This is a project that I have been waiting all year to do. It’s called, “Overseeding the lawn” (the correct time of year).
Every time I have put down grass seed, it was during the hottest, driest time of year. The seed didn’t do much because there was nothing much to do. Eventually, I think it actually grew, but that was months later when things cooled off and the rain returned.
They say to overseed your lawn in early September. This is because, like I said above, the Summertime drought is most likely over and rain falls more frequently. Unfortunately for me, the ten day forecast shows ten perfectly orange pictures of sunshine. Only me.
The reason I did the whole lawn dethatch, aerate and overseed the day I did was because of the rain we got the previous two days. In order to properly aerate, you need moist soil. If the soil is too dry, the aerator can’t get down into the dirt deep enough and you won’t pull a substantial plug. I got plugs that were about one and a half to two inches long. I would offer a picture, but it’s been about a week since I did this job and the plugs are all dried up and not very attractive.
I thought I would breeze through this particular project. In actuality, it took longer than expected. First, I dethatched the grass. I did this by towing the dethatcher I bought at Home Depot around the yard. Since grass and thatch kept clumping up in the tines, I had to stop frequently to clean it out. After that was done, I put the bagger back on the mower and mowed the grass at a height of three inches. I know the general advice is to mow at one inch or less when over seeding, but I just didn’t have the heart to scrape the dirt when I had no guarantee of rain in the future. I am not about to water 11,000 square feet of grass either. Mother Nature is going to have to take care of this one.
After I dethatched and mowed, I pulled out the tow behind plug aerator and did my thing. I did a few passes over the lawn to make sure I roughed up the dirt enough. I did a good job, but I still think I should have done more. It’s just that while doing this kind of thing, you want to get it done. Driving around in circles isn’t all that entertaining.
Okay, so once the aerating was finished, I filled the seed spreader up with my custom mixture of Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass. I chose these two types of grass because the Kentucky Bluegrass is just awesome looking and it is supposed to spread to fill in bare spots. The thing is, it takes forever to germinate. The Perennial Ryegrass is a good looking durable grass that germinates much faster and will fill things in while waiting for the Bluegrass.
As I said above, it’s been about a week with no rain and there isn’t much action out there. I have been watering certain areas with my sprinkler because I have no illusions that a huge thunderstorm isn’t going to come and wash all the seed off the front hillside. I want to get that grass sort of anchored in there before that happens. Otherwise, I will have to let nature take its course and wait for the grass to grow on it’s own. I also have some seed left over to spread out if need be.
Here are some pictures for you.
Oh yeah, I also bought two bags of Scotts starter fertilizer. Each bag is supposed to cover 5,000 square feet. I haven’t applied this yet because the directions say to water in immediately after application. Since I can’t water the entire lawn, I am going to wait for right before the next rainfall to spread this stuff around.