate before overseeding? But not on grass! However, always check the fertilizer label and follow the application instructions. A lush and healthy lawn requires an investment of time and effort. I prefer using an oscillating sprinkler for even watering without eroding the soil. When to give new grass its first mow. After putting down the grass seed, gently rake over the soil to help the seeds settle in. Beyond just throwing the seed out into the lawn and not performing any grass maintenance there is a whole world of lawn care. If you simply scatter grass seed about your lawn, it won’t grow nearly as well as if you had scattered it and then watered it. Rent a walk-behind aerator or use an aerator designed to be pulled behind a riding mower. Lawn diseases, drought, and even mole damage can leave you with the need to overseed. Pennington is committed to helping you grow the finest lawn possible and enjoy all the benefits that a beautiful, healthy lawn … Whether you're tending your first lawn or have years of experience, learning how to overseed your lawn can improve your results. However, as soon as you see the seeds start to come up, stop mowing and allow them time to grow to a good height. Just don't expect it to grow. It is possible to just sprinkle grass seed on your lawn and leave it but the germination rate may be low because of the reduced contact between the seed and soil. If you choose to sprinkle the seed on top without pre-mixing it in the soil, place a thin layer of straw over the area to prevent birds from eating the seeds. It is not a must that you aerate your lawn before overseeding. Cool-season grass such as fescue should be overseeded in late summer and early fall. Simply sprinkling lawn seed on top of the dirt bed is not the ideal seeding method. If the lawn contains holes, spread topsoil to fill in the depressions and then level it with a rake and apply grass seed over it. The next step is to spread the grass seed over the prepared turf following the label recommendations. When it comes to your lawn aspirations, you can bypass common grass seed mistakes and head straight for success. That is why it is important to power rake instead of aerating just before overseeding. Overseed warm-season grasses such as Bermuda grass from March through September. Clear dead grass, matted grass, or weeds to grass, as the seeds will germinate more successfully with good contact to the soil. I'm not a lawn expert, but if I was going to go to the cost and effort of spreading grass seed on my existing lawn, I would … Grass seed needs to be in full contact with uniformly damp soil for 7 to 14 days for it to germinate. There is a right grass seed for your lawn so always go with what’s recommended for your region. Make the most of your investment of time, money and grass seed, and enjoy the exceptional results. Please leave your comments below as I try to respond to everyone that has questions. It is possible to just sprinkle grass seed on your lawn and leave it but the germination rate may be low because of the reduced contact between the seed and soil. In most cases, you’ll need to apply 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet when overseeding even without aerating. Water lightly to prevent eroding the seeds away from the overseeded area. To counter this, you can equip your lawn with a high-quality sprinkler. This is true for lawns with a lot of debris and thatch. Be careful not to overdo this step because you can end up crowding the grass seed in one area and leaving the rest of the lawn without any seed. When it comes to lawns, haste makes waste, and your effort to have a lawn in time for that summer cookout will … Thank you very much for your support. 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