While you may sometimes hear spring discussed as an ideal time to overseed, Minnesota homeowners can actually benefit from carrying out the task preceding fall, or at the very start of it. Simply stated: Overseeding involves laying seeds over an existing lawn – something that helps reinvigorate the grass when your lawn is beginning to look thin.
The best time to overseed typically depends on weather conditions, wherein temperatures aren’t too cold, or too hot. As a rule of thumb, it’s generally recommended to overseed when daytime temperatures are somewhere between 60 to 75 degrees – providing seeds the proper conditions they need to successfully germinate in order to produce beautiful green turf.
Give your lawn a nice cut but before laying down new seed, you may also need to dethatch depending on your lawn’s condition. A lawn with too much thatch can actually stop the seeds from reaching the ground level (For more information, see our post on dethatching).
Also, aerating the lawn is another great way to ensure that the seeds you’re about to lay down are going to reach where they need to germinate. This process punches tiny holes in the lawn’s surface and can either be accomplished with an inexpensive handheld aerator, a push aerator, or a tractor attachment (for a more affordable option, you may want to look into renting one).
In Minnesota, Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue are usually the types of seeds you’ll want to go with (Kentucky Bluegrass being the most common). However, this usually depends on what grass you already have.
Once you’re ready to get started, evenly spread your seed mix lightly, starting with your lawn’s edges and working your way in. You can do this by hand, or if you have any concerns regarding how much seed to apply, you can always use a handheld lawn spreader or fertilizer spreader (handheld spreaders are relatively inexpensive online or at your local garden/lawn care store).
After your seed mixture has been laid down, follow up with a light raking – further ensuring that the seeds are evenly spread across the turf. You’ll also want to make sure the lawn is receiving enough H20, watering the turf regularly, yet making sure not to over water (which can harm the seeds).
By overseeding your lawn around fall, you can strengthen the root system of your lawn heading into those colder months of winter – meaning that your lawn will reemerge even stronger once spring arrives some months later.