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The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding Your Lawn

The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding Your Lawn

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It’s normal to want your lawn to look as nice as it possibly can. You probably want to be able to step out of the house and gaze at your lawn proudly.

Sometimes your lawn might not be as thick or colorful as you want it to be, though. You can certainly make your lawn look better by watering it and by giving it fertilizer at different points during the year.

However, some people swear that overseeding the lawn is the best thing to do when you’re trying to enhance the look of your lawn.

If you don’t know much about overseeding, then you should just understand that it involves adding grass seed to your lawn without turning over the soil. This can help your existing lawn to have thicker grass and it can even add some color to the lawn.

Overseeding might sound like a good idea if your lawn is currently a bit sparse. If you’ve never done this before, then you might not be sure how to get started.

Read on to learn about the best grass for overseeding. After reading the information below, you’ll be ready to overseed your lawn so that it can start looking how you’ve always wanted it to look.

Understanding Overseeding

Before you move forward with overseeding your lawn, it’s going to be wise to try to understand what it means. You heard the basic explanation of overseeding above, but you should try to learn about why people decide to overseed.

Overseeding is usually something that people turn to for one of two reasons. The first reason is that they currently have lawns that are patchy or overly thin.

If you overseed a lawn that is thin and patchy, then it can help to fill things out and it’ll make the lawn look a lot nicer. This is a solid way to fix problems with a lawn without feeling as though you have to start over from scratch.

The second reason why people choose to overseed a lawn is when they want to have year-round grass. Typically, warm-season grass is going to go dormant and turn brown during the winter months.

Instead of just allowing this to happen as normal, some people will overseed the lawn with cool-season grass seed. This can ensure that you will be able to enjoy green grass in your yard all year.

It’s definitely cool to be able to do this when you’re someone who enjoys a nice lawn. People overseed their lawns because they’re trying to improve the aesthetic appeal of the yard.

It is by no means necessary to do this in order to have a healthy lawn. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be helpful in the situations that have been outlined above.

You don’t have to overseed your lawn unless you want to. However, if you’re going to overseed the lawn, then you’re going to want to be sure to choose the best grass seed for the job.

When Is the Best Time to Overseed the Lawn?

Learning when you should overseed your lawn isn’t going to be too tough. Essentially, the best time to overseed a lawn is going to depend on the type of grass seed that you decide to use.

Typically, it’s going to be best to overseed the lawn in the spring when you’re talking about the vast majority of different grass seed types. If you’re trying to overseed using cool-season grass seed, then the best time to do so will be during the fall.

Overseeding using a cool-season grass seed in the fall does require a bit more work. You have to get the irrigation right so that everything will go as planned.

Almost all types of grass need temperatures to stay between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit so that they can germinate properly. This means that seeding a lawn when it’s going to snow or freeze will be a terrible idea.

There are some parts of North America where it can get quite cold in the autumn. If you live in a cold place, then you might need to seed the lawn a little earlier to ensure that the grass seed has the proper germination temperature.

Important General Overseeding Advice

To get the overseeding process to go well, it’s going to be necessary to get the preparations right. Start by mowing the lawn properly so that you can be sure that the seed will reach the soil.

Ideally, you should cut the grass a bit lower than two inches. Doing this should help you to get the best results.

After mowing, you’re going to need to use a metal rake to get rid of the grass cuttings. You must rake the seedbed and aerate the area so that the seed can do what it needs to do once you’ve spread it.

If you don’t take the time to do this, then you’re likely going to get mixed results. You’re also going to want to go around removing rocks and other types of debris that might be on the lawn.

Aerating the lawn isn’t too tough so long as you’re using the right tools. You can use many different types of aerators and it shouldn’t matter which kind you have.

Core aerators have proven to be popular and they’re also quite affordable. If you don’t already own one of these, then you should go out and purchase one so that you can properly prepare the lawn.

It will now be a good idea to fertilize your lawn if it’s been a while since you’ve done so. If you haven’t used fertilizer on your lawn in the last four months, then this is definitely going to be a good thing to do.

After you’ve fertilized the lawn, you should wait approximately four days before overseeding. The fertilizer needs this time to take effect and you don’t want to waste your efforts.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to start using a seed spreader to spread the seed. Depending on the type of grass seed that you’re using, it’s going to be necessary to spread a specific amount of seed.

The species of grass that you went with should have a recommended seed rate that you can use. Keep this in mind when you’re spreading the seed so that things will turn out how you want them to.

When the seed has been spread, you’re going to want to use a simple starter fertilizer. This helps things to get going so that the seed can develop strong and turn into the lush grass that you’re hoping for.

To be on the safe side, it’s going to be wise to use a pre-emergent herbicide that is meant for young grass seedlings. Failing to do this could put this entire process at risk of failing, and it doesn’t take long to use the herbicide.

Looking after the lawn after you have spread the seed is important as well. It’s recommended to keep the area that you seeded evenly moist until you see seeds start to sprout.

After sprouting has occurred, you can simply water the lawn using a normal schedule for the type of grass that you’re using. Don’t mow the grass at all until the area has become totally filled in, though.

When it is time to mow the grass, it’ll be best to set your mower at least one inch high. So long as you follow this advice, you should have good luck with the overseeding process.

Broadcast Spreaders vs. Handheld Spreaders

Seed spreaders were mentioned above and you might not own one yet if you’re new to overseeding. There are two basic options that you can choose from.

Broadcast spreaders work well to spread seed evenly while also getting the job done fast. Most people would consider broadcast spreaders to be easier to use since they do a lot of the work for you.

