How to Get the Best Results from Fall Overseeding in Raleigh
The best thing you can do for a fescue lawn in North Carolina is fall overseeding. Summer heat takes a toll on tall fescue grass, and planting new grass seed just in time for fescue’s peak growing season can give your lawn new life. To see the full benefit from your fall overseeding, it needs to be done the right way at the best time of year, and most importantly, the best aftercare. We’ve compiled everything you need to know for the best fescue overseeding in Raleigh.
The Ideal Time of Year for Fescue Lawn Seeding
For lawn overseeding to be successful, timing is key. Cool-season grasses, like tall fescue, enter their peak growing season in the cooler months during fall and winter. If you’re planning on overseeding your lawn, the best time for Carolina lawns is in early fall around September and October. Weather in the early fall is ideal because soil temperatures are still warm from summer, but air temperatures are cool enough for the new grass to thrive.
How to Prepare for Overseeding Your Lawn
When overseeding an existing lawn, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. The first step to that success is making sure soil conditions are ideal with lawn aeration. Core aeration is the process of pulling plugs from the soil with an aerator machine. It opens up new space in the soil for root systems to expand, improves seed-to-soil contact, breaks up thatch build-up, and helps alleviate compacted soil. Before aerating, mow the lawn and bag the grass clippings to ensure the lawn is clear of debris. You will also want to avoid any weed control before planting new grass seed. As we know, weed control is designed to stop growth and that’s not the goal of this project!
What to Do After Overseeding in the Fall
After overseeding your lawn, it’s important to treat your seed like you would a new sod lawn. Avoid or limit foot traffic when the grass seed is still in a juvenile state. You also want to limit leaf coverage on your newly seeded lawn. A small number of leaves on the lawn can help keep the grass seed in place, but too many leaves can quickly hinder the seed germination. Make sure to keep the new lawn watered well in the early weeks. Avoid pre-emergent herbicides or additional weed control until the new grass is fully established.
Watering Tips for New Seed
Watering is the most important part of caring for your new grass seed. Even with the best grass seed, bad watering practices will prevent you from seeing the best results. For a newly seeded lawn, it’s crucial to keep the seed and soil moist, but not waterlogged, for the first few weeks. With the right watering, you should expect to see grass seed germination within 2-3 weeks. Once you see new growth, you can resume a watering schedule a few times per week. Always water early in the morning to allow the grass to dry before the sun sets.
Mowing After Overseeding
It’s important not to mow too soon after overseeding your lawn. The best rule of thumb is to wait until the new grass can grow to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches. Mowing can put a lot of stress on the grass seed and the root systems if done too soon. Remember to follow the one-third rule when you resume mowing the lawn, by never removing more than a third of the grass blade in one cutting.
High-Quality Lawn Overseeding in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Areas
For homeowners in the Triangle looking to aerate and overseed a struggling fescue lawn, Eastern Turf Maintenance can help! We have more than 30 years of experience and expertise in caring for North Carolina lawns and different types of grass. In addition to fescue overseeding, we offer lawn care programs, tree and shrub care, core aeration for warm-season grasses, and mosquito control in the Triangle area. Our lawn care services are designed to foster a healthy lawn and landscaping and we pride ourselves on providing the best lawn care Raleigh has to offer. Contact us today to get a quote. Pricing is based on square feet and the size of your lawn.