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Learn Your Lawn: Overseeding / Lawn Renovation

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What Should I Do If My Lawn Is Thinning Or Has Bare Patches?

If you notice that your lawn is thinning or has bare patches, overseeding will help fill in thin areas, promote a lush and uniform appearance, and improve the overall health of the grass. However, overseeding can be a challenging process, requiring care and consistency to properly establish new seed in your lawn. It’s usually performed in fall or spring, when the grass is actively growing. To ensure the best results, prepare the lawn properly, choose the right grass seed for your climate and lawn conditions, and follow proper watering and mowing practices after overseeding.

Tips for Overseeding

• Seed Selection: Select grass seed that is appropriate for your climate and soil type and compatible with your existing lawn. Consider whether areas of your lawn are in the shade or full sun. 

• Seed Quantity: When overseeding your lawn, the amount of seed required will depend on how large an area you are planning on seeding. As a rule of thumb, you should apply 4-6 lbs of seed per 1,000 ft². 

• Timing: The best time to overseed is in the spring or fall when temperatures are cool, rainfall is more frequent, and the soil is moist. Soil temperatures must be above 55 ̊F in order for the seed to germinate.

• Soil Preparation: Proper soil preparation is important for seed germination. Rake the bare areas, apply fresh soil, and ensure that the seed comes in contact with soil on all sides to achieve successful germination. 

• Watering: Water daily for 15 to 20 minutes in order to keep the seed moist, especially if there is no supplemental water from natural rainfall. Follow a strict watering schedule for 14 to 21 days after overseeding. 

• Fertilization: Proper fertilization is important to support seed growth and development. Use a slow-release fertilizer to help the seed establish itself. 

• Mowing: Avoid mowing the new grass until it has reached a height of about 2 to 21⁄2 inches. Once the seed is well established, maintain a regular mowing schedule throughout the growing season. In general, you should keep your lawn between 2 1⁄2 and 3 1⁄2 inches high, but during the hottest weeks of summer, you may allow the grass to grow as high as 4 inches. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at each mowing. 

• Core Aeration: For lawns that are well established but have some thin areas, it is best to overseed in combination with mechanical core aeration. When done together, the seed will fall into the aeration holes and have a better chance of germinating. Regular watering will still be required for optimal results.