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Overseeding Existing Lawns


Existing lawns can be improved by an annual Perennial Ryegrass overseeding program. Overseeding with Perennial Ryegrass naturally crowds out small weeds. Weed invasion is also minimized as the plant becomes denser.

Overseeding is most effective both in the Spring and in the early fall. Use an overseeding program as an organic and natural way to have a safe, dense, healthy, and beautiful lawn.

Overseeding Procedure:

  • Mow the lawn very short
  • Rake the lawn using a tine rake to remove and break up layers of dead matted grass or thatch. The process is known as scarifying/verticutting (vertical cutting). Using a de-thatcher may be effective for this purpose
  • If the ground is compacted, it can be spiked with a fork to a depth of at least 6 inches (15cm). A machine on larger areas can also do this job. Aeration will improve the root growth and the drainage on heavy soils
  • Spread dolopril or natural eggshell lime, followed by turf starter fertilizer a week or two later
  • For our west coast climate, an improved dwarf turf-type Perennial Ryegrass is most effective. Elka II or Elka 3 produce the best results. The seeding rate is best at 10-15lb per 1000sq ft
  • The seeding process should be cut in half, with one-half seeded in one direction (ie north-south), while the other half should be in the other direction (ie east-west). this will ensure an even distribution. Ideally, the seed should be spread with a broadcast or hand spreader
  • Overseed the entire lawn area, not just the bare patches. This ensures a uniform appearance between the current lawn and the new grass seed
  • The lawn can be top dressed with a thin layer of a mixture of top dress soil or a mostly sand plus peat/loam mixture. This top dressing should be no more than 1/3 of an inch.
  • Rake the area so that the seed is in contact with the soil and the top dressing is worked down into the grass. This will improve germination. Lightly roll if possible. Art's has a lawn roller than is available for rent - call us at 604.882.1201 for details.
  • Remember to keep the seedbed constantly moist with a fine spray
  • Mow when the grass is 2-3 inches in height. Trim lightly and gradually lower the blades to an ideal cutting height of 1.25 to 1.5 inches. Mow regularly, but try not to remove more than 1/3 of the growth at any one time
  • Fertilize your lawn using Art's Triple 17 with Iron fertilizer once established. Follow it up in fall with a Winterizing fertilizer, one that has a higher middle and last numbers in the guaranteed analysis
  • If you have any other questions about overseeding or general lawn care, please give us a call at 604.882.1201. We'd be happy to get you growing in the right direction!

    Content for this article provided by Premiere Pacific Seeds Ltd. suppliers of Major League Grass Seed.

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