Fall Overseeding and Your Patchy Lawn

Fall Overseeding and Your Patchy Lawn
  • Opening Intro -

    Your lawn has survived the summer beat down, but it is now patchy, worn and a bit pathetic.

    Fall is the ideal time to aerate and overseed your lawn, a twin effort that can yield extraordinary results.


If you want to have a lush lawn next spring, then you need to tend your lawn before air temperatures drop and the ground freezes.

1. Tend your lawn.

Prior to overseeding, you need to prepare the soil to receive the new seeds. Here, you need to cultivate first. The Cornell University Cooperative Extension recommends removing cores of soil, spiking and vertical mowing as part of a lawn preparation regimen. Spiking is a type of aerator that uses spikes to dig in and loosen soil.

2. Wait until the leaves have fallen.

If you did not overseed your lawn before the leaves began to change and fall, your best bet is to simply wait until all the leaves have dropped and have been cleared from your lawn. This effort will ensure two things: that the lawn has been properly raked and aerated, and that the seeds will make contact with the soil. Some grasses, however, including fescue must be seeded in September notes the Kansas State Research and Extension. Consider dormant seeding if the window for reseeding in your area has closed.

3. Overseed according to instructions.

Each grass seed manufacturer determines the amount of seed you will need to help your lawn take hold. When buying grass seed, choose the right type of grass for your lawn. Then, choose the overseeding rate to determine how much seed to apply.

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4. Fertilize your lawn.

To produce the greenest lawns, you need to fertilize it regularly. You can do this once per year or you can follow a regimen developed by Scott’s for your lawn. Apply your last fertilizer just before winter to strengthen its roots and to enable it to quickly green in the spring.

5. Water your lawn.

Fall tends to bring more rain than summer, thus you can typically receive a natural replenishment of your lawn with rain water instead of using your sprinkler system or a hose. Monitor rainfall amounts in your area to ensure that your emerging lawn is getting sufficient coverage.

Lawn Coverage

If you are not sure what type of grass to use on your lawn and when to apply it, contact your state’s extension service for assistance. Every state offers this assistance, working with the USDA to ensure that your lawn can receive the proper care.

Home Improvement reference:

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Last update on 2020-03-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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Categories: Yard and Garden

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".