Overseeding Fescue Grass

Overseeding Fescue grass with more Fescue seed is a good way to develop a more robust lawn in a short period of time. If you’ve got a well-established Fescue lawn, you may find it getting a little thin. That’s the time to overseed it, producing a denser, more attractive and more comfortable carpet of grass.

Here is a step by step guide to overseeding Fescue grass.

Overseed in Late Summer or Fall
In cooler climates, overseeding in mid-August to mid-September is ideal. In warmer climates, early October is better. Daytime temperatures should be in the 60s to mid-70s. Make sure you start 4-5 weeks before frost can be expected. A second choice is to overseed in the spring. Wait until the risk of frost has passed and temperatures during the day can be expected in the 60s at least.

Select a Quality Fescue Seed Blend
The best choice for most lawns is a good blend of Fescue varieties rather than a single variety. You don’t need a top of the line blend, but a mid-level blend is preferred to cheap Fescue seed.

Mow your Lawn and Bag the Clippings
When mowing Fescue grass, it is usually best to mulch the clippings and leave them in the lawn to add Nitrogen to the soil. However, when preparing to overseed the lawn, you want to make it as easy as possible for the seed to get into the soil.

Aerate your Lawn Before Spreading Grass Seed
You may be able to rent an aerator locally. If not, most landscape companies will do it for you at a reasonable price. Shop around for the best deal. Go over the lawn at least twice, once north-south and once east-west, for example.

When the lawn has been aerated, drag a section of chain link fence or heavy bar over the lawn to crumble the soil plugs. This helps, but is not essential.

Overseed with 3-5 Pounds of Seed Per 1,000 Square Feet
That’s about half the amount used to start a new Fescue lawn. Use a broadcast spreader or a verticutter with a seed bin. For best seed to soil contact, go over the lawn with the backside of a leaf rake, oscillating the rake as you go. This will help the seed settle down into the grass and into the holes from the aerator.

Water New Seed Consistently
Give the lawn an inch of water immediately after seeding. See our article entitled Watering Fescue Grass to learn when your sprinkler has distributed 1” of water. Unless rainfall provides enough water, add ½” every 3-4 days for 3 weeks. Then you can go back to watering 1” per week in a single application.

These guidelines represent the best practices for overseeding Fescue grass. As you follow them, you should notice your lawn becoming thicker and more attractive in 3-5 weeks.

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