Lavery's Sod Farm, Inc.                           Call Today: (540) 268-1220

Overseeding

If bare spots appear in your lawn or sports field, overseeding can be performed to help repair the turf. Small areas can be seeded by manually distributing grass seed, but larger areas are more easily seeded using a spreader.

For cool season grasses such as fescue or bluegrass, overseeding can be successful when done in the spring (mid-March) or fall (early September). A few drawbacks to spring overseeding are the competition the seed will face from weeds and the water requirements of the seedlings as they enter the summer months. Another consideration to spring overseeding, pre-emergent grassy weed control will inhibit seed germination. Fall overseeding does not usually have the weed competition or drought stresses of spring overseeding. (Recent years have shown that droughts can happen in the fall, but fall normally brings precipitation.)

We usually recommend overseeding at a rate of 5 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn for tall fescue, and 1 to 2.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn for bluegrass. Currently, we sell our seed in 50 pound increments. If you do not require that much seed for your area, we always recommend purchasing a premium brand of seed from a local garden supplier. The certified seed blend that we use comes directly from the grower, so the turf blends at the garden supply may not be an exact match. In that case, look for varieties described as “turf type” for tall fescues, and Kentucky bluegrass if you have a bluegrass area to overseed.

For optimal seed-soil contact and seed germination, we recommend mechanically disturbing the soil in the area to be overseeded. This can be accomplished in small areas manually by going over the soil with a hard-tine rake 3 or 4 times. A walk-behind spreader can then be used to distribute the grass seed. Slit-seeders work well for larger areas. The slit-seeder will disturb the soil and distribute the seed simultaneously. We suggest overseeding with the slit-seeder by making two passes. Spread one half of the seed with the machine going in one direction, then making the second pass with the remainder of the seed at a 90º angle to the first pass. Plan to water the overseeded area roughly ½ inch every third day, for 3 to 5 weeks for best results.

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