Over seeding is a very important part of keeping a lawn vibrant and healthy.
Over a period of time lawns tend to get tired and require a certain amount of re-generation. Lawns are not able to re-produce seed heads and naturally re-generate because we are constantly mowing them, and rightly so. Lawntech advises that lawns are inspected once every 4 or 5 years to see if over seeding is required, or if your lawn is looking thin and unhealthy.
There are many different types of seed that can make a good quality lawn, such as fescue, dwarf ryegrass, bents and smooth stalked meadow grass. The correct seed for your lawn will depend on factors such as soil type, drainage, pH, how much wear and tear it will get, and how it is mowed and maintained.
Timing and soil contact is essential for success. For lawn over seeding to germinate successfully, there are certain factors which are crucial.
- Timing: Soil temperatures must be warm and constantly moist for success. Late August through to the end of October is the optimum time because once germinated the seed can slowly establish through the winter months. Many people make the mistake of thinking spring is the best time for over seeding but soil temperatures are often not warm enough until well into May when it then becomes too dry and hot for young seed to survive.
- Soil Contact: Over seeding will not be successful unless full soil contact is achieved. Simply throwing seed on top of an existing lawn, bare patch or bare thatch will not work. Sometimes sand and loam top dressing is also carried out to assist germination.
- Method: Lawntech carries out over seeding in various different ways depending on the type and size of the lawn. This is usually by direct drilling the seed into the sward as part of our renovation process after scarification and aeration.
CHRIS: For the over seeding we use this spreader which doubles as a fertiliser spreader as well. It works as it opens the holes in the bottom of the hopper which falls onto a spinning plate which then broadcasts across the ground that we’ve just aerated.
The main scope we’re looking for from this over seed is to get the seed to go down into the holes, there it gets some soil contact which is obviously paramount for germination to happen. It also protects the seeds themselves as well while they’re germinating and helps establishment.
The seed that I’ve put down on here today is a fescue rye mix. We use that for two reasons, the rye grass is very wear tolerant which obviously lawns have to put up with a lot with being mown and visitors coming to the garden and what have you and with the fescue’s as they tend to be more of a creeping plant that helps fill in the gaps between the rye grass. Fescue’s traditionally can be a little bit deeper rooted as well making it slightly more drought tolerant but in all cases it tends to be just a good mix for a generally top quality lawn really so that’s the mix we’ve used today.
JIM: At Lawntech we have a wide range of equipment for over seeding small or large lawns and sports grounds. Today we’ve been over seeding with a direct drill over seeder. The nice thing about this type of machine is that it’s got hundreds of spikes that push the seed into the ground at the correct depth. The reason we like to direct drill the seed is so it gets really good soil contact which makes for fantastic germination.
We call it bringing a little bit of green keeping to the garden.