5 Top Fall Lawn Seeding and Overseeding Tips

When it comes time to seed your lawn, there’s no time like a New England Fall! If you’re in the northern half of the US, Autumn is unequivocally the best time of the year to seed or overseed your lawn! Whether you are seeding a new plot or overseeding your existing lawn, you’re going to have your best results between early September and early November. Dead and dying areas of your lawn can be brought back to life beautifully by just following these tips below!

Tip 1: Make Sure Your Seed Can Touch the Soil

Mowing – Start by mowing and bagging the clippings in the area you’re working in. We want to ensure the new seed has direct-to-soil contact, giving it the best chance to root and thrive.

De-thatching – Your lawn, right now, has a  layer of thatch on it. Thatch is a layer of dead, organic material that sits below grass height right on top of your soil. A thick thatch layer will prevent the seeds from achieving real direct-to-soil contact.

Watch as our very own Dave Wiersma demonstrates how to use a de-thatcher on your lawn!

Tip 2: Use an Aerator to Break Compact Soil

Plug Aerator – When overseeding an existing lawn, look at renting a plug aerator (Like these plug aerators for rent at Koopman Lumber!) Plug aeration breaks up that compact topsoil without destroying your lawn. Try to take the aerator out the day after we’ve had some rain, and make sure the plugs are 2-3″ in length. Go over the whole lawn in straight lines, raising the tines whenever you need to make a turn. Since you rented it, make sure you get good use out of it and go back across the lawn in a grid-like pattern.

Let’s head back over to Dave and let him show us how to put that aerator to use!

Tip 3: Fertilize BEFORE Seeding!

new-seeding-lawn-fertilizerWe recommend getting out there and fertilizing before spreading seed. This gives the nutrients found in the fertilizer a chance to really get down into the soil and prepare the way for your grass seed! In the fall, we recommend using either a traditional new seeding lawn fertilizer or new seeding lawn fertilizer with crabgrass preventer. Either of these will let you plant your seed the same day, and our favorite brand Jonathan Green just happens to make both! We recommend the fertilizer with Crabgrass preventer, as rototilling and plug aeration has a high chance of slinging up dormant crabgrass seed. Don’t let crabgrass ruin the lawn you’re trying to create!

Tip 4: Use a Slice Seeder

LAWN-SEEDER-DROP_SLICER-W-ALK-CLASSENSlice Seeders are the best way to seed or overseed your lawn. These excellent tools drop the seed in front of some motorized tines that help to sink the seeds into the ground, guaranteeing a higher germination rate on your lawn!

Run your aerator with about half of your overall amount of grass seed in it, going vertically across the area you are seeding/overseeding. Note; You pick which direction is vertical and which is horizontal, it doesn’t matter as long as you know which is which! Go straight up and down the section you’re seeding in parallel lines until you’ve covered the entire area.

Load up the other half of your seed and cover the same area going horizontally, or perpendicular to your previous seeding.

Finally, let our own Dave Wiersma guide you on your journey through using the Classen TS-20 Overseeder!

Tip 5: Water Properly for Strong Roots

Water the lawn lightly each day to ensure the top 1 inch of soil stays moist.  Water for 10-15 minutes with an oscillating sprinkler, but not to the point where there are puddles. It is imperative not to saturate the soil. Continue watering daily until you have mowed the new grass 1-2 times.  Once established, water for longer periods less often to encourage roots to reach down for the water they need.  Frequent watering does not promote strong roots.

Wrap Up

Do you have tips that aren’t on this list? Have questions about how to get your best lawn ever? Leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to respond to you!