Here in Michigan, summer is the season we all look forward to and celebrate to the fullest! But let’s face it, all that summer fun can be TOUGH on lawns! Lawn overseeding is an easy way to help reinvigorate your lawn and is essential for the long-term health of your turf. Combine your overseeding with core aeration and you are setting the stage for a healthy, green and vigorous lawn!
Overseeding is the process of applying grass seed over an ALREADY established lawn. Over time, grasses naturally thin and die off as well as suffer from the wear and tear of lawn traffic and harsh environmental conditions. Overseeding is so important because it is a means to thicken up turf strands and introduce other cool season grass types in the lawn. Overseeding can:
For northern lawns in our area, fall is the optimal time to overseed because the soil is still warm, but the air is cooler, providing prime growing conditions. Ideal temperatures are when the soil temperatures are between 50° and 65°F and air temperatures are between 60° and 75°F.
Many homeowners time their overseeding around a lawn aeration because this will provide the optimal conditions for the grass seed to take root and flourish. Seeds grow best when they have high seed-to-soil contact and uncompacted soil, which is best achieved through aeration of your lawn.
Mowing your lawn short and removing the clippings allows the new seed to come into contact with the soil so that it can be exposed to water and sunlight. If you have more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch of thatch, consider using a dethatcher. If under 1/2 an inch of thatch exists, use an aerator. Dethatching or aerating your lawn prior to overseeding allows the seeds to come into direct contact with the soil.
Having a balanced mixture of fescue types (~40%), bluegrass types (~40% – 50%) and perennial ryegrass (~10 % – 20%) limits the amount of permanent damage insects, disease and drought stress can inflict throughout the warmer season. For example, one type of grass may be highly affected by drought stress, while another many not. Including different types of seed in your mix minimizes the amount of stress that your lawn is susceptible to from one particular stressor. Think of this as having a diversified investment in your lawn!
In general, it is recommended to spread at 3 pounds of seed per thousand square feet of lawn when overseeding. It is important to follow these ratios in order to grow healthy young stands of turf. Spreading less than the recommended amount of seed in your lawn can result in open areas of turf that are more susceptible to weeds. Spreading more than the recommended amount of seed can result in stands of turf that contain high numbers of small, young, and immature plants that will take much longer to grow into mature, robust plants that can fight off environment stresses like heat, drought, cold and foot traffic.
If you would like to know how much seed you need for your lawn, we can tell you!
Newly overseeded lawns need consistent moisture with the goal of encouraging the growth of deep, healthy roots. For the first four days, your goal is to keep the seed and soil moist but not saturated, with frequent light waterings twice a day. For the next 5 days, water more heavily every other day. Finally, water as needed to prevent wilting. This “as-needed” watering approach will encourage the growth of a deep, healthy root system for your newly seeded lawn. The existing grass will help keep the seed in place, shade the soil, and slow evaporation.
Overall, lawn overseeding is an easy way to provide the TLC (Tender Lawn Care) that your lawn needs for long-term health. One thing to keep in mind is thinking about pairing your overseeding process with a fall aeration prior to overseeding. Aerating is the tried and true way of overseeding a Michigan lawn. It primes your lawn for overseeding, allowing the best soil conditions possible for lawn growth. To learn more about our aeration services, click here.
Custom Lawn Care has the largest fleet of Professional Core Aeration equipment in the state. Several different types of equipment allow us to handle any size lawn in an efficient and professional manner. For the best of turf health, consider a core aeration as the perfect service to combine with your plan to overseed your lawn! Contact Custom Personalized Lawn Care TODAY to book your fall core aeration!