Overseeding in the Fall: Tips on Watering and Raking

Leaves Covering a Backyard

The following question came in on Spring-Green’s YouTube page; one of our viewers was concerned about how to best rake leaves after overseeding in the fall. To give your new seedlings the best chance possible, follow the tips below.

“Hi Spring-Green! I just aerated and overseeded my lawn 1 week ago with tall fescue. I am having lots of leaves falling onto my lawn now. My question is should I rake them all up periodically? I am concerned that I will damage the new seedlings while raking, but also concerned that germination will be decreased with the leaves shading sunlight from my seed.”

“Thank you for your great question +jshelt22! Now that you have overseeded in the fall, you will want to do something with the leaves depending on the type of leaves and the amount that have fallen. If the leaves are large and not too numerous, you can use a leaf blower to move them to the side. Keep the blower low and blow them somewhat parallel to the ground, if possible. Try not to blow at a steep angle. If the leaves are not too numerous, dry and smaller in size, like a willow oak, crabapple, Bradford pear or locust, use your mower to mulch them. Set your mower at a higher setting before going across the lawn. The mulched leaves will help to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Your mower will not suck up the seed as it does not have that much sucking action—not like a vacuum cleaner. The wheels may bend over the new seedlings, but they should recover. Most of the seed will germinate within the core aeration holes, so it should be less of a concern. The most important aspect of overseeding (whether you do it in the fall or earlier in the season) is providing enough water to prevent the seed from drying out. This may mean daily watering for three to four weeks after seeding. Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions!”

Spring-Green can help with core aeration and overseeding. Talk to your local franchise owner to learn more about the benefits of these services!