MTD: For a Growing World.

Fall Lawn Reseeding

After the hot summer months, your lawn may be patchy and in need of a makeover.  If you have bare spots on your lawn, reseeding is probably a good option for you.  It is less expensive and time intensive than replacing your lawn.  Fall is the perfect time to reseed a lawn.  Planting in early autumn will give your new grass time to establish before the first frost.  Reseeding your lawn every year, as needed, will help you keep it looking thick and healthy.

Before you reseed a lawn

Prior to reseeding your lawn, it's important to figure out what caused it to deteriorate in the first place.  Bare spots can naturally occur over time, particularly in high-traffic areas.  Being aware of the factors affecting your lawn growth can help you better address damage and minimize the need for lawn reseeding in the future.

Cutting your grass too short and using dull mower blades makes your lawn more vulnerable to pests and diseases, both of which can cause dead spots.  Or, there may be conditions in your yard affecting the health of your grass.  For example, a large tree can compete with your grass for nourishment and block it from getting adequate sunlight and rainfall.  If this is the case, you may want to consider reseeding your lawn with a more shade-tolerant grass.

Before you being reseeding a lawn, you'll need to select grass seed.  It's important not to choose based solely on cost.  Make sure you pick a grass that is suited to the conditions of both your yard and  your region.  Visit a local garden center for help selecting a seed that will grow well in your area and with the grass already established in your lawn,  If you aren't sure what kind of grass you have, take a small sample with you.

How to reseed a lawn

The first step to lawn reseeding is to prepare your soil for planting.  Remove grass, weeds, thatch and a few inches of soil from each spot you'd like to replace.  Then, turn the soil in each spot to improve drainage.  Loosening the ground will also make it easier for water and nutrients to flow through to the roots of your new grass.  If you are reseeding large areas of your lawn, you can use a garden tiller to break up the soil.

Use a testing kit to determine which nutrients you need to add to your soil. Then, mix in humus (organic materials such as peat moss, leaf mold and manure) and any other nutrients it lacks.  Rake the seeds, along with some starter fertilizer, into each spot and make sure the soil is level with the surrounding ground.  Cover each planted spot with a layer of organic material to help the seeds stay moist and protect them from being eaten by birds.

After reseeding your lawn

When you're done reseeding your lawn, avoid walking and mowing over the newly planted areas.  It's also important to give the seeds plenty of water while they are establishing roots.

Consult with a lawn care professional about how tall you should allow the new grass to grow before cutting it.  You will be watering your lawn more than usual while the new grass is growing, but be sure that you don't mow when the grass and soil are wet.  This can damage the grass roots and hinder the success of your lawn reseeding.

Remember, for a healthy lawn, avoid cutting your grass too short.  A good rule of thumb is to cut no more than one-third off the length of your grass each time you mow.  Using a mower with adjustable blade settings can help ensure you are trimming your lawn to the right height.  Get sharp mower blades and other quality lawn mower parts from MTD to keep your grass looking its best.

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