A common question we receive in the spring is in regards to overseeding your lawn. If you live in an area with warm season grasses, like Centipede or Bermuda grass, reseeding is not a very common practice and it does not work all that well. For those who live in areas where cool-season grasses like bluegrass or turf-type tall fescue grow, seeding can be a successful and a necessary part of caring for your lawn.
The best time to overseed an existing lawn is late summer until early fall. If you did not have a chance to do so last year, it might be something you want to take care of this spring.
You can overseed in the spring, but here are 4 important aspects that you should consider:
- Be conscious of the season for crabgrass preventers – If you seed in spring, you cannot apply most standard crabgrass preventers. These materials keep crabgrass seeds from germinating, as well as the new seeds. In the past if crabgrass has been a problem in your lawn, it would be advisable to wait until the fall to start overseeding. For most crabgrass materials, there is a 16 week waiting period between seeding and applying a crabgrass preventer.
- Be conscious of the season for broadleaf weed control – Broadleaf weed control is the same as crabgrass preventers, except the waiting time is less. If a broadleaf weed control is applied to an area, the standard wait time before seeding is 3 to 4 weeks. Once the new grass has germinated and become established, it has to be mowed two or three times before any weeds can be sprayed.
- Aerate before broadcasting seed – One of the best methods to ensue good germination is to aerate the lawn first before broadcasting seed across the area. Broadcasting seed across an established lawn will result in little to no germination.
- Water, water, water – Finally water is critical to the success of seeding at any time of the year. Once the seed germinates, the roots are tiny and have an immediate need for water. If the roots dry out, the seed will die. Be sure you have some way to provide adequate water once the seed has been broadcast across the area. The best method is to have an automatic sprinkler system. If the system has not been started for the year when you complete the seeding, you may have to manually water the areas until your system is turned on. Depending on the variety of seed, you may need to keep the area moist for 4 to 6 weeks after seeding.
As you can see, seeding in the spring is not the easiest thing to do, especially when dealing with weeds. It is often better to keep the weeds down throughout the summer and then complete the seeding in the fall. If you are a Spring-Green customer, contact your local Spring-Green and they will advise you with the best information on helping your lawn looks its best.