Fall certainly has its own charm, with everything pumpkin-flavored, lots of earthy hues, and hoodie weather! This season also makes a great time for lawn care. Following a hot summer, the cool climate brings favorable growing conditions for grass on your lawn. In the fall, you can address the damage that took place during the summer, get ready for the rough winter months, and prepare yourself for a successful spring. Lawn aeration and overseeding your lawn are tasks that should be carried out at least once a year, and completing these tasks during the fall season will ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn!
Before diving into why fall is the best time for these lawn care activities, let’s have a look at what is overseeding.
What is Overseeding?
Planting grass seed into existing turf directly – without tearing up the soil or turf – is called overseeding. It’s a simple and effective way of improving turf density, filling in bare spots, establishing improved grass varieties, and improving the color of your lawn.
If a lawn appears to be worn out or old, needs increasing quantities of fertilizer and water to flourish, or is prone to insects or diseases, it needs overseeding.
What are the Benefits of Overseeding?
Many of the older lawns were set up with turfgrasses of common types, which are not suitable for homeowners of today. They are more prone to insects and diseases, calling for more water and fertilizer.
Overseeding newer varieties of turfgrass into an old lawn can enhance its ability to withstand heavy traffic, shady conditions, drought, disease, and insects. Investing in overseeding cuts down on the amount of water, pesticides, and fertilizer required. Moreover, your lawn will look healthier and thicker, and it will stay greener.
Fall – The Right Time for Overseeding Lawn
If you are thinking when to overseed your lawn, here’s an insight. Overseeding for lawns that involve Cool season grasses should be carried out in early fall or late summer. When overseeding is done in fall, the young grass has two to three months for becoming better established before the setting in of winter when the temperatures fall too low, stopping the growth.
Next spring, the grass will get another few months for developing deeper roots prior to the summer heat sets in. This makes the chief reason for overseeding lawn in fall, but other reasons are also there. Some of them are:
- Overseeding lawns during fall provides a head start to the grass. The roots of the grass become stable before the arrival of winter. This reduces crop loss significantly in case of a dry, hot spring.
- Soil moisture and amounts of rain are usually better during fall.
- During the fall, the soil temperature is still warm, which is essential for seed germination. On the other hand, the cooler air temperature is favorable for grass growth.
- Overseeding grass in fall eliminates or lowers competition from different summer weedy grasses, like foxtails, crabgrass, and other weeds.
What Grasses Benefit from Overseeding?
Overseeding is not required for all grass types. Overseeding is primarily necessary for cool season grasses like annual and perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, tall fescue, and occasionally bluegrass. Exceptions are there, but for most of the home lawns, types of grass that spread through “runners” production are usually not overseeded unless it’s diseased or damaged. This includes most grass varieties of warm season, with an exception being bermudagrass which is overseeded during the fall occasionally.
How to Overseed Lawn?
For cool-season varieties of turf, the process of overseeding should be started by aerating the lawn thoroughly. The new seed should be applied using a fertilizer spreader, while following the recommended coverage rate of the product. Seeds falling in the aeration holes is ideal as this would prevent them from drying out quickly and help them germinate faster. Consider ushering more seeds into these holes using a rake’s backside.
Once the seeding has been done, apply a good fall fertilizer to your lawn. Make sure you apply the fertilizer the same day you’ve done the seeding. Then, water your lawn. Water one or two times each day until you find the new grass starting to grow.
Germination of the seeds may require two weeks or more. Continue mowing your lawn as usual until the grass growth stops for the season.
What Seed Type should be Used?
Ensure that you choose an appropriate grass seed type according to your climate, whether it’s a warm season or cool season. Additionally, select the right seed type based on the lawn’s use – whether your lawn is low-maintenance and purely for aesthetic purposes or intensely maintained and high-use.
It’s wise to not go for the cheapest grass seed available. Grass seeds come in different qualities. The cheap seeds are often made of poor-performing, generic grass varieties or, worse, contain filler like annual ryegrass or weed seeds. It’s not necessary to get the most expensive grass seed out there, however, opt for a seed of good quality and make sure it is highly preferred by several local experts.
So, if you think your lawn needs a revamp, go for lawn aeration and overseeding in the fall! Investing some time in overseeding during the fall can truly work wonders for the appearance and health of your lawn.
All American Turf Beauty, an Iowa–based reputed lawn care company, can expertly handle all lawn care jobs including fall aeration and seeding of lawns. Our experienced lawn care professionals can help you attain a beautiful green and healthy lawn. Call our company today to discuss your lawn care requirements!