As children prepare to go back to school, and warm, humid weather gives way to milder, night-time temperatures, it’s the perfect time to renovate your lawns by seeding a new lawn or overseeding an existing.  Late summer seeding in August – September is ideal due to temperature shifts and less annual weed competition.  Additionally, root systems have more time to develop before surviving the heat and potential drought of the following summer.

New Lawn Seeding

Prepare Seedbed

Remove all debris in the area, including large rocks, gravel, etc.

Amend the Soil

Spread topsoil to a minimum depth of 2-3″ and rototill.  Rake the area smooth.


Apply fertilizer uniformly over the area and rake lightly.


Spread the seed in two directions and gently rake the seed into the soil.  Roll over the area to insure good seed to soil contact.


Be sure to water the seed.  If laying seed is anything like washing a car, it will most certainly rain, saving you the trouble.  Consistent, light watering is crucial two times per day if rainfall is not sufficient.


Although not completely necessary, some find it helpful to mulch with a light layer of straw to help keep the seeds moist.  Dry seeds will not germinate as well and reduce seed growth.


When the grass reaches a height between 2-3″, start mowing and keep mowing on a regular basis.

Overseeding Existing Lawn

Prepare Soil

Start by mowing existing grass a little shorter than normal.  Loosen the soil in bare areas by raking.  Be sure to remove any weeds.


Aeration will help stimulate growth and should be done early enough in Fall before freezing temperatures arrive.  This will allow enough time for the turf to recover.


Apply the seed as you would for new lawns.  Consider using a slit seeder, if available.


Keep the seedbed moist but not saturated.  Once the seed germinates, you can decrease frequency while increasing watering time.


Start mowing when the new grass reaches a height of 2-3″.


This will help improve the health and thickness of the lawn.  The lion’s share of fertilization should be done in fall, and a light fertilization in spring.

“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘grow’, ‘grow’.”


Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney