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overseeding grass in fallAre you ready for the fall lawn-care season? As fall approaches, you may still be mowing but your lawn is receiving less attention. Grass gets infiltrated with falling leaves, raking and fertilization have fallen on the way site, and you probably cannot even find your rake. The start of the fall season is the perfect time for your landscaper to overseed your lawn in preparation of the winter ahead and the spring that may feel far off. Overseeing is a practice that benefit from the season’s temperature variations and the fact that your turf is reading to go into winter dormancy. 

If you want your lawn full and lush come the spring, consider overseeding in the fall to get a head start on the following growing season.

Lawn in summerOverseeding allows for the grass seed to be planted into existing you existing lawn, while maintaining the look of your lawn. This is an ideal strategy to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your lawn, and  add grass varieties to enhance your lawn’s deep green appearance.

In the northeast, cool-season grasses will grow in the fall and overseeding fills in thin patches. You can be sure that your new grass will develops a strong root system before winter. This creates a stronger lawn that will be resistive to disease and drought conditions in the following growing season.  When yo have a dense lawn at the beginning of the growing season, in the spring, the grass can block weeds and crabgrass from getting started.

Here are tips to help you decide if you want to overseed your lawn this fall:

1. Aerate Your Lawn
There are significant benefits to regular aeration of your lawn. Aeration helps your grass to gather more nutrients and grow deeper roots. You can rent a core aerator or hire your landscaper to come in and aerate your lawn. When you have compacted soil from heavy summer use, your lawn may need to be aerated before overseeding to make sure the process works in the spring. Aeration helps both the established plants and the new grass absorb water, nutrients and oxygen. This also helps your lawn to develop stronger roots and retain health during the cold winter months while dormant.

2. Mow your lawn
Remember not to neglect your lawn when the temperature starts to drop. Get that extra mowing done, and if you cut your grass short, the overseeded new grass plants will receive as much sunlight as possible. And cut again as needed if winter’s start is delayed. The more sunlight you can give your new seedlings, the stronger they will be. Removing the taller established grasses allows your new shoots to get as much sunshine and growing time as possible.

3. Prep your soil
Now you have mowed, aerated and planted your new grass by overseeding, next step, rake out the cuttings, remove debris and loosen the top layer of soil to allow better contact with the fresh seed. This gives your overseeding the best chance at maximum growth during the fall.

4. Choose the right grass seed
Know your region and your grasses – or ask a pro. You want the grass see to be appropriate for your growing region, the shade/sun available and soil quality. Additional considerations are: drainage, pest infestation concerns, pet and foot traffic and your seasonal temperatures. For a cool-season lawn add a new variety for increased durability and color. Adding diversity can strengthen both your color palette and your lawn’s thickness. Quick-germinating cool-season perennial ryegrass is a great choice for creating a luxurious spring lawn. Check the grass seed label – you want a high germination rate and no weed seed mixed in. For the best lawn, use certified seed that was tested within the last 12 months. Ask your landscaper or garden supply store to help determine which seed is the best for your lawn.

5. Water consistently and daily
You will want to water consistently after you overseed the lawn. Expect that you will need to water lightly several times a day. You want to keep the soil slightly damp until the seeds germinate and keeping your existing grass with enough water will allow the new overseeding to get enough water to germinate. You will want to program your sprinkler system for brief and frequent watering daily, You can also turn on your water sprinkler morning, noon and night manually to insure enough watering time. This is critical while you wait for your new grass to sprout and fill in your lawn.

Overseeding in the fall can help you keep your lawns greener, healthier and more resilient. Overseeding also helps your spring lawn look magnificent. Why wait to do repair work in the spring – a little care now and your lawns can be prepared for the dormant winter and have a head start for the spring.