1. Choose the appropriate time for seeding and the proper seed mixture. The best time to overseed is spring and fall. Choose a seed mixture that is primarily Perennial Ryegrass such “80/20” mix or our 100% Perennial Ryegrass blend. Perennial Ryegrass is more competitive in establishment than Fine Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass and is therefore better suited for overseeding.
2. Mow the area as close as possible (at least down to ½”). Rake the debris. Scalp the area with a mower and/or rake again to expose the soil. This is important, since grass seed needs good soil contact for proper germination.
3. Rake once more with a metal tined rake, scratching the soil surface. This provides a good seed bed.
4. Apply seed at 5-7 pounds per 1000 square feet. If using a drop spreader, it is a good idea to seed half of the recommended rate in one direction, then turn 90 degrees and seed the remainder perpendicular to the first pass. It is okay to use a broadcast spreader but be careful not to seed into unwanted areas such as flowerbeds.
5. Roll lawn with water roller to firm soil surface.
6. Apply a very thin layer of peat moss or topsoil. No more than ¼” should be applied. This step is most important when seeding during the warmer months (June-August) to retain moisture.
7. Water frequently for the first 2-3 weeks. It is important to keep the seed moist without “floating” the seed. Too much water may cause the seed to wash away. Depending on temperature and weather conditions, this may require several short waterings per day. A water timer can be very beneficial in keeping a proper watering schedule.
8. The seed should germinate in about 5-10 days. Mow when the new seedlings are about 2″ tall. Follow the rule of never removing more than 1/3 the height of the grass plant in any one mowing. If grass gets tall before you can mow it, increase your cutting height. Mowing causes a physiological response in the plant to branch out and fill in, so frequent mowing of new seedlings is encouraged.
9. After the first or second mowing, fertilize with a starter fertilizer such as 16-16-16 at 6 pounds per 1000 square feet.
10. Keep traffic to a minimum until lawn has been mowed several times. After approximately four weeks, you should be able to utilize your lawn as before.