Now that autumn is here, there’s still time to get your lawn in great shape for next year: aerate and overseed now! The idea of aerating and overseeding lawns as part of a regular maintenance has been around for years, but it is still new to many homeowners. This one step will do more to improve the quality of your lawn than almost anything else you can do. For a full green lawn, follow these seven steps on how to overseed your lawn using thorough aeration techniques, fertilizer, and crabgrass preventer:
Step 1: Mow Lawn Short
Mow your grass to a height of 1½ to 2 inches.
Step 2: Rake Area Thoroughly
Use a garden rake or landscape rake. Take care not to tear out too much of the existing lawn.
Step 3: Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration improves your lawn’s appearance, usability, and ability to absorb water from irrigation. Lawn aeration increases nutrient uptake and helps to break up compaction, allowing roots of existing grass to breathe. An aerator that pulls up plugs is more effective than one that simply pokes holes. Leave soil cores on top of the lawn to help grass seed germination.
Step 4: Broadcast Starter Lawn Fertilizer
New seed needs a starter lawn fertilizer just like the entire lawn did when it was first planted. Most starter fertilizers will typically be a mixture was a 1-2-1 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, just what the new seeds need and great for the older turf as well.
Step 5: Broadcast Seed Over Lawn
Determine the best grass seed mix for your yard. Use overseeding rates listed for mix per 1000 square feet and use a hand spreader for small areas and a fertilizer spreader for large areas. For a more uniform seeding, broadcast one-half of the seed in one direction and the other half in a direction perpendicular to the first.
Step 6: Rake
Rake lightly and thoroughly with a leaf rake to ensure good seed and soil contact which will increase germination.
Step 7: Water!
Water on a regular schedule to make sure seed and soil stay moist. Sunny locations and dry weather will require you to water more frequently. Using a timer will help you achieve an even growing environment.