April 18, 2014 - 2:26pm — Dee Warren
If your yard is anything like my yard, winter kill took its toll. A lot of you are probably even saying, “Dee, we haven’t even seen Spring, yet.” I feel that way too. I’m ready to get in the yard, but Old Man Winter isn’t ready to leave yet – many places around Kansas received snow on April 14 – Snow!
While I certainly understand the best time to overseed is Fall, I also understand after the brutal temperatures many of the us saw this winter, waiting might not be an option. So if it’s not, here’s what you can do:
Before starting a project like this, you need to mow. Short. The overseeding process needs soil to obtain a high germination rate so get as much of the existing grass out of the way as possible. Mow your lawn short – two inches or so – and rake all leaves and other winter remnants from your yard. If you have winter-kill areas in your lawn, the ideal prep tool is a Land Pride Powered Rake or Landscape Rake. Remove thatch and other debris to allow the seed direct contact with the soil. Lack of seed-to-soil contact is one of the biggest reasons overseeding fails – Spring or Fall!
Seed is expensive; don’t trust this precious commodity to just any seeder. Apply seed with a Land Pride All-Purpose Seeder (APS) or a Land Pride Overseeder (OS). Land Pride Seeders offer precise placement of the seed aiding in the all-important seed-to-soil contact. Our APS features adjustable spiked front rollers to puncture the soil and our Overseeder has straight or curved knives to slice the ground. Both methods create seed-to-soil contact. Fluted seed cups on both units precisely meter the desired amount of seed in a broadcast pattern. Cast-iron packer wheels finish the job by pressing and firmly packing the seed into the soil.
Once you have finished the overseeding process, do not apply fertilizer with weed killer or pre-emergent of any kind; either will prevent your new seed from germinating. What you can do is water it. Early and often. Your new seed needs moisture to germinate and moisture to grow. You can also consider extra care for any areas that had a particularly rough winter. Horticulturists wiser than me suggest mulching the newly-seeded bare areas with peat moss or something similar to help reduce loss of seed to birds, wind, or erosion. Additionally, mulch helps hold in moisture.
Once you finish, get ready. It’s time to get going on the rest of those honey-dos that have piled up since Fall. Doesn’t the garage need cleaned out or the house painted?