Over Seeding Your Lawn
Our lawns go through lots of wear and tear, whether its from kid's football games, dogs running about, or just general damage from the weather. At some point you will need to carry out some repairs to your lawn, and the best way of doing this is by over seeding. This basically means filling in the patches with grass seed in order to improve the overall appearance of your lawn.
The best time to over seed a lawn is September, although spring is also a good time. These months are ideal because the weather is not too warm, too cold, too wet or too dry so the seed should be able to germinate. Begin by giving the lawn a close mow, this will make sure the seed can get as much light and nutrients as possible as it reduces the competition.
You should also scarify the lawn before putting the seed down. This basically means thoroughly raking the areas you want to seed with the aim of removing any dead matter and thatch. This is best done when the lawn is dry. The ideal way to rake is to go in one direction to start, and then go over the area again at a slightly different angle. Only vary the direction a small amount as raking the lawn at right angles is likely to cause damage.
It is a good idea to spread the seed after rainfall as the ground will already be moist. Ideally you should mix the seed with a carrier, such as compost. This will help you spread the seed evenly but also help it to germinate. Spread the seed according to the supplier's instructions. The over seeding rate will be different to if you were creating a lawn from scratch. Whilst it might be tempting to pack in as much seed as possible, this will ultimately be to the detriment of the lawn. The seed will either be too crowded to take or you will end up with very thick dense patches of grass that will look unsightly.
You'll need to make sure the seed is in contact with the soil. The scarifying process should have made this much easier to do. Use a roller to press the seed into the soil. If you don’t have access to a roller, you can just tread over the lawn with your feet. This ensures the seed has contact with the soil. This is an essential part of the seeding process.
It is a good idea to give the lawn a feed at the same time. Use a fertiliser that is low in nitrogen as the seeds prefer not to have too many nutrients to begin with. The seed will need to remain moist, but not so wet that it gets washed away. You can continue to mow your lawn whilst the seed in germinating. However, don’t cut it more than once a week and keep your mower on its highest setting to reduce stress on the new grass.