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When to Overseed Lawn in Illinois

4 min read

Do you know how or when to overseed your lawn in Illinois? Look to the experts at Jonathan Green for valuable answers.

Jonathan Green has been growing beautiful lawns for six generations (since 1881). Today, we are a major supplier of genetically superior cool season grass seed, fertilizers, soil enhancers, organics, and weed, insect, and disease control products to the professional lawn care markets. Our products will transform your lawn and help it thrive.

About Overseeding a Lawn

Even if your lawn is in poor condition, you can achieve a healthy, dark green expanse of perfect lawn by overseeding, or introducing some fresh seed into the sparse or thinning areas.

In Illinois, the best time to overseed a lawn is late summer/early fall (late August to mid-September). Soil temperatures at this time of year are still warm, which promotes optimum seed germination, and the cooler air temperatures are better for grass growth.

If you don’t want to wait until late summer or early fall to overseed your lawn, you can do it between March and mid-June as well. When you choose Black Beauty turfgrasses that are so deeply rooted (up to four feet deep) and drought tolerant, you can still have great success.

Grass Seed That Provides the Best Results

If you want the best-looking grass, choose the highest quality grass seed mixture. Jonathan Green’s genetically superior Black Beauty® grass seed creates a lawn full of grass that:

  • Is deep rooted (can grow roots up to 4 feet deep);
  • Exhibits an invisible waxy coating (like the waxy skin on an apple) that wards off disease and locks in moisture;
  • Has leaves that are dark green, lush, and uniform in texture;
  • Grows well in both full sun as well as partial shade;
  • Contains beneficial endophytes for natural insect resistance.

Overseeding: Step-By-Step

Step 1: Rake up dead grass and weeds and mow the lawn, cutting it about one notch lower than usual. If you have bare spots, loosen them up with a rake or garden weasel to create good seed-to-soil contact and to keep the seeds from washing off of the soil surface in a big rainstorm.

Step 2: Correct soil problems (pH and/or compaction). Lawns grow best in a soil that is neutral to slightly acidic (between a 6.2 and a 7.0 reading), so it’s important to balance the pH before you overseed. Jonathan Green’s MAG-I-CAL® Soil Food will help to raise the soil’s pH and, at the same time, help the new lawn grow thicker and healthier. Love Your Soil® will loosen and aerate hard or compacted soil, feed the soil microbes, make the lawn soil more alive and porous, and enhance root development. Both products can be applied the same day as the grass seed.

Step 3: If your lawn is small, you may be able to broadcast Jonathan Green Black Beauty® seed by hand. For larger lawns, a lawn spreader is the best way to quickly cover a lot of ground and achieve uniform coverage. Make certain to slightly bury the seed in the top soil.

Step 4: Water the lawn every day for a week or two, unless it rains. The objective is to keep the seed and top several inches of soil moist until the seeds germinate. Mow the new lawn when the grass plants are about three inches tall.

When you’re ready to overseed your lawn in Illinois, Jonathan Green products will help you achieve the nicest looking lawn on the block! Visit us online or locate your nearest retail store where you can get reliable lawn and garden advice.

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