Sometimes your lawn looks like it’s taken a beating. Worn out with dry patches all over as a result of pet damage, too much foot traffic or simply loss of condition.
If this is the case, it’s probably time to reseed. Summer time is the best time to prepare your lawn for the coming spring to help revive it into the green lush wonder it once was.
There are few basic steps that you will need to observe when reseeding your lawn. Let’s consider them below.
Details of How to Reseed Your Lawn
First Things First: Dethatching
Thatch refers to the grass clipping that are left behind after mowing the lawn. This is usually the case when using a mower that does not have a grass catcher such as a reel mower. Thatch creates an environment for pests to thrive in. this is why it’s important to remove it.
To do this simply take a rake and pull out all the clippings. Ensure that only the lawn grass is left intact.
Time to Aerate
Aeration will help take out hard compact spots on the lawn allowing the grass roots to grow and spread much easier. Water will be able to penetrate deeper into the ground. Nutrients will also decompose and get absorbed much more efficiently.
The best time to aerate is in the fall. This will allow the roots of the grass to develop better during the winter months.
Depending on the size of your lawn, you can opt to manually aerate yourself or use a gas powered aerator. If your lawn is on the smaller side, simply use a gardening fork to poke holes and loosen soil.
If on the other hand your lawn is quite large getting a machine to help you will prove most effective. These push spike, also known as coring aerators come with spikes in their wheels that loosen the oil.
It’s important to note that aeration will not work when the lawn is damp. The best time is when the ground is slightly moist.
Reseeding the Lawn
As time goes by and seasons change, your lawn may continue to lose condition. If just a few bare patches can be seen, you can simply add new grass seeds to them. If however most of the lawn is in bad shape, it’s time to reseed it all over again. Ensure you do this before the frosts sets in.
Start by using a rake to loosen up the soil. When getting your grass seed, be careful not to buy cheap as this often means low quality seeds. And if you think you can counter this by buying in bulk, you should know that most seeds usually come with filler material.
The best thing to do is to read the seed label. You will likely find information on the level of disease resistance, rate of germination as well as the quantity of inert material. Use this to pick the best quality seeds.
With the right information, pick the type of seed that is most appropriate for your environment and your lawn. For an even seed dispersal, make use of a spreader.
With the seeds safely on the lawn, pick up your good old rake and cover it lightly with soil. The next step is to keep the lawn moist. You can do this twice a day. Ensure that people and family members are not stepping on the lawn as the ground could compact making it hard for the seeds to germinate.
When the original grass grows due to the constant moisture, ensure you perform regular mowing. This will help to keep it short and give the seedlings a chance to catch up.
Fertilizing the Lawn
When fertilizing a reseeded lawn, observing the proper time will give the seedlings the best chance to develop. The older grass will also gain a much needed boost in nutrients.
The best time to fertilize is during late fall. During the winter, the roots will develop, getting more robust and ready for the coming spring.
When applying the fertilizer, ensure that the spreader is set to the right quantity. This will prevent overfeeding the grass which will do more harm than good. The entire lawn should receive the same quantity of fertilizer.
Watering the Lawn
Remember to water the lawn frequently. Using an oscillating sprinkler is best as the water is dropped directly overhead. This prevents the grass seeds from being pushed away resulting in bare patches.
Do this twice or even thrice a day when the temperatures are warm and not hot. Avoid watering in the evenings as this provides a wet environment for fungus to grow since the water just sits on the leaves.
Once the seedlings are about an inch or two tall, reduce the watering schedule to once a week. Contrary to popular opinion, watering too often will cause the grass to have a shallow root system that does not do well as the seasons change.
The main reason to water frequently is to give the new grass a chance to reach the appropriate height. You are now ready to see your grass over the cold winter. With the right foundation, it will come back lush and green during the spring.
A few Useful Tips
Before reseeding your lawn, it is good practice to check the PH level of the soil. Normally the best PH for grass growth is between 6.5 and 7. In case the soil is lower than 6.5 spread lime over the surface of your lawn to raise it back to normal. In case the PH is higher than 7, you can use sulfur to lower it again.
You will also need to keep an eye out for weed. Chances are there are quite a few on the lawn especially if there were quite a bit of bare patches. Weed tends to thrive in lawns where the grass is not thick. The best way to deal with them is to pluck them out. This will stop them from growing back in the spring.