For a full green lawn, you may choose to overseed. By using thorough aeration techniques and fertilizer you can be successful with this method. You can overseed in the spring or fall. The best time is fall but, if you want to repair areas that have been damaged by snow, spring is fine, too! Don’t plant grass seed in July or August. In September only plant until mid-month. After this time, you may dormant seed. See our experts in the garden store for more information on this technique.
Step 1: Mow Lawn Short
Mow your grass a bit shorter than usual. A height of 1½ to 2 inches is best.
Step 2: Rake Area Thoroughly
Use a garden rake or landscape rake. Take care not to tear out too much of the existing lawn, but thoroughly expose bare patches. You may choose to fill in any holes at this time with topsoil.
Step 3: Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration is important because it improves your lawn’s appearance, usability, and ability to absorb water. Lawn aeration increases nutrient uptake and helps to break up compaction, allowing roots of existing grass to breathe. An aerator that pulls up plugs is more effective than one that simply pokes holes. Leave soil cores on top of the lawn to help grass seed germination.
Step 4: Broadcast Starter Lawn Fertilizer
Apply new lawn starter or turf growth. Follow directions on package. Keep in mind that if you live near a body of water in Manitoba, there are restrictions on fertilizing. Make sure to check if there are any restrictions in your area by going to manitoba.ca/waterstewardship
Step 5: Broadcast Seed Over Lawn
Use overseeding rates listed for mix per 1000 square feet. Use a hand spreader for small areas and a fertilizer spreader for large areas. For a more uniform seeding, broadcast one-half of the seed in one direction and the other half in a direction perpendicular to the first.
Step 6: Rake
Rake lightly and thoroughly with a leaf rake to ensure good seed and soil contact which will increase germination. Failure to complete this step is the main reason overseeding will fail.
Step 7: Watering
Water on a regular schedule to make sure seed and soil stay moist. Sunny locations and dry weather will require you to water more frequently. Using a timer will help you achieve an even growing environment. Once the grass germinates, you can cut back on the watering.