Overseeding is when you will be sowing seed not over an open stretch of soil, but over existing grass, you need to understand that the seed will be competing with that existing grass. When over seeding the new seed has to fight for some sunlight. To give the seed a better chance, mow the existing grass, cutting it shorter than you normally would. Normally, you should cut grass to a height of 3"-3.5". In this case, reduce that height to 1.5"-2". Also, bag or rake up the clippings in order to make way for over seeding lawns, even if normally you don't. You want to give seeds the best chance of making good contact with the soil, and clippings would just get in the way.

Another step to take to promote contact between seeds and soil is lawn aeration. This step will help reduce grass thatch, which stands in the way between grass seeds and the soil. Lawn aerators can be rented from local lawn care rental centers.

In severe cases, you may need to add a layer of topsoil before over seeding lawns. For instance, due to shallow tree roots popping up on the lawn, your topsoil layer may be too thin. Spread 1/4" of screened topsoil over such an area, and rake it in.

Mulching helps keep your seeding in place, stabilizing the area and helps keep the area with moisture which is critical to seed germination. The mulch will help maintain the water it receives through either rain or watering. At the same time, the mulch will help eliminate wash-outs from heavy rains. Mulch also helps in seeded areas on slopes,, hills or banks to keep the seed form washouts.


Overseeding Lawns

The bag of grass seed that you buy for over seeding lawns will have information on the back concerning recommended seeding rates and over seeding rates. The difference is you don't need to spread as much seed when over seeding lawns as when starting new lawns.

The bag of grass seed that you buy for over seeding lawns will have information on the back concerning recommended seeding rates and over seeding rates. The difference is you don't need to spread as much seed when over seeding lawns as when starting new lawns.

For example, if you were to look at Bonide Premium Estate Lawn Grass Seed on the back it states:
NEW (3lbs. covers 700 sq. ft.) OVERSEEDING; (3lbs. covers 1,400 sq. ft.)

Grass seed is mostly sold in different "blends." So, even if you buy a bag of grass seed that says, "Kentucky blue grass" (one of the cool-season grasses), what you're buying may be a mixture of different grass seeds. This is why I am unable to state, point-blank, that the recommended rate for over seeding lawns for Kentucky blue grass is such and such: it would depend on the particular blend of Kentucky blue grass that you bought and what it states on the bag. For instance, for one blend of Kentucky blue grass, the recommended rate for over seeding lawns might be 1-2 pounds for every 1000 square feet that you need to cover. But for another, the rate might be 2-3 pounds. It all depends on what is actually being applied.

For the proper of over seeding of lawns, use of a spreader is a must. Set the spreader to the recommended over seeding rate and also if a soil test indicates apply a starter fertilizer for better results.

The grass seeds must be watered properly, in order to germinate. Use just a fine spray; you don't want to create a flood! The soil should be kept evenly moist, which may mean several watering per day (depending on the weather), for several weeks until grass starts to sprout.

Five weeks after the grass has sprouted, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer at the recommended rate; repeat in another six weeks.

For example, if you were to look at Bonide Premium Estate Lawn Grass Seed on the back it states:

NEW (3lbs. covers 700 sq. ft.) OVERSEEDING; (3lbs. covers 1,400 sq. ft.)

Grass seed is mostly sold in different "blends." So, even if you buy a bag of grass seed that says, "Kentucky blue grass" (one of the cool-season grasses), what you're buying may be a mixture of different grass seeds. This is why I am unable to state, point-blank, that the recommended rate for over seeding lawns for Kentucky blue grass is such and such: it would depend on the particular blend of Kentucky blue grass that you bought and what it states on the bag. For instance, for one blend of Kentucky blue grass, the recommended rate for over seeding lawns might be 1-2 pounds for every 1000 square feet that you need to cover. But for another, the rate might be 2-3 pounds. It all depends on what is actually being applied.

For the proper of over seeding of lawns, use of a spreader is a must. Set the spreader to the recommended over seeding rate and also if a soil test indicates apply a starter fertilizer for better results.

The grass seeds must be watered properly, in order to germinate. Use just a fine spray; you don't want to create a flood! The soil should be kept evenly moist, which may mean several watering per day (depending on the weather), for several weeks until grass starts to sprout.

Five weeks after the grass has sprouted, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer at the recommended rate; repeat in another six weeks.

