Dethatching and overseeding your lawn should be a routine annual part of your lawn maintenance but it frequently goes by the wayside. The goal of dethatching and overseeding your lawn is to keep it looking beautiful and lush. The truth of the matter is many homeowners overseed their lawns as a way to combat a thinning lawn whereas professionals do it to prevent it from thinning in the first place!
If you’re unfamiliar with how to properly overseed your lawn, much of the seed is wasted as newly-sprouted roots have nowhere to go and are prevented from every reaching the topsoil. So how can you combat this wasted seed and ensure your efforts are successful? To do that, you need to know about dethatching before you overseed.
What is Dethatching and Overseeding?
So what is dethatching and overseeding anyway? Thatch is the layer of dead grass or debris just above the soil. In small amounts, it can be beneficial, but if it grows too quickly or too thick it can prevent air and water from reaching your grass properly, thereby choking your lawn and causing brown spots. Dethatching, then, by default, is the process of removing too thick a layer of debris from above the soil, allowing your impending new seed to contact the soil and flourish. Overseeding is easy enough to understand as it is the process of spreading grass seeding over an existing lawn.
When dethatching your lawn, do not become hysterical when it appears you are causing the damage! As time carries on, thatch becomes compacted down on your lawn and removing it may bring some live grass along. Though this may seem counterintuitive, any live grass that comes with your dethatching process likely had inadequate root systems and your lawn will be better served by its absence! Dethatching is a labor-intensive, exhausting process and it may be worth it to hire a lawn professional if only to pass on the chore! If you choose to dethatch your lawn yourself, make sure you have the correct tools. A dethatching rake is required to do the job properly.
The following are dethatching tips that you can follow:
- Water your lawn the day before you intend to dethatch it
- Cut your grass short–specifically to about half its normal height
- Consider running over thatch with mulching blades to decompose and feed your lawn
- Water your lawn after dethatching so your lawn can beginning the recovery process
After you have dethatched your lawn, it’s time to overseed it! To successfully overseed your lawn, consider your local climate, what will thrive in your area, the best time of year to overseed, and what your goal is. Cool-season grasses in northern regions are best overseeded in late summer or fall. If you’ve missed out on this window, spring is a suitable alternative because these grasses grow most during these times of the year. Given the harsher winters, it is recommended that you overseed your lawn at least 45 days before the first frosts are expected. Warm-season lawns in more southern regions are best overseeded in late spring as they enter their growing season. To have a nice color over winter, consider overseeding these in fall, as well.
Before overseeding, test your soil to make any corrections needed and promote the best growth and consult a lawn professional about choosing the best seed for your climate. Broadcast spreaders are great for handling large lawns while handheld spreaders are fine for smaller areas. If you are overseeding a very small spot, spreading by hand is just fine. The key is to ensure you are overseeding evenly.
After you overseed the desired area, ensure your lawn is fertilized and watered properly. Newly spread seeds need consistent moisture to grow. Keeping your newly-seeded area watered properly promoted healthy root growth, prevent wilting, and benefit your lawn.
Dethatching and overseeding your lawn is a necessary job to keep it looking lush. Approach the job before your lawn begins to show signs of deterioration and you can be the envy of the neighbors! Are you maintaining your lawn like you should? It’s never too late to start!
NVS Landscapes offers Dethatching and Overseeding Services. Contact us using the form below if you’re interested in a quote, or give us a call!
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