August through September is the BEST time to over-seed a lawn. Warm soil and cool temperatures at night make the perfect growing conditions.
Here are 5 expert tips on doing it right!
1. Prep Work – Mow your existing grass to a height of 1 to 1.5 inches. Next vigorously rake or core aerate the lawn to loosen soil and rough up the surface. Lawns with a heavier thatch layer or in very poor conditions may need a more aggressive option such as renting a verti-cut machine.
2. Buy the Best Seed – Select the BEST lawn seed variety to get the right mix for your lawn. Opting for the bargain seed can lead to more problems down the road. Always choose for the very best seed available that had been tested in our growing conditions. We’re proud to say that our Earl May Lawn Seed has been tested in Midwest turf trials with excellent results! Over-seed at the rates listed for each mix.
3. Proper Application – Use a hand spreader for small areas and a fertilizer spreader for larger ones. To insure more uniform coverage , broadcast at half the rate in one direction first, then go back over the same area in the opposite direction.
4. Fertilize – Use a lawn starter fertilizer to strengthen the existing lawn and to help new seedlings take root and fill in faster. Rake lightly one more time to ensure good seed to soil contact.
5. Water – Keep the seed evenly moist to speed up germination. Sunny locations and dry weather will require you to water more frequently. Special lawn starter mulch is available to reduce how often you need to water.
What about brand new seeding on bare soil? Yep, you guessed it…Fall is the best time for this as well. Just be sure to work up the top 3 to 4 inches of soil and then follow steps 2-5 above.
Follow the steps above and you will see a new lawn spring to life in just a few weeks!