When some people hear the word overseeding, they might think that it’s a mistake made by the lawn service company. After all, overeating is too much eating. Overdoing it means doing too much. So obviously, overseeding means putting too much seed on, right? “Hey, there’s seed on the sidewalk, and there’s so much seed on the lawn that I can’t see the dirt. You’re overseeding!” Well, that’s not quite right. In fact, it’s nowhere near right. The fact is, people who imagine this are thinking of the wrong definition of “over.”
Overseeding in this sense means that the grass seed is put on over the existing grass, as opposed to tearing up the turf or the soil. Let’s take a look at why and how this occurs.
There are many benefits to overseeding. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
- Fill in bare spot – Perhaps the most common reason people overseed is to fill in bare spots. Sometimes the lawn has a high traffic area that’s wearing down. Other times an animal has torn up the grass or used it as a bathroom. Sometimes the grass isn’t getting enough sunlight and isn’t thriving as well as you’d like it to. In all of these cases, overseeding can bring those spots back to life.
- Improve the density – Grass is kind of like hair: while you can look at two heads and say “yes, both people have hair,” it can be easy to see who has thicker hair. So, like hair, you’re certain to lose some of your grass over time. Even if the root system is good, there will be certain areas in which the grass chooses not to sprout. Overseeding can improve the density of your grass, making it more lush underfoot. It’s also a great way to introduce a new generation of grass as the old roots die.
- Green It Up – Many organisms will lose color as they age. Just as animal coats lose color (we’re back to hair again, for some reason), many grasses will also become less green the older it gets. Overseeding is a great way to introduce new grass with the old, making the overall look greener.
- Switch It Up – You might not know it, but the grass you buy today, even if it has the same name, isn’t the same grass as you might have planted 30 years ago. Improvements are always being made to grass strains, allowing them to hold up better to drought, resist diseases, and fight off insect problems like never before. That’s why overseeding might be a good idea for an established lawn; a new generation of grass on your lawn could help you use less water and fewer pesticides and herbicides on your yard.
How Is Overseeding Done?
While you can technically overseed by dropping seeding from your hand, it’s not a very effective method. Overseeding is usually accomplished with a special machine called — you guessed it — an overseeder. This machine creates slits on the soil, giving the seeds a place to drop so that they’re in contact with earth instead of simply being dropped onto the dead thatch from mowings past. Overseeding can also be combined with lawn aeration, so long as the aeration is done multiple times in order to get the holes close together.
When Should It Be Done
The best time of year to overseed varies according to the type of grass you have. With fescue, one of the most common types of grass we encounter here in the Atlanta area, fall is the right season. If you’re desperate, though, we can probably help you most any time of year.
If you’ve noticed that your grass is looking patchy or doesn’t seem to perk up no matter how much you water and fertilize, overseeding might be a great option. Give us a call and the experts at WeedPro Lawn Care will take a look at it and let you know.