How to overseed a lawn – New York Daily News


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Best time to overseed a lawn A beautiful lawn doesn’t get beautiful by itself. One of the best ways to get an aesthetically pleasing, high-standard lawn is to overseed. Overseeding is the process of adding grass seeds to your lawn without removing the grass that’s already there. Not only will this make your lawn beautiful, but it can add variety, texture and diversity to the look and feel of your lawn. What's more, if your lawn has bald patches, low density, is showing signs of discoloration or looks generally unhealthy, overseeding is the single best way to get your lawn back to full health. Overseeding is typically seen as a complicated process that only professionals can manage, but by following some super simple steps, you can do it on your own. What is the best time of year to overseed your lawn?  Gardeners tend to agree that September is the single best time to overseed your lawn. Early fall is optimal given it has temperate conditions during the day and at night. Conversely, overseeding too late by even one or two weeks may lead to the seeds failing to germinate on time for the winter months. Southern residents who enjoy warmer day and night time temperatures later than their northern counterparts may benefit from starting the process in mid-September. The golden rule is to spread seeds when daytime temperatures average around 50 degrees. Following this simple rule will ensure that your efforts will not be in vain. Steps for overseeding your lawn Your first step is to tightly trim your lawn. The reason for this is to expose the dead, damaged and burnt grass below the surface and make detaching a little easier. The aim of having a tight cut is so that the seeds you'll go on to spread later can access light from the sun without being overshadowed by tall grass. This means you're going to need a high-quality lawn mower, grass cutter and some pickup bags. Next, you're going to need to trim the grass lower than you normally would. A height of between 2-2.5 inches is ample but the lower you can get the better. Make sure that the sides and hard-to-reach areas of the lawn are also trimmed to the correct height with the grass cutter. At this stage, your lawn may look a little tired from the previous summer months. However, it's critical that you survey the lawn to make sure all the grass is cut to an equal and low height. Dethatching is the process of killing any surface-level weeds, removing thatch and loosening topsoil. This step of the process is not optional if you want the best results. Dethatching allows oxygen, water, sunlight and nutrients to reach the soil again. This means that when you spread your seeds, you’re laying them on a healthy and life-supporting surface free of thatch, organic debris and unhealthy topsoil. To kick-off, you'll need a weed killer and a thatching rake such as the Bully Tools Thatching Rake. First, you should spray weed killer on any large or small clusters of weeds. Next, your goal is to work along the surface of your lawn, raking and removing thatch with your thatching rake. Your technique should ensure any thatch is removed from the surface of the grass by being rigorous but not aggressive. This can be tough and extremely time-consuming, which is why it is best to use a thatching machine. Should you use a thatching machine, you simply work in the same style that you would with your mower. Step #3: Seeding the lawn  Now that the hard work is done, it's time to seed your lawn. The most important thing to remember at this stage is that seeds should be spread evenly across the entire surface of your lawn. Inconsistently tossing the grass seeds can result in poor germination, meaning that your hard work so far will have been in vain. To spread seeds effectively and efficiently, it's best to use a seed spreader. Next, you need to choose your seeds. For more northern climates, Kentucky bluegrass is optimal. On the other hand, the Fescue mix is perfect for southern environments, given its durability and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Once you have your seeds, it's time to load them up into the spreader and work across your lawn, making sure that you have an even and equal spread. For more information on grass seeds, check out the grass seeds buying guide on BestReviews. Step #4: Watering your lawn  Your next step is to water your lawn to ensure it gets the hydration and nutrition it needs to flourish fully. Immediately after overseeding, you should douse your lawn with water to ensure that the seeds wash into the soil. For a further week or two, you should water your lawn three times a day. The golden rule is not to soak the lawn. A light five-minute sprinkle should do the trick. What's more, keeping an eye on the weather forecast to ensure that you don't overwater is a top pro tip. Alternatively, you can set up a sprinkling system like the CARPATHEN Drip Irrigation Kit that works automatically on a timer. Step #5: Fertilize your lawn  Now that you've seeded your lawn, it's time to put your feet up and relax for six weeks or so. Using a fertilizer that incorporates weed killer is an excellent option. It's critical not to apply the fertilizer immediately after seeding. Within six weeks, your new seeds will have blossomed and your old and new grass should be growing in a consistent way that allows both to access the sunlight they need to succeed. Spraying and distributing fertilizer equally, ensuring that no area is overdone and no spot is underdone, requires a strategy. Ideally, it’s best to move across the lawn in straight lines to ensure consistent distribution. After fertilizing, it's time to sit back, wait out the winter and watch as your world-class lawn takes shape through spring just in time to repeat the process all over again next September. Lauren Farrell is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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