When Should You Overseed a Fescue Lawn?
If you want to have a luscious fescue lawn, then you should start overseeding in the fall. During this time, overseeding fescue grass seed is ideal. Many homeowners overseed about three weeks before the first autumn frost. However, the right time may be different for your specific area. When you overseed fescue in the fall, your seeds will have plenty of time to germinate. With this fall project, you can enjoy a beautiful fescue lawn for the upcoming spring and summer.
Overseeding During the Fall
Fescue grass needs to have constant moisture during the germination process. In the fall, the season produces enough water for the seeds without the threat of heavy rainstorms. When you overseed in the fall, there is less competition from those grassy weeds, such as foxtails or crabgrass.
The autumn temperatures are still warm for your fescue seeds. These temperatures are vital for germination. With the cooler autumn air, the fescue grass will grow healthier and stronger throughout your yard. Your grass seeds also benefit during the spring. They can begin another season of root development before the summer heat.
How To Overseed Your Fescue Lawn
Before you start to overseed your fescue lawn, you need to complete a few steps. You should do a little preparation before tackling this project. For starters, if you use a pre-emergent herbicide, these treatments can be harmful to your seeds’ health. You should stop any application a few weeks before overseeding. These pre-emergent herbicides can prevent any germination from your fescue seeds.
A soil test is another crucial step in the overseeding process. You might want to run a soil test about two weeks before your overseeding project. With this test, you will know if you need to raise your lawn’s pH levels with a lime application. In some cases, you might have to add fertilizers to improve the health of your turf. By conducting this test, you can be confident that your pre-existing lawn is ready for the overseeding process.
If you need to add any soil amendments, you can easily purchase them from your local home and garden store. For those who need to add fertilizer, there are some alternatives to chemicals. Organic composts can provide nutrients for your soil. With these nutrients, you can get your lawn ready for the grass seeds.
Finally, the last step is aeration of your lawn. With aeration, you can break up those clumps of compacted soil and provide some room for your fescue seeds to germinate. If you don’t have an aerator, you can rent one or hire a professional company to take care of this step.
The Day of Overseeding
On the day of your overseeding project, there are a couple more steps to follow. If you have excess vegetation, then you will want to mow the lawn. With this process, the seeds will be able to root into the ground without any obstructions. Shorter blades of grass can also help the seeds reach the soil.
If you are looking for other ways to improve your seeds’ germination, you may want to rake your lawn to remove any other debris. By removing excess leaves and debris, the seeds can reach the soil for germination. When you are raking the lawn, look out for those low or high points in your yard. Any of those spots should be leveled out before you overseed.
For those who haven’t aerated the yard, now is the time. With the aerator, you want to start in a grid-like pattern to cover the yard. The aerator should move from north to south, and then you want to come back in an east to west direction. As you aerate, you will create pockets that allow for water, nutrients, and air movement near the root line.
The right fescue seeds make a big difference for your yard. You will want to add high-quality seeds. Depending on your specific fescue, make sure to check the label for the appropriate amount of seed for your space. Generally, lawns require about 4 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet. However, the rate can change depending on the thickness of your yard. If you are overseeding every year, then you will not need to add large amounts of seeds.
In most cases, you can complete the job with a hand-held spreader. Many of these spreaders have several settings that allow you to adjust the distribution speed of the seeds. These fescue seeds should be spread out in a grid-like pattern. You will want to start in a north-south direction for one section of the lawn and finish off the other side in an east-west pattern.
Once the seeds have been planted, add a layer of protection. Many people will use wheat straw, but this layer can introduce foreign seeds into your grass. If you are looking to avoid this problem, you may want to add organic compost to your lawn. Some compost can help you increase your soil’s nutrition and act as a fertilizer for your seeds.
Watering Is Important
All these steps can help improve the germination stage of your fescue seeds. Once the seeds have been planted, watering is essential. You want to water immediately after planting. It is important to make sure you wet the seeds. For the best results, water your grass twice a day until the fescue starts to germinate. During the germination process, the soil needs to stay moist. With the proper care, your fescue will begin to grow in two weeks. Once the seeds have germinated, you can cut back on the watering schedule.
Fall Is the Best Time To Overseed
If you are looking for the ideal time to overseed fescue, then you cannot go wrong in the fall. At Charlestown Landscaping, we can help with your overseeding project. Our team will prepare your lawn and make sure it is ready for the seeds. We will even come out and plant the seeds for you. To schedule a consultation for your property, please fill out the contact form.