How to Reseed a Lawn In the Fall
Load up on information about how and when to re-seed, along with application steps you should take, and equipment you can use to make your reseeding job easier and more effective.
Step 1 - Aerate Your Lawn
Thatch created by dead grass buildup can prevent water from penetrating the soil and getting to your grass roots. Make your lawn more healthy and attractive by using an aerator to allow water from your sprinkler system or irrigation system to penetrate thatch in your lawn. You can rent an aerator from a nearby rental store in your neighborhood and have the average sized lawn aerated in less than an hour.
Step 2 - Loosen Clay Soils
Make soils composed of clay more porous by adding gypsum. This will give your soil new porosity and allow it to absorb nutrients your new seed needs to grow. Spreading gypsum, which better prepares lawns for seeding, should be performed in spring or autumn. For best results spread it at a rate of four pounds for each 100 square feet of lawn.
Step 3 - Spread Fertilizer Rich in Phosphorus
Add phosphorus-rich fertilizer to lawns to encourage root growth during autumn months of October and November. Grass roots from your new seed will grow deeper, and will absorb water for longer periods of time, and will be less likely to dry in warmer daytime temperatures. Before applying phosphorus, test your lawn for phosphorus content by using a tester. Usually, you will find one of these tests at a nearby nursery, hardware store, or home improvement center.
Step 4 - Choose The Best Time to Re-seed
If you plan to apply lime, phosphorus, or fertilizer, and if your climate daytime temperature is not unusually hot when you re-seed, this will be the best time to apply your new lawn seed. Use the spreader type of your choice, hand spreader, rotary, or drop spreader.
Step 5 - Cover Your Grass Seed
After applying your grass seed, use peat moss or straw to cover the reseeded area. This will keep your new seed moist, prevent it from drying out, and encourage faster and more even growth. Use only a light covering of the peat or straw that will allow water to penetrate and reach your new seed.
Step 6 - Use Proper Watering
Follow proven watering methods for supplying water to your new grass seed. Some of these methods include watering only in the cooler times of day or during night hours. This will encourage growth of deeper grass roots. Avoid over-watering, which can result in rotting of new roots that grow from reseeding. Give your lawn approximately one inch of water per day for one or two waterings per week. To determine the amount of water your lawn is receiving, place an empty bowl or can in your watering area and measure the accumulated water quickly after it is watered and before it evaporates.