Why should I overseed my lawn?
Overseeding is planting grass seed over an existing lawn. Overseeding is usually done to correct thin lawns that have been damaged by environmental stresses. The results from overseeding will only be maximized IF new and improved turfgrass varieties are seeded into your lawn. Black Beauty grass seed guarantees your success! Black Beauty will fill in bare spots quickly and create the green, lush, healthy lawn that you’ve always desired.
The best time for overseeding is in the late summer or early fall. The seed will germinate better because temperatures are cooler, rainwater is plentiful, the ground is warm, and weeds are less active. The seed will also have several weeks to germinate before tree leaves start falling.
Begin your seeding project with the right products!
Before you prepare the seed bed, make sure that you have the following products:
First, as stated above, choose Black Beauty grass seed mixtures for a beautiful, dark-green lawn with outstanding drought, disease, and insect resistance.
Second, IF your pH is low (below 6.2), then be sure that you have Mag-I-Cal or Mag-I-Cal Plus to adjust it. Your lawn’s pH should be between 6.2 and 7. A pH tester, found in most garden centers and hardware stores, is an easy way to figure out soil pH. If your pH is fine, then skip to the next step.
Third, IF the soil is very hard, then be equipped with Love Your Soil to loosen it. To test for soil compaction, push your finger into the soil. If the soil doesn’t come up to the first knuckle, then you have a compaction problem. Growing a lawn in such an area will be difficult because water and air will not be able to penetrate the root zone. Of course, Love Your Soil will correct the problem. If your soil is not hard, then skip to the next step.
Fourth, Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding is a lawn food that is specially formulated for this purpose. It is rich in potassium, an essential nutrient needed for the root development of grass seed and newly cut sod. Use Green-Up for Seeding and Sodding ON THE SAME day that you seed or sod. Of course, if you have a soil problem (pH and/or compaction), then you will use Mag-I-Cal and/or Love Your Soil ON THE SAME DAY, as well. Let’s get started.
How do I plant and grow grass seed?
First, rake the soil with a metal tine rake to remove any dead grass, thatch, or residue build-up. If you have a large area to rake, then a thatching machine can be rented from a tool rental center. It is very important to create grooves in the soil because these slits allow the grass seed to properly lodge and take root. This is known as ‘seed-to-soil contact’, which helps maximize seed germination.
Second, apply the grass seed (Black Beauty) with a spreader. Use the settings on the back of the bags for ALL products – grass seed, lawn foods, or soil conditioners – to secure the proper rate. If your spreader is not listed on the bag, then simply visit the Jonathan Green website (www.jonathangreen.com), click on the “Spreader Settings” icon, locate your spreader, and use the rate listed for it. Lightly rake the seed to tumble it into the top 1/4 inch of soil for good ‘seed-to-soil contact’.
Third, apply the seeding lawn food (Green-Up for Seeding & Sodding).
Fourth, if your soil needs a pH adjustment, then apply Mag-I-Cal or Mag-I-Cal Plus.
Fifth, if your soil is hard and not crumbly, then apply Love Your Soil. (If applying Mag-I-Cal Plus, skip this. If your soil is very hard, you can use both).
Last, keep the seed bed moist. The seed bed should be wet for a few weeks while the grass seed is germinating. Light waterings, 2 to 3 times per day (early morning, early afternoon, late afternoon), are beneficial while the newly sown seed is establishing. Within a few weeks, after the newly formed grass has been mowed a few times, you can decrease the watering schedule. NEVER water it at night. Excessive moisture on established grass leaves can lead to fungal problems down the road.
When will my grass seed sprout?
Black Beauty grass seed takes about 10 to 14 days to germinate. As a general rule, perennial ryegrass germinates the quickest (about 7 days). Fine fescues – including the creeping, chewing, and hard types – germinate in about 10 to 20 days. Tall Fescue usually takes 10 to 14 days to germinate, but can be slow to establish under very cold temperatures. Kentucky bluegrass, the slowest germinator, usually sprouts in 20 to 30 days. Remember, “germinate” means the beginning of seedling growth.
Mow the new grass once it reaches a height of 4”. Keep the mowing height at 3”, except for the last cut of the year which should be 2″ in height. This is very important for your lawn during the winter months. The shorter mowing height helps the grass roots survive winter stress.