Should You Overseed Your Lawn in the Spring?

By Brian Mounts | Feb 26, 2020
Should You Overseed Your Lawn in the Spring

Although Fall is always the perfect time to overseed, you can still have a lush and beautiful lawn by overseeding in the Spring. While your lawn may look bad to harsh weather conditions, aging, or pest infestations, overseeding can bring it back to life.

Overseeding is a technique that allows you to grow new grass seed on existing turfgrass or lawn without having to tear up the soil/turf.

It is one of the best ways to easily fill up sparse spots and restore your lawn to a beautiful verdant field.

In this article, I’ll be guiding you on how to go about this in the beautiful season of Spring.

Why Spring Isn’t the Best Time to Overseed

Overseeding during Spring requires a great deal of attention to ensure that your efforts don’t get wasted. And this is because the weather at this time doesn’t favor the germination of grass seeds.

#1. Temperature

Ground temperature controls seed germination, and if eventually, your seed germinates, you still need to invest time in a new lawn. At this point, you must be careful to mow, fertilize, and water the new lawn.

The approaching summer temperature may also pose a problem. And this is because the heat, sunlight, and drought make taking care of the turf a little more demanding and difficult.

Also, there is a probability that frost might eliminate your new turf if it happens to germinate during early Spring.

The Best Time to Put Down Grass Seed

#2. Weeds

Aggressive weeds such as crabgrass thrive on sparse areas during the spring season. Without consistent and dedicated attention, there’s almost a high possibility of aggressive weeds taking over and stifling the growth of your new and tender turf.

There are herbicides, though, you can use to control the rise of crab grasses and other aggressive weeds. But these products are pricey without a guaranteed result and most of them will not only stop the invading weeds and broad-leaf invadors but they will also stop the germination and growth of baby grass.

► Can You Use Pre-Emergents & Overseed at the Same Time?

Top Quality Steps to Take During Overseeding

If you must overseed during Spring, then keep following. Improper overseeding is always a waste of time and money; hence, here are some steps to expect a lush lawn.

#1. Keep the Grasses Low

Before overseeding, make sure to mow your yard shorter than you normally would. And also, gather up the clippings and rake your yard if need be. This exercise will help take out dried twigs, debris, leaves, and thatch.

But most importantly, it will help to expose and loosen up the top layer of the soil, and allow your grass seeds to enter easily, germinate and sprout. The seed must have contact with the soil to actually germinate so this is very important.

When is it Too Late to Sow Grass Seed

#2. Selecting the Best Seeds

You want to choose a seed that is consistent with what you already have on your lawn. It’s best to know what variety of grass your lawn has. It could either be cool-season grass or warm-season grass.

Here are some articles I have on special types of grass seed:

The Best Grass Seed Varieties for Shade
Dog Resistant Grass Seed

#3. Enrich the Soil

If you’ll be using just grass seeds without including other products in your overseeding exercise, it’s advisable to add a thin layer of enriched soil over the existing grass. It’s even better to do this after planting the seed.

However, you must make sure that you do not add more than ¼” so that you don’t end up destroying the existing turf.

This is called top-dressing and it can be very helpful for feeding your lawn as well as for leveling it.

#5. Circulate Your Seeds

Now that you’ve taken care of the basics, it’s time to spread your seeds using the grass spring technique. It isn’t hard at all. Fill up the spreader with fresh grass seeds and overseed in the direction on the label of your seed bag.

Drop Spreaders VS Broadcast Spreader: Which to Use

#6. Supply Your Seeds with the Necessary Requirements

Your seeds need extra watering and feeding, especially since Spring is not the most suitable time for turf growth. These little extras will help provide the essential nutrients your grass seedlings need for growth and development.

Maintenance That Follows Overseeding

As have been previously mentioned, Fall makes the most conducive environment for your seeds. Overseeding during Spring should be followed up by an intensive maintenance routine to ensure maximum results. Here are a few timeless things you should consider doing:

#1. Consider Applying a Starter Fertilizer

When overseeding, consider applying a starter fertilizer either before or immediately after seeding; it will help you jump-start the growth process. And this is even more important in a low Phosphorus soil.

