How to Prepare Your Lawn for Fall Overseeding in Missouri
As summer slowly gives way to the cooler temperatures of fall, it’s the perfect time for homeowners in Missouri to start thinking about replenishing their fescue lawns through a process called overseeding. With fall and winter being the peak growing seasons for cool-season grasses like fescue, overseeding is the best way to set your lawn up for success.
What is Overseeding?
Overseeding is the process of planting new grass seeds over an existing lawn to fill in bare spots and promote a thicker, healthy lawn for the upcoming season. In Missouri, where fescue lawns are common, overseeding in the fall is very beneficial to repair a weakened fescue lawn after the summer heat.
When to Overseed Your Lawn in Missouri
Timing is important to see the best results of fall overseeding. The best time of year to overseed your fescue lawn is in early fall, as soil temperatures start to cool down. This is typically in late August through September. This timeframe provides the new grass seeds with enough time to germinate and establish healthy root systems before the winter frost sets in.
Preparing Your Fescue for New Grass Seed
Before overseeding, mow your lawn at a lower mowing height than usual. Our recommendation is about 3 inches. This will help expose the soil and create better seed-to-soil contact, ensuring the seeds have a better chance of germination. However, avoid scalping the lawn, as this can stress the existing grass.
Remove Debris and Thatch
Rake away any debris, leaves, and excessive thatch from the lawn. Thatch is the layer of dead grass, clippings, and roots that accumulate between the soil and lawn surface. Excessive thatch can hinder the new grass seeds from reaching the soil and establishing themselves properly. Thatch build-up can also encourage fungus and blocks vital nutrients from reaching the root systems. Dethatching your lawn seasonally or annually is a great practice for any type of grass.
Fescue Lawn Aeration
Core aeration is a crucial step in preparing your fescue lawn for overseeding. Aeration is the process of creating small holes in the soil that alleviate compaction, improve water and nutrient absorption, and promote healthy root growth. Aerating the lawn before overseeding ensures that the grass seeds have a better chance of reaching the soil and developing strong root systems.
Conduct a Soil Test
While not required, a soil test is a great way to ensure the best results from your overseeding. Regular soil testing will help homeowners to understand their lawn’s specific needs and what nutrients are lacking. Soil test samples can be sent to the local extension office in St. Louis to be tested. Homeowners can also use a DIY soil testing kit to determine the pH level and any nutrient deficiencies. Based on the results, apply the appropriate amendments such as lime or fertilizer to create ideal conditions for new grass seed.
Choose High-Quality Grass Seed
Selecting the right grass seed is an obvious step for a successful overseeding project. In Missouri, turf-type tall fescue varieties are the most suitable for overseeding. Look for high-quality, certified seed blends that are disease-resistant and well-adapted to the local climate in Missouri.
The Best Overseeding Services in St. Louis, Missouri
If you’re looking to overseed your lawn in Missouri, homeowners can turn to the lawn care professionals at Loyalty Lawn Care! We offer aeration and overseeding services in St. Louis using only high-quality grass seed and equipment. Our team will take care of both the aeration and seeding. Following your service, we are happy to provide watering recommendations to care for your new grass seed. We are a local lawn care provider in Missouri that services St. Louis, St. Charles, Kirkwood, St. Peters, and surrounding areas. Since 1998, we’ve provided Missouri homeowners with lawn care including weed control and fertilization, tree and shrub care, mosquito control, and more. Our pricing is based on the square feet of your lawn. Contact us today for a free quote!