Summers can be tough on your lawn. High temperatures and drought can stress your grass and create patchy and bare spots in your turf that can be unsightly. Overseeding, which is the act of planting grass seed directly into an existing lawn or turf without digging it up, can be an easy solution to improve the density of your lawn grasses.
Why Overseed In The Fall?
For cooler regions, overseeding in the fall when the ground is still warm from the summer but the air is cooling enough to not stress you grass and retain moisture better is a optimum option for boosting your lawn's health before going into winter dormancy. Timing is key though, and overseeding should be done at least 45 days before the first frost of the season hits, lest the chill damage the new germinating grass.
How Should I Prep and Care For Fall Overseeding?
Mow your grass as short as you can without scalping it. This will allow for better contact between the spread seed and the ground. You can also lightly rake the turf to help loosen the soil a bit. Depending on the area you want to overseed, hand spreading or using a walk-behind broadcast spreader can be used to distribute the seed. Be sure you know what kind of grass seed will work best for your lawn; perennial bluegrass and ryegrass make up a large amount of northeaster lawns. After spreading, lightly watering the lawn every few days in the mornings will help keep the new seed moist and in good condition to germinate. Do not water too late in the afternoon, as too much moisture going into cooler nights can invite fungal issues. A fertilizer can be used after 20 days to help root growth in the establishing grass as well.