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Lawn Overseeding in the Fall

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

You may want to take the lead of the animal kingdom in pepping your lawn for winter. Just as critters load up on extra food and nutrients to keep them spry come May, you can add fresh seed and slow-release organic fertilizer to repair your tired lawn and promote lush growth next springtime. Lawn care now usually means less emergency care later. But you should get the over-seeding done before the ground freezes in northern states.

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Fall can be a great time for over-seeding, since the stresses of heat, dry soil, and weed competition should be low. If you plan on aerating, be sure to get it done before starting the over-seeding procedure. In over-seeding your lawn, be sure to use the highest-quality blend that matches your climatic location (ask your local lawn-care expert).

Lawn Care: Laying Down the Seed
Look at the label of your seed bag to determine how much to use on the lawn. The amount varies greatly by type, applied per 1,000 feet of lawn surface. For example, perennial rye (a popular choice) typically goes down about 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 feet. That's much more than Kentucky bluegrass, which requires only about 3 pounds of seed for the same area.

You may prefer to use a drop spreader which creates a more uniform distribution of seed than a rotary type. It's better to be conservative and keep the adjustment low, allowing for additional passes, rather than to blast your lawn with too much seed in large clumps.

Many lawn experts recommend raking the seed in to ensure contact with the soil. Consider a top dressing of peat moss or organic compost.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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