Reseeding is a technique used to restore grass sod to thin, damaged, or bare spots in your lawn. Best done in the fall, reseeding is a simple process but requires careful preparation to ensure success and a thick healthy sod. You can reseed your lawn with mechanical equipment or do it entirely by hand, depending on how much area you need to replant with grass seed.
- First, you should thatch your lawn. This will remove that layer of thatch that grows between the soil and surface foliage. Left intact, grass will take root in thatch instead of the underlying soil creating a perfect medium for disease, pests, and other onerous lawn problems. Thatch not later than late August if you are going to reseed your lawn. You can thatch your lawn with mechanical thatchers, special rakes, or mowers equipped for the purpose.
- Rake the lawn to remove thatch and prepare the top layer of soil.
- Loosen the soil to at least a depth of 1″ for bare spots. Pulverize it to break down any large clumps of dirt.
- If the areas to be reseeded are subject to heavy foot traffic, loosen the soil at least 6″ deep.
- Add fertilizer to feed the new grass and gypsum or peat moss soil amendments to aid in keeping the soil loose.
- Level the areas to be repaired with the rake.
Reseeding the lawn
- Purchase the correct grass seed. If you are reseeding a large area make sure that you match the existing grasses as closely as possible or the reseeded area will be painfully conspicuous.
- Take the location into consideration when deciding whether to buy grass seed for a shady area or one fully exposed to the sun.
- For small areas, broadcast the seed by hand.
- For larger areas you can use a seeder that broadcasts the seed as you push it or turn a crank.
- Watering is probably the most important aspect of reseeding a lawn. Too much water or too little and you can destroy all your hard work.
- Lightly water the newly seeded area and cover it with a light layer of clear plastic to help keep moisture in and minimize watering.
- As soon as grass sprouts appear remove the plastic sheeting. Water the area lightly approximately two or three times a day until the grass is about 1″ tall. Then water the area once a week until the grass is well sodded and about 3″ tall.
When mowing your lawn do not cut over one third the height of the grass at a time.
Raise the blade high enough so you do not scuff the lawn with the mower blades.
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