The best time for over seeding lawns that have cool-season grasses is in September; the second-best time for over seeding lawns is in March or April.


Overseeding Lawns with Warm-Season Grasses:
Overseeding lawns that have warm-season grasses is not in any way meant to improve the overall quality of a lawn. If the appearance of your lawn during the summer is unacceptable to you, and if the deterioration is too advanced for lawn renovation to be feasible, then you should consider tearing up the old lawn and starting a new lawn.

Preparations for Overseeding Lawns:
Mow the lawn as low as you can. This will promote contact between seeds and soil (there will be less grass to get in the way of the seed).

You can also promote contact between seeds and soil is lawn aeration. Lawn aeration just like cool season grasses will help reduce lawn thatch, which stands in the way between grass seeds and the soil. Lawn aerators can be rented from local lawn care rental centers.

In severe cases of grass thatch, you may need to add a layer of topsoil before over seeding lawns. Or if shallow tree roots have popped up on the lawn, your topsoil layer may be too thin. Spread 1/4" of screened topsoil over such an area, and rake it in.

Overseeding Lawns:
A spreader is a must for this project. The bag of grass seed that you buy for over seeding lawns will have information on the back concerning recommended over seeding rates as outlined above when talking about over seeding cool season grass. Set the spreader to the recommended over seeding rate.

The grass seeds must be watered properly, in order to germinate. Use just a fine spray, do not flood the area! The soil should be kept evenly moist, which may mean several watering per day (depending on the weather), for several weeks as stated before.

Although annual ryegrass will die in the summer, making way for warm-season grasses to take over, the annual ryegrass will be around again in spring, offering unwanted competition with warm-season grasses. You will want to mow the annual ryegrass as low as possible in spring. By keeping it short, you'll at least minimize the amount of sunlight that the annual ryegrass takes from your main lawn, which is now emerging out of dormancy.

The best time for over seeding lawns composed of warm-season grasses is fall. Consult your local cooperative extension for the exact month that is best in your area.


Steps for New Lawn

Step 1: Remove Old Turf
The first step is to kill and remove poor quality turf.

Step 2: Fix Grade Problems
Before adding amendments to the soil you may wish to do a pH test and till the soil and fix any existing grade problems.

Step 3: Amend the Soil
This is the time to add soil amendments such as fertilizer, organic matter, and lime or sulfur usually following the recommendations from your soils pH test..

Step 4: Rake, Smooth and Firm
Rake the area for replanting until it is smooth, and remove any stones and vegetation/weeds brought to the surface during tilling.

Step 5: Plant Your New Lawn
Whether it is laying seeds, sprigs, plugs or sod, it is time for planting.

Step 6: Caring for Your New Lawn

You have now put a lot of work into creating a new lawn so do not forget the most important step. There are a couple of ways to cover you can use, one or two bales of straw per 1000 square feet to help keep moisture in the soil. After seeds germinate, do not attempt to remove the straw till grass is well rooted also do not use hay bales, hay leaves seed and you will end up with a hay yard. Or you can spread a 1/2-inch layer of clean fine Top soil over the seed and this will help keep moisture near the seeds.

Fertilizer applications are critical for the development of a healthy established turf. Following the application of Dura-Turf Lawn starter fertilizer (10-25-12) at 3.2 to 3.6 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. every 4 weeks. This means, a fertilizing application should be applied to your new lawn areas at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks after the installation date. Once the lawn has been established, a yearly maintenance program should be set up to maintain a healthy lawn. Traffic ware should be restricted on a new lawn for at least a month. New seedlings are easily damaged by foot traffic.

Please be patient with the process of starting a new lawn. Seeding is by far the best way to establishing a lawn for long term enjoyment.

This nitrogen level can be applied in various forms of fertilizer and will result in a much healthier, thicker lawn than a lawn not fertilized. The fertility requirements provide the nutrients for growth and the ability to fight off diseases, weeds and insect infestation. This means, a fertilizing application should be applied to your new lawn areas at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks after the installation date. Once the lawn has been established, a yearly maintenance program should be set up to maintain a healthy, vital turf stand within your property.

Traffic should be restricted on a new lawn for at least a month. New seedlings are damaged by foot traffic.

Please be patient with the process of starting a new lawn. Seeding is by far the best way to establishing a lawn for the long term. With proper care, as outlined above, you will achieve a healthy, enjoyable lawn for years to come.