The Q&A Archives: Overseeding

Question: Last year I put down sod and loved it. This year I can't keep it green. Could you explain overseeding in DETAIL. Please advise on how to get that thick,rich green look. I tried some patchmaster product and no luck.

Dave York
Toutle, Wa

Answer: I wonder if your sod contained mostly cool season grasses? If so, they may have gone dormant during the summer but will green up again this fall when the weather cools. You might check into that so you'll know what to expect in subsequent years. You can overseed your sod with warm season grasses such as Kentucky Blue. This will provide you with a green lawn in both hot summer weather and cool spring, fall and winter weather. To overseed, mow the area to 1? inches to reduce competition from established grasses. Short mowing helps prevent the seed from lodging in tall grass and lets light reach the new seedlings. Use a grass catcher on the mower or sweep up excess clippings. Do not scalp off all the existing turf - some is needed to protect the germinating seed from wind, hot sun, and heavy rain.

Broadcast the seed over the lawn with either a rotary or drop-seeder. Use 2-3 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn. To ensure proper germination you will need to keep the seeds moist. This means watering three to four times daily. Light, frequent watering will yield the best results.

Five weeks after germination, apply a quick release nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of 1 lb/1000 ft.

Best wishes with your turf!

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