Overseeding 101: How to Achieve a Thick and Beautiful Lawn in the Fall

Summer can take a toll on your lawn. Sure, it’s prime time for lush growth. However, it’s also prime time for strong sun and heat, insects, disease, and more. Additionally, your lawn ages over time. The older it is, the more trouble it has fending off issues like weeds, insects, and disease; it will also struggle to grow as it ages. 

If your lawn looks old, tired, or has bare spots after the summer’s end, it’s time to consider overseeding in fall. 


What are the benefits of overseeding? 

Overseeding is when you plant grass seed directly into existing turf without tearing up the turf or the soil. Overseeding helps to fill in bare spots, give your lawn more color, improve the turf density, and introduce more grass varieties. Additionally, benefits of overseeding include: 

  • Warding off insects and other pests
  • Disease
  • Too much shade
  • Heavy foot traffic

But why is fall the best time to overseed? 


Why is overseeding in fall your best bet? 

You can overseed your lawn in the spring, but if you apply any sort of herbicide or wait until too late in the season, your new grass will struggle to thrive during the summer months. That’s why we recommend overseeding in fall, right after you’ve aerated your lawn. Soil and atmospheric temperatures are most favorable for optimum seed germination and growth at this time of year, which means your lawn should be well-established and thriving before winter arrives. Plus, overseeding lets your lawn establish strong roots, which helps push it through harsh winter weather. 


What to do before overseeding your lawn

Overseeding should be on your list of lawn care for fall, but you’ll have to do a couple of things to prepare your yard before you start. Make sure you have the right tools, like an aerating tool, fertilizer spreader, rake, and fertilizer (in addition to your new grass seeds). 

Here are the steps to take before you start overseeding: 

  • Aerate and dethatch your lawn to allow seeds to properly root and germinate. 
  • Apply the new grass seed with a fertilizer spreader. It’s best if the seeds fall into the aeration holes - they’ll germinate faster. You may want to take a rake and push them into holes if they’re not landing there as you spread them. 
  • After you’ve overseeded, it’s time to apply fertilizer. Choose a fertilizer that’s formulated for fall. 
  • Once you’ve fertilized, it’s time to water your lawn. Your first watering should be heavy. From there, water once or twice a day, soaking the lawn thoroughly until the new grass has started to grow.
  • Don’t stop mowing - you should continue to mow your lawn as part of your lawn care for fall until your grass goes dormant and stops growing. However, don’t forget to raise your mower blades so you don’t cut the new grass too short. 


Related: Does Lawn Aeration & Seeding Work? Answers for Maryland Homeowners


What type of seed should you use? 

You should use the correct type of grass seed for the climate that you live in. You’ll also need to consider things like: 

  • If your lawn is high-use or low-maintenance (how much foot traffic does it get?) 
  • If you want a lawn that’s more challenging to keep up with or something low maintenance 
  • If you want drought-resistant grass for long, hot summers 

As well as the quality. When it comes to buying grass seed, you get what you pay for. Cheaper grass seeds are often made up of generic and poor-performing types of grass, or have filler like weeds or ryegrass. Don’t break the bank buying something ultra expensive; look for something midgrade or ask a professional which seed is best for your lawn goals. 


Can you overseed your lawn yourself? 

Speaking of professionals, should you overseed your lawn yourself or hire someone to do it for you? That’s truly your prerogative. You can definitely handle overseeding in fall on your own, but it does require a lot of work and a few tools that you may or may not have lying around. If you choose to go the professional route and book a lawn service like Natural Green, we can evaluate your lawn and come up with a plan of action for seeding, as well as use more advanced equipment to get the job done. 


Take care of lawn care for fall with Natural Green 

Need help overseeding your lawn or any other fall lawn care? Contact Natural Green Systems today.  

New call-to-action

Get a Quote

Topics: Lawn Care

Get a Healthy Lawn & Say Goodbye to Pests

Get a Quote