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Homeowners live for the summer. The season’s long, sunny days are perfect for absorbing the seemingly boundless energy of kids with months off school. Summer is the reason we invest so much in our outdoor living spaces and landscapes. They’re meant to be lived in!

But your once green lawn is probably showing some signs of wear as we move past summer and into fall in New York and Connecticut. It’s part of the life cycle and can’t really be prevented. But what’s to be done?

Let’s take a cue from a lawn that’s professionally battered week after week. If you’ve ever watched an NFL football game, it’s easy to see the beating of the turf on those fields, not to mention, well, the players take during each game.

Yet week after week, the paint gets a touch-up and players return for their next match-up on pristine turfgrass with nary a divet. What gives?

Well, NFL groundskeepers have a little secret, and that secret is overseeding. (What, you thought they were laying down new sod every week and hoping for the best?)

What is Overseeding & Why Do You Need To Do It?

If your lawn is suffering after a long, hot summer with lots of foot traffic — brown, thin, and generally sad — overseeding can refresh and strengthen the affected areas and help your grounds look good as new without the high expense of completely new sod.

Another benefit to overseeding: weed control. If you’re seeing unwanted weeds cropping up in your lawn, this seeding can be a potential solution. After you aerate and create room for new seeds, those new seeds will crowd out weeds and replace them in time with a carpet of lush new grass

Best Time for Overseeding Lawn

Overseeding is an especially smart step after core aerating your existing lawn. That grass seed will have its best opportunity to penetrate and take root, as you’ll just have removed plugs of existing grass and soil from your lawn.

And fall for warm-season grasses, such as bermuda grass (late summer or early Fall for cool-season grasses like bluegrass) is the best time to overseed a lawn, preceded by core aeration. Fall is ideal for these tasks because you’ll also be applying a good dose of fertilizer before winter sets in, which offers a big hit of nutrients like phosphorous. Weeds like crabgrass are also less active as the weather cools. Phosphorous supports root growth throughout the fall and winter; all the way into spring. Keep in mind you should mow your lawn beforehand and then try to avoid mowing until the bare spots begin to fill in. Maintain frequent, light waterings to ensure the best grass growth. Many people can easily overseed on their own using spreaders to apply the grass seedlings, but you can also ask your lawn maintenance company if they offer these services. 

When NOT to Overseed Your Lawn

There are, however, some instances where you shouldn’t overseed.

If your lawn has pest and disease problems, correct them before you think about overseeding. Likewise, if you’re having lawn problems related to dogs or other pets, don’t overseed. (Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your money in the process!)

If you don’t have a reliable method of irrigation, such as an automatic sprinkler system, don’t overseed. Overseeded lawns need a good water source for the seeds to take root and begin to fill in with that young grass.

If you’re ready to start talking about overseeding, get in touch with the lawn care professionals at Neave Group.

If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.

Fall is the perfect time to take care of this important task, and we’re ready to help!

Homeowner's Guide to Lawn Care

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Image credit: danxoneil and Landscaping Network

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FREE Landscape Care & Maintenance Guide

Download our FREE guide for a more beautiful, healthier landscape in no time!

Download Now