How Often Should I Overseed my Lawn?

How Often Should I Overseed my Lawn?

How often should I overseed my lawn? The answer can vary depending on environmental factors as well as the type of lawn being maintained. If you maintain fescue in a transition zone region like the Richmond, VA area, overseeding fescue is best to do on a yearly basis. Fescue grass seed germinates best in mild weather, which is why fall lawn seeding is the most popular time of the year to repopulate your turf. There are two main reasons why a turf type tall fescue lawn is likely to need seeding every year.

First and most importantly, a fescue lawn goes through significant wear and tear throughout the year. There are many types of stressors that can do damage to turf type tall fescue:

  • Traffic- whether it’s kids, pets, or your Fourth of July barbeque, foot traffic wears down and uproots pieces of turf over time.
  • Erosion- especially on sloped parts of a yard, water erosion from rain and irrigation can wear down and uproot parts of a lawn.
  • Heat- during the summer, high temperatures are very stressful to fescue which can go so far as dying off if it’s not properly watered.
  • Disease- other summertime issues like fungus and grubs can do significant damage and kill off whole sections of a lawn if left untreated.
How often should I overseed my lawn
Shade helps reduce the risk of heat stress damaging fescue, but can contribute to fungus and other issues.

With these and other issues constantly wearing down the fescue grass population in your lawn, an average of ten percent of your lawn dies off each year. This may not seem significant, but imagine if you lost ten percent of your hair! It would probably still look fine, but you would feel the difference and know it wasn’t achieving its full potential. A standard fall lawn seeding service replenishes this loss so that the lawn stays thick from season to season.

This brings us to our second reason for “every year” being the answer to “how often should I overseed my lawn?” Unlike other grasses like bermuda, zoysia, and even bluegrass, turf type tall fescue does not spread laterally. Fescue is a bunch grass, which means that a single plant grows in a cluster that is only able to get so big. This is part of its appeal to many fescue lovers, but it can also be considered a weakness.

overseeding fescue
A damaged and bare area in a fescue lawn that will need to be reseeded.

When part of a lawn that is able to creep and spread is damaged or dies, the surrounding grass takes advantage of the gap and fills in the hole. When a bare spot develops in a fescue lawn, the fescue is only able to shrink it by maybe a few inches, but no more. As a result, this hole in the lawn becomes free real estate for weeds to move in and contributes to a patchy or thin appearance to the lawn as a whole. Fescue grass seed must be reintroduced to these bare areas in order to fill them back in, which is why overseeding fescue is so important.

So, how often should I overseed my lawn? If it’s fescue and you live in an area like Virginia that experiences a lot of stressors that contribute to turf population loss, the answer is every fall. There are the rare exception lawns that somehow retain their turf population long enough to forego seeding, but these are few and far between. If you’re interested in getting a quote on overseeding fescue, be sure to call PPLM today.

Identifying and Dealing With Heat Stress in a Fesuce Lawn

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