Starter fertilizer contains phosphorus needed for the growth of your seeds. But one downside from adding phosphorus to the soil is that weeds will also thrive relatively well alongside your grass.

On the other hand, a thick turf will inhibit the growth of weeds in the long run. And yes, Starter fertilizers are what you need for this.

#2. Moistening Your Grass Seeds

Seeds need lots of water to germinate during Spring. It’s important to moisten the soil by sprinkling it throughout the germination time. Don’t make a puddle or a pool though, keep sprinkling enough water to keep the soil moist.

When you notice that your grass has started sprouting, you can then reduce the amount of water. This time, concentrate your efforts less on the frequency and more on watering deeper. Avoid soaking the soil frequently, so that root rot diseases do not affect your sprouting grass.

As time goes on and you begin to notice growth, it’s advisable to give the soil time to dry a little before watering it again.

As much as watering your grass seeds is of utmost importance, you must also be careful to water properly, to prevent either soaking the soil and increasing the chances of diseases such as root rot or underwatering it and risking the chances of the tender roots drying out.

Here are more articles on best grass seed irrigation practices:

Can You Overwater Grass Seed?
When to Stop Watering New Grass Seed?
How Long Does it Take for Grass Seed to Fully Grow

#3. Deciding Whether to Cover or Leave the Seeds Uncovered

Covering of seeds shades the soil and reduces the chances of evaporation. Normally, when overseeding the yard or the lawn, the existing turf acts as a shade for the newer ones. But in critical cases, the soil might need to be raked to cover the new seeds lightly.

If you decide to apply compost, it’s advisable to spread it first before spreading your seeds, after which you rake the seeds, so that this time, the compost can cover it a little. All of these are to prevent you from suffocating the seeds and therefore inhibiting growth.

You can also use several other coverings for your seeds. Some, such as wheat straws are pretty inexpensive and easy to use.

Covering seeded areas can also help prevent seed loss to birds. See this post for more ideas to keep the birds at bay.

Are There Any Benefits of Overseeding During Spring

Overseeding during Spring might not be the best of ideas, but we can’t disagree that it can still give you the results you require. However, it requires you to give extra attention to the whole sprouting process and to keep up a regimented watering schedule during the hotter months of summer.

#1. Provides a fast and efficient way of revitalizing your lawn

Overseeding during the early spring period will cause you to have healthy and verdant fields. Early overseeding during Spring will restore worn out, and sparse looking grasses, so they look natural and attractive.

Overseeding will ensure that the existing turf isn’t disturbed or damaged while at the same time cause an increase in the growth of a healthier crop of grass. In thin grassy areas the extra grass blades will help shade the soil and keep it from getting too hot so even if the grass dies off the established grass will be healthier throughout the season.

#2. Strengthening old lawns

Older lawns usually suffer from insect pests and are most times affected by diseases because of incompatible grass types. Hence, they most times need more frequent watering and fertilizing.

But with the overseeding lawn technique, more current grass types can be planted among the older ones, thereby breeding a stronger and more resistant grass coverage. Also, it’ll eventually transform a worn-out lawn to a stronger, more resilient one, able to withstand diseases, insects, pests, drought, weighty foot, etc.

#3. Naturally Healthy Lawns

With the right practice, overseeding gives naturally healthy and verdant fields. And this is because there would be a drastic decrease in the volume of pesticides, fertilizer, and even water that is needed to support healthy growth.

A yard that has undergone efficient overseeding practice will naturally produce fuller, healthier green grasses. You can revitalize the most worn out and dull-looking lawn through this easy and simple technique.

Conclusion

There we have it! Should you overseed your lawn during Spring?  Most likely not, Autumn is better! Spring seeding is not that easy to maintain and you can’t control weeds as much.

But, if you pay careful attention to details and are early enough, before the summer heat becomes an issue, then it can yield good results as well.

Before you begin overseeding, be sure you’re willing to go through the extra hassles rather than waiting for the fall season.

Here are a few more articles that may help with seeding:

How Much Grass Seed Do You Need Per Square Foot?
What Does Potassium do for Grass
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Grass