Overseeding is the term given to the process of improving sward development, by adding new seeds to grow and blend into the existing grass, creating a plusher, thicker turf. It improves the overall look of the grass, and the added density can prevent weeds from getting through.
Grass is gradually deteriorating all the time – this is because, in areas such as domestic gardens, sports pitches or land maintained by councils, the grass is mown regularly, which interrupts its natural life cycle of producing seed heads each summer. For this reason, it is important to replenish the grass.
In the agricultural and sports industries, overseeding can offer considerable savings in both time and money. It is less costly than reseeding an entire swathe of land, and, for sports grounds, it means fewer periods of time where it cannot be utilised at all.
We have compiled six tips for fuss-free overseeding:
- Spring and autumn are the ideal times of year to overseed. First, choose which selection of seeds to use. You can either choose the same type as the existing lawn to blend in, or if you are not happy with the behaviour or appearance of your lawn, choosing a different type can help to change the colour, texture and density of the grass.
- Next, mow the lawn down to about an inch before adding in the new seeds. This will make it easier for the seedlings to compete with the existing grass.
- Remember to aerate the soil, as this will help the seeds come into contact with the soil and allow them to germinate. This can be a laborious task if done by hand, but using an aerator can make light work of large areas in no time.
- Evenly spread the seeds over the area, adding more where the lawn is particularly patchy or bare. There is a machine for this job too! Using an overseeder will save time, and provide an even covering of seeds – perfect for gardeners with large lawns. Cover the grass lightly with a small amount of compost to deter birds from eating them all! Be wary of putting too much down, however, as this can suffocate and kill existing blades of grass.
- Generously water at least twice a day for the first week, followed by two or three times a week after that.
- Once the seeds have germinated, apply a fertiliser and wait for the lawn to reach two and half inches in length before mowing again.