All around the USA, you can find lawns comprising different grass types. You will get warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. Each of them has different requirements and maintenance needs.
When you need to do some lawn care and maintenance, you may find you need to overseed your lawn. Doing so, you take your grass seeds and sow them across the top of your grass.
The questions you need to answer are, when is the best time to overseed your lawn, depending on the type of grass you may have growing in your yard.
In our guide, you can learn all you need to know about how to overseed your lawn in the Northeast region to make sure you give your grass all the help it requires for good growth and health. (Find the Best Lawn Mower for the Price)
Is It Too Early to Overseed My Lawn?
Early fall should be when you aerate lawns and overseeding with new seed to your lawn of cool-season grasses.
However, depending on the type of grass, overseeding can be in early spring to deliver great results.
If you choose this best time and do it early enough, you give your overseeding seedlings plenty of time to mature before the summer heat arrives.
The reasons spring overseeding can be the better option for returning your thin and damaged lawns to health compared to the appearance you would have from fall overseeding your bare patches.
You can increase the effectiveness if you aerate your lawn before overseeding. For example, you can carry out core aeration where small soil cores are removed, enabling better water, air, and fertilizer access.
It helps to aerate existing lawns before and after seeding. In addition, spring overseeding helps stress caused by disease, insects, and drought.
Be sure to pay close attention to soil moisture if you overseed in the late spring, as tender turfgrass needs light watering for establishment before hot, dry weather. When you aerate, you help water reach the roots.
Can I Put Grass Seed on Top of Grass?
Maintaining healthy lawns is a lot of work, yet we can encounter problems that are not fixed with watering, fertilizing, and regular mowing.
When your lawn is thinning, or you have bare roots, sowing new seed or lawn overseeding is required.
You can remove existing grass before sowing new seeds, yet you can plant new grass seeds on your current lawn.
Sowing new grass seed on your lawn is overseeding and used for bare spots mainly. However, you can overseed lawns to prevent browning in the winter by overseeding warm-season grass with cool-season grasses.
You do need to do some preparation beforehand to get the best results.
Preparing your Lawn
First, you have a few things to do before sowing grass seed.
Dethatching lawns with a mechanical dethatcher or metal rakes can remove your thatch (a layer of organic material lying on the soil and stops grassroots from reaching the soil).
Mowing lawns then removing cuttings is vital because cutting to a length of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches lets the sun and water reach your seeds.
Aerating is when the lawn region loosens compacted soil in an existing lawn and lets air and water penetrate, thus improving soil conditions.
Grass seed is best spread with a seed spreader for even distribution. You should also apply double the amount of seed you would start your lawn from scratch.
Rather than overlap, you are better off spreading one pass in one direction, then the second pass in the sideways direction.
Once seeds are sown, you can add a little starter fertilizer. Also, make sure to minimize foot traffic. Finally, ensure to water frequently, so the soil stays moist to encourage deep root growth.
When Can I Overseed My Lawn in NY?
After a long season, you may think your lawn work is over, yet experts will tell you otherwise.
Fall is the best time for establishing grass as soil temperatures are cool. Furthermore, there isn’t as much competition from weeds.
Rake bare spots to break up the ground, and then mix soil and compost with a few scoops of grass seed in your bucket.
Spread this mixture over your bare spots and gently tamp it down.
The best time to overseed the lawn is in the first week of September to mid-September at the latest because grass has become established before winter.
It will also stop weeds from having a chance to overthrow your warm-season grass in the following year because the thicker your lawn is, the fewer weeds you’ll have fighting warm-season grasses. (Read our Electric Mower Reviews)
In the Northeast, most lawns will be a combination of perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, so any seed mixture needs to be the same type to deliver new grass lush for that region.
What is the Best Grass Seed for the Northeast?
Cool, humid climates in an American Northeast yard can be hard on plants, lawn grasses, and turf when temperatures are cooler and wetter.
It will take growing different grasses and care for your lawn to thrive every year.
- Long, cold winters and the disease-causing dampness require a superior grass seed variety and bred to cope with the region’s conditions.
- Use a mix of premium cool-season grass seeds suitable for cool, humid conditions.
- Overseeding grasses need improving cold tolerance and can also fight off the effects of drought conditions and disease.
In the Northeast, you’ll have cold winters with moderate summers, which suits cool-season grasses. You find these peaks in growth during the cool spring and fall months.
Some areas vary in moisture levels, pH, natural fertilizers, humidity, and other factors that lead to lawn disease. For example, the perennial ryegrass excels in cool, humid NE conditions.
Overseeding perennial ryegrass germinates quicker than all other common lawn grass. Add in heat and drought tolerance than ordinary grasses, and they use up to 30 percent less water. Moreover, they do this in late summer while keeping your grass green and lush.
Kentucky bluegrass provides an ideal complement for perennial ryegrass as it takes longer to germinate and establish itself closer to summer. (Read How To Reseed A Patchy Lawn)
However, this turfgrass type will help with cold hardiness more than other familiar turf varieties. When mixed, you have rich, green turf ready for Northeast winters or summer months.