9 Steps to Overseed in Fall to Prepare Your Lawn for Next Year

Published September 12, 2020

Fall is the best time for homeowners looking to re-seed their property or tend to other issues related to lawn care maintenance and landscape design. A simple lawn maintenance schedule can keep your lawn lush for longer so it’s always looking its best.

It’s been on your mind for months, as you’ve watched spring turn to summer. Maybe your gardener has even mentioned it to you. Children have been playing on it all summer long–pets have been tearing it up–summer games have taken their toll. But now it’s fall, and with the coming of fall comes time to confront the reality: it’s time to re-seed your lawn.

Re-seeding your lawn can be overwhelming to think about; fortunately, GreenPro is here to help! With our expertise in lawn care maintenance and landscape design, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you think about how about to approach re-seeding your property so your grass continues to grow and flourish for seasons to come.

1. Set a Goal

It’s one thing to say that you want to reseed your lawn; quite another to know what your goal is. Are you just trying to compensate for thinning grass? Are you hoping to balance out different grasses and create one consistent type of grass? Think about your goals before you start spreading new grass around. Homeowners overseed to correct thin lawns; professionals overseed to correct thinning. When warm-season grasses go brown, overseeding with a premium, cool-season ryegrass provides a green temporary lawn while your permanent, warm-season grasses are dormant.

2. Timing is Everything

To be honest, fall is the best time for homeowners looking to re-seed their property or tend to other issues related to lawn care and landscaping. You want to make sure that the lawn is re-seeded before the harsh Oklahoma winter months roll in, so the grass can take deep root in the soil. A dormant winter can lead to a flourishing spring for your lawn and property, provided you’ve given the grass enough time.

3. Tend the Area

Be sure to reset your mower’s height extra short and remove the clippings, so new seed contacts soil and gets sunlight and water. Set your mower at two inches or less for regular overseeding. For southern lawns and winter color, set the blade as low as it goes, and cut just above the soil–what’s known as scalping. Rake the soil with a metal thatch rake to remove thatch, clippings and debris. This loosens and exposes soil to receive seed. It’s important to note that you should only scalp your grass short in preparation for overseeding. Leaving your lawn taller helps protect the roots from the elements in both winter and throughout the summer, helping the grass grow thicker to reduce weeds.

4. Address Any Problems

If your lawn is demonstrating issues beyond normal thinning, test your soil and make corrections before overseeding. Follow test recommendations for using soil amendments and repairing bare lawn spots. If needed, take time to dethatch and core aerate compacted lawns so air, moisture, and seed can get to the soil.

5. Only the Best

Better seed yields better lawns. Always use grasses recommended for your regional climate and choose top-quality grass seed you can depend on. In Oklahoma, bluegrasses dominate, but ryegrasses and fescues also do well with sufficient irrigation.

6. Spread It Out

Apply seed at label-recommended overseeding rates, and use the lawn spreader that best suits the job. Typically, drop or broadcast spreaders are used on large lawns and handheld spreaders for smaller areas. For small spots, simply seed from your hand. Work when the air is calm to evenly distribute the seed.

7. Fertilize Overseeded Areas

Avoid weed & feed products; the pre-emergent herbicides inhibit seed germination. Starter fertilizer delivers essential nutrients for new grass. Phosphorus supports vigorous root growth, while nitrogen fuels top growth and greening. Some states and counties restrict phosphorus lawn fertilizers due to environmental concerns regarding runoff, but exceptions may be made for new seedings.

8. Keep On Watering

Newly overseeded lawns need consistent moisture. Keep seed and soil moist with frequent, light waterings twice a day for the first four days; water more heavily every other day for the next five days; then water as needed to prevent wilting. This encourages deep, healthy roots. Consistent watering is much easier if you install an irrigation system. If you already have one, make sure the sprinkler heads are effectively positioned. We’re happy to help with irrigation system sprinkler head repairs and other irrigation or drainage solutions.

9. Stay On Schedule!

Keep your newly-revived lawn looking its best with a regular, comprehensive maintenance plan that includes diligent watering, best mowing practices, and proactive overseeding. A simple weekday lawn maintenance schedule can keep your lawn lush and your weekends free.

GreenPro specializes in working with our clients to create a consistent and effective maintenance plan for newly-seeded lawns. Looking for a local expert to help you re-seed and then maintain your lawn? Contact us today for a free quote.