You can also purchase handheld spreaders if you’d prefer to go that route. These are going to take a lot more effort to use, but they’re not very expensive at all.

Some people go with handheld seed spreaders to try to save a bit of cash. That might not be worth it if you have a very large lawn that you’re trying to overseed, though.

For the most part, handheld spreaders are more practical when you’re trying to overseed a small lawn. You’ll probably want to stick to using broadcast spreaders if you have a significant amount of land that you’re trying to seed.

When you’re using your seed spreaders, it’s important not to go overboard. If you try to use too much seed at once, then you’re not going to get good results.

Essentially, spreading too much seed at once in one area will cause overcrowding issues. Healthy growth won’t be possible because there will be too much competition for nutrients.

When you’re overseeding a lawn, you’re supposed to apply half the normal seeding rate that you’re supposed to use on bare soil. Simple math will make it easy to figure out what the seeding rate is supposed to be once you’ve looked up the numbers for the grass seed that you’ve chosen.

Best Grass Seed for Overseeding

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start thinking about which grass seeds you should choose. There are so many options to choose from, and you might gravitate toward one or another based on personal preference.

Below, you’ll be presented with some of the most popular options. Read about the pros and cons of each so that you can make up your own mind about what will work best for your lawn.

Annual Ryegrass Seed

Annual ryegrass is a type of grass that people choose when they want to enjoy having green grass for the entire year. It works well when combined with warm-season grasses since it works so well in cooler weather.

This grass also has a particularly long lifespan. The fact that it lasts longer than many other types of grass just might save you a bit of cash.

The problem with annual ryegrass is that it doesn’t work so well by itself. This is a good overseeding grass type, but it isn’t a good standalone grass choice.

It also isn’t as resistant to lawn diseases as other types of ryegrass. It can still be a really good choice for overseeding, but some might prefer going with the next option.

Perennial Ryegrass Seed

One good reason to consider going with perennial ryegrass seed is that it has high wear tolerance. It’s going to be hard to hurt this grass once it is established and that can be a great thing when you have kids and pets.

It’s also a particularly beautiful type of grass in certain ways. The shine that this grass has is something to behold and it’s going to allow you to enjoy a lawn that is lush and green.

Perennial ryegrass seed is also known to germinate fast. If you’re someone who prefers to keep your lawn quite short, then you’ll love that this grass type can tolerate low mowing.

Sadly, it isn’t all positive news when it comes to perennial ryegrass. It’s a type of grass that takes a lot of work to maintain when you want things to look presentable.

Also, it might not be dense enough to grow by itself. This can create some problems, but it’s still a stellar candidate for overseeding.

Red Fescue Seed

You might want to consider going with something tried and true such as red fescue seed. This is a type of grass that is going to do excellently in cool and damp parts of the world.

It’s a good choice when you’re planning to overseed the lawn in the fall. Many people who live in the United States transition zone choose to use red fescue because the grass will actually grow there.

You should also know that red fescue is very shade tolerant. If you have a shady yard, then this might be one of the best seeds to choose for overseeding.

It has a fast germination rate and it even naturally combats weed growth. It’s a type of grass that has many positive aspects to consider.

The elephant in the room when it comes to red fescue involves its inability to survive the summer sun. This isn’t a type of grass that you can enjoy during the summer months and that means that it’s only suited to use during cooler seasons.

Tall Fescue Seed

Tall fescue seed might be among the most popular types of grass seed for overseeding. This cool-season grass is known for having a deep root system and it’s going to be able to help you enjoy a dense lawn.

If you’re looking to overseed your lawn due to having a patchy lawn currently, then this will help you to make the lawn look lush. You’ll really enjoy how the dark green blades of grass look.

This is a type of grass that can grow in many different environments as well. It grows well in full sun, but it can also tolerate a bit of shade without it being a huge deal.

Many different soil types can be used with this grass, too. Whether you have loamy soil, chalky soil, or clay soil, you can have a good experience with tall fescue seeds.

It’s a low-maintenance type of grass that is also very tolerant of heat. The only big downside to consider is that it is susceptible to brown patches under the right conditions.

Kentucky Bluegrass Seed

Kentucky bluegrass is a superb cool-season grass that many people have fallen in love with. It’s known for having a gorgeous dark green color and it can also be very thick.

This is a good choice when you’re trying to fix damaged patches of lawn with overseeding. It can help to fill things in nicely so that your lawn will look great once again.

It’s also notable that Kentucky bluegrass is capable of surviving a lot of punishment. If you have kids and pets that play in your yard, then you’ll love the fact that Kentucky bluegrass can handle high traffic.

The only downside is that this isn’t a type of grass that is shade tolerant. If your yard is too shady, then you’re simply going to have to find another option because Kentucky bluegrass won’t work out for you.

Final Thoughts

Learning about overseeding your lawn might seem a bit complicated at first, but it isn’t that tough to understand once you have all of the information. You now know that it’s possible to overseed your lawn so that you can fix problems with your lawn being too thin.

Some people overseed their lawns simply so that they can enjoy having green grass all year long. Depending on your situation, you might be looking into overseeding your lawn for different reasons.

You can add color to your lawn and will generally be able to make things look better. It’ll be important to follow the preparation advice listed above to get the best results, but it’ll be well worth putting in the effort.

After learning about the best options for overseeding your lawn, you’ll be able to choose a grass seed type that appeals to you the most. You might want a pretty type of grass such as Kentucky bluegrass or you could decide to go with a practical option such as perennial ryegrass.

Either way, you’ll be happy with your choice so long as you understand the pros and cons. Enjoy having a better lawn and let your friends know how beneficial overseeding can be.

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