Last Updated on December 24, 2021 by Mark Brian
Lawns look best when lush green with no dry or thin patches. But summers and winters can be tough on your grass turfs such as bermuda grass and st. Augustine grass, leaving them distraught and worn out. Furthermore, excessive traffic on the grass during summers when kids and pets enjoy playing can also severely damage the grass.
Even though you take extreme and timely care of your lawn, water the grass, feed it with fertilizer, and make sure that there is limited traffic on the grass, you will notice that the grass turf will no longer appear after four to six weeks greener and lush as before. This is because mature grass does not grow many tillers making the lawn look patchy and distressed. You need to have young grass on your lawn to make it look fuller, greener, and lush.
There is a simple solution to all these problems, overseeding! Yes, overseeding is a simple yet effective solution to all such grass problems. If your lawn is suffering from patchy spots, bare spots, thinning grass, or simply if you want to make your yard appear greener, then overseeding is the most effective and easy way to cater to these issues.
What exactly is overseeding?
Overseeding is a technique usually adopted by landscape professionals but can also be done by homeowners to improve and rejuvenate the lawn. Instead of planting the turf from scratch, overseeding helps you add grass to the existing lawn without making much effort. Overseeding will help your lawn grow stronger, healthier, thicker, and greener.
What is the Best Time to Overseed your Lawn?
Your region’s climate determines the best time for you to overseed your lawn. Early fall and late summer times when the temperature drops down are the best times to overseed your lawn. Summers and winters are harsh and unsuitable for seed germination and the new tender grasslings.
The weather for overseeding should be cool enough to support the growth of the new grass leaves and warm enough for germination. If the soil temperature has lowered to support germination, but the outside temperature is still hot, overseeding will not be as effective as it should be because the tender grass leaves may not bear the hot temperature.
So fall and spring seasons are the best time to overseed your lawn and prepare it for the upcoming harsh weather. If you do not have sufficient knowledge regarding the weather conditions and grass seeds suitable for a climate, consult a professional landscape designer or gardener to know the perfect time for overseeding.
What are the Best Grass Seeds for Overseeding?
Grass turfs in other lawns may seem the same but grass can be of great variety. There are quite some choices for you to choose from cool-season grass seeds and warm-season grass seeds. The choice depends on your preference and your region’s climate.
Overseeding the right grass seed at the right time is essential to reap the benefits of overseeding because a warm-season grass seed cannot grow and survive during the cool season and vice versa. Furthermore, some grass seeds need extra care and maintenance, while some are effortless. So if you are not a gardening person or busy, make sure to opt for an effortless one so that you can enjoy a thick, green lawn without making much effort.
Let’s have a look at some of the grass seeds that can be used:
1. Tall Fescue Seed:
It is one of the most commonly used grass seeds by the majority because it is low maintenance and does not need to be watered every other day. It is a cool-season grass but offers better tolerance to heat and traffic than other grasses of this season. It also has a better tolerance level for the cold season as compared to warm-season grasses; that is why it can almost survive all year long.
It can withstand drought conditions and can easily survive in shaded lawns; that is why it is an excellent choice for those who are into low-maintenance lawns. Tall fescue can appear dark green in the early winter and fall season, while the color during the mid-spring season is lighter green.
Tall fescue grass grows as clumps and upright, making the lawn appear lusher, thicker, and greener. So if you are looking to make your lawn look dense and healthier, tall fescue is the best option you can go for. It offers the best results with the least maintenance.
2. Perennial Ryegrass Seed:
It is another cool-season grass that is a preferred choice by many because it is not prone to damage easily, offers extra shine making the lawn look beautiful, and can grow fast. It is great for colder seasons when the warm season grass cannot survive. It is a perfect grass seed for overseeding as it has a high germination rate, and the new grass can sprout as early as three to five days of seeding.
Although it grows fast, it does not spread as quickly, making it less dense. Because of the lower density, ryegrass seed is generally not used as a standalone grass but with some other grass to enhance the lawn’s appearance. Moreover, it is a high-maintenance grass see and requires extra care.
3. Kentucky bluegrass Seed:
If you are looking for overseeding a grass seed that can cover up your dried grass patch or thin area of your lawn in a jiffy, then Kentucky bluegrass seed should be a perfect choice. It is a dark green coloured grass that spreads on your lawn real quick, making it appear denser and greener. The roots of these grass seeds are firm and spread rapidly, creating a carpet-like turf, which makes it a great choice for sports grounds and high-traffic areas like parks or playgrounds.
It is the best choice to make if you wish to enjoy a lush green lawn during the winter season as it has excellent tolerance to extreme cold temperatures compared to other cool-season grasses. It has the property of self-healing, which makes it strong and resistant to diseases and fungal attacks.
However, it is not a low-maintenance grass and requires regular attention and care to grow and survive.
4. Red Fescue Seed:
If you live in a transition region where temperatures can fluctuate a lot, red fescue grass is the best grass seed for overseeding your lawn. It can grow and spread perfectly in shaded areas with less sun exposure. It can also grow and survive in humid regions. It has a fast germination rate and makes your lawn look perfect and rejuvenated within no time. However, it cannot survive in the scorching sun.
5. Annual Ryegrass Seed:
The best grass seed to overseed for a perfect lawn all year round is the annual ryegrass seed. It can grow and survive well in all temperatures, although it is great for the cooler season. It is a great grass seed to overseed with a combination of other warm-season grass. However, it is easily susceptible to diseases; therefore, it requires regular care.
Overseeding Fescue Rate
Overseeding is different from seeding a new lawn from scratch. Planting the right amount of seeds for overseeding is very important for sprouting and growing efficiently. The right amount of seeds will ensure that each seed comes in contact with the soil, has exposure to the sun, and can get all vital nutrients and minerals from the soil without fighting for survival.
Seeding rates are defined as the number of seeds in pounds needed for 1000 square feet of area. For determining the overseeding rate, you need to divide the normal seeding rate in half. For instance, the standard seeding rate for tall fescue grass seed is around eight pounds per 1000 square feet. So if you are looking forward to overseeding fescue, you need to sow only four pounds of the seed for every 1000 square feet.
Overseeding is a great way to deal with different lawn issues and make it look better and refreshed. Overseeding requires expertise and knowledge to get it done right. Make sure you choose the best grass seed for your lawn and the right amount for your area to transform your dull and patchy lawn into a lush and green garden.