A full, thick turfgrass is the key to a healthy lawn. Lush grass is disease and drought resistant, holds up to foot traffic better, and crowds out weeds with ease. But getting that healthy, thick carpet of grass in your yard can take some work. And when you notice thinning areas or bare spots, you may type something like "How to Repair Thinning Grass" into an internet search engine, and find that overseeding is frequently recommended as a fix.
So, what is overseeding, and what lawn problems is it a good solution for? Overseeding literally means putting down grass seed over an existing turfgrass lawn. This process is a good solution for lawns that already have decent turfgrass density, but may have thinning areas or small bare spots throughout. If, on the other hand, your lawn has large bare spots where you've removed a tree, if you want to fill in an old garden area, etc. - a one-time overseeding is not your best option.
The picture you'll see below is an example of an overseeding done over a large bare spot. The small tufts of grass are the result of an overseeding, and are a good result for the overseeding process, but this process is not designed to fill in such large areas. If these tufts of grass were distributed throughout a thinning lawn, they would be effective in filling space and thickening overall lawn density.
Here, you see very clearly, tufts of grass growing after the aeration and overseeding of a large, bare area of lawn. Each place where the aerator pulled out a plug of soil and allowed grass seed to come into good contact with earth, a lovely grass plant has grown. But this is not the solution to filling in large, bare areas. If you plan to aerate and overseed this fall, you should not plan on this process remedying areas like you see on the above. While the overseeding process will be tremendously beneficial to the rest of your lawn, if you have bigger areas of bare soil, your best bet [after your aeration and overseeding] is to spread a thin layer of topsoil and add grass seed across the entire bare area.
AND DON'T FORGET TO WATER!! Adequate water is essential for seed germination. If there's no rain in the forecast, you must set out a sprinkler, or turn on your sprinkler system. I know it seems weird to think about watering your lawn in November, but I promise, it is the only way to get the results you desire!
Especially at this time in the season, you may have questions about your lawn and how to best prepare it for Winter! Our customer service managers welcome your questions so please don't hesitate to contact us! Also, check out our FREE "Fall Lawn and Landscape Guide" for other tips on how to keep your lawn looking great!