Five Fall Seeding Success Tips


Fall is the best time to seed your lawn. Overseeding improves lawns overall health, giving you a thicker more resilient stand of grass next season.

The recommended timeframe for fall seeding is between Labor Day and late October. (Those dates could sway a couple of weeks either way, depending upon weather and specific lawn situations.)

Here are the five DIY steps for fall seeding success

BUY QUALITY SEED.

You may think that all grasses are created equal, but they are not. Some grasses don’t survive the heat of the Midwest. Ryan picks grass varieties that have great color and great performance in the Midwest. The big box stores find the cheapest seed in the largest quantity to stock their stores. They are not concerned with grass performance. If you don’t buy grass from us, buy it from a locally owned lawn/garden store.

SEED TO SOIL CONTACT.

Don’t just sprinkle the seed on the ground. You may see moderate results from this approach. For the best outcome, you need to work the seed into the top half-inch of soil with a rake (for small areas) or a verti-cutting machine (for large areas). Aerating and overseeding is OK for thickening up the lawn, but for bare ground or very thin areas, a verti-cutting machine is the best plan of action.

KEEP IT WET.

In the early part of September, on those warmer and windy days, you may need to water 2-3 times a day to keep the soil moist. I usually recommend once a day, in the middle part of the day (noon-3 pm). You want to keep the soil constantly damp. Use light, frequent applications to keep the soil surface that dark brown color.

KEEP IT WET AFTER IT GERMINATES.

Many times, I see people quit watering as soon as they see some green grass pop out of the ground. This is a critical time for the grass. It is trying to grow, but it doesn’t have much of a root system. So it will still require daily irrigation. Once it reaches the height to be mowed, you can start cutting back on the watering to every other day and then to every 3 days, and so on.

LEAF CLEANUP. Minimal leaf coverage matted on the ground can kill your grass. You can rake them, or if your trees are small with small amounts of leaves, you can mow and mulch them into your lawn.

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