View Full Version : Need Overseeding Advise

TC Lawns
09-15-2008, 10:27 PM
One of my customers wants to me do an overseeding job on his yard. I have never done it before, so I am looking for some information and some tips on the best way to do it.

He has Bermuda right now, it looks great, but he wants to have another type of grass overseeded that would stay green in the winter. He entertains people in his backyard for football game days so it would need to be able to stand up to high traffic. The location is Alabama, so it stays pretty warm here untill late in the fall. There is a good bit of shade in the afternoons. Someone said that Kentucky Bluegrass would do good. Would this be something that would work for this type of situation? I know here at the University, they have 2 types of grasses planted in the same area, in the summer, the bermuda is there, and when it dies in the winter, the other grass stays green, not sure what it is though.

Please let me know your recommendations on what type of grass to overseed with, and what is the best meathod of doing it. Thanks

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-15-2008, 11:17 PM
I have been asking about overseeding methods as well recently.

Many have hailed the virtues of using a slit overseeder as opposed to core aeration then broadcast seed. Hope that helps.

09-16-2008, 07:04 AM
I am not really familiar with southern type grasses, but you might want to check the heat tolerant blue grasses (thermal blue, thermal blue blaze) also check the RTF grasses and PRG. Maybe a blend of all three might work?
I would advise to double aerate then slice seed using between 5-7# per k.

We have a few people up here that have Zoysia lawns. Last season we seeded a Zoysia lawn with a Thermal Blue and PRG blend. The lawn looked good all winter. The jury is still out as to how much will come back this winter or was it out competed by the Zoysia during the Summer. At any rate no promises were made to the customer, but I am anxious to see how it looks this Winter.

09-16-2008, 07:42 AM
Typically people overseed Bermuda and Zoysia with Annual or Perrenial Rye Grass. That way when the bermuda and zoysia goes dormant fo the winter the Rye Grass keeps the lawn looking green. Then when the warmer months roll around the Rye Grass dies off and the Bemuda and Zoysia green up.

TC Lawns
09-16-2008, 08:01 AM
I have done some research, and I think that Perennial Rye grass would be the best to overseed this yard. It is good in shade and has high traffic tolerances.

My #1 Question...(Ground Prep)
I know I am supposed to scalp the existing grass, then clean up all clippings. I have read articles in several places, some saying dethatch before, others saying aerate. Most say DONT aerate. One said dethatch right before, and aerate only if you can wait 30+days to seed. I am planning on doing the job in the next week or so....so dont aerate?

Second, Do I need to use any fertilizer? If so, when, what type, and hope much.

Also, do I need to cover or spread compost after overseeding?

I think I know what type of grass I am going to use now....I just need some tips and advise on the steps starting with ground prep.


TC Lawns
09-16-2008, 08:37 AM
Also, Slit Seeder vs. dethatching and broadcast spreader?
I have read that the slit seeder produces better results, but are they that much better? Can you use a combination of both?

09-19-2008, 10:23 AM
TC Your grass selection is a good one. You may want to call a local golf course that does winter overseeding for the snow birds to play on all winter. They will be really dialed into what is best for you exact are or call your local University Turfgass Extension Agent. They get paid to give you advice. When you do this it takes alot of seed and you want to get the seed down to the soil. Slit seeders or A vert-i-cut unit will work best. These a machine with solid blades not flail like on a dethatcher. You will have to rip the lawn pretty good to get the seed to the soil. Rip it put down the seed then rip it again in another direction. Then treat it like any cool season grass during the winter growth period.

09-22-2008, 09:07 PM
I overseed here in the south on both Bermuda and Zoisia yards. Here is my procedure.

I cut the grass short but I do not need to scalp to get excellent results. I usually cut the grass 2 to 2.5 inches.
I use a slit seeder to spread the seed at a rate of 4 lbs per 1000 first in one direction then again perpendicular resulting in the property being covered twice with grass being spread at 4 lbs per 1000 each pass. This results in a distribution rate of 8 lbs per 1000 sq ft. Perenial rye is the best option, annual rye is cheaper for a reason. I would not use annual rye. After you use the slit seeder expect to have to hand spread seed around obstacles such as trees and bed edges where the slit seeder does not get right up against.
I then spread a starter fert over the entire area.
Water at least once daily. Twice AM and PM would be better.

Final Tips
Do not expect to see anything for a good 10 to 14 days then you should start seeing results.
If you are concerned about having the best looking overseeded yards then be sure to order enough seed to have some left over. When the grass comes in you can hand seed any thin areas.
After about 6 weeks you should have your grass in but it may look thinner the anticipated. Before you get mad and think you did something wrong, fert again with a high nitrogen fert or more of the starter fert if you still have some. This 2nd fert application usually really brings the grass in thick. For best results make sure you water this grass several times per week and fert every 6 weeks. I also allow it to grow long and usually mow at around 3.5 inches. This grass will eventually die out when the summer heat gets to hot. I'll try to post some pics from a nice job I did last year.

09-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Here are pics from Feb of last year. The Original turf is zoisia which is completely dorment and I overseeded in October with a high grade of perenial rye (same used for some super bowls so I am told) I had by far the best looking property in the area. The grass was thicker and darker green then anyones else.

09-23-2008, 09:32 PM
when do you start your seeding process, and where do you get your perenial rye from

09-24-2008, 01:15 AM
I get my seed from Estes and I watch the temp before beginning. This grass dies in the heat so I wait for the cooler temps before seeding. Right now I still have temps in the low 90s so it is cooling down but still to warm. Hopefully towards the end of October it will have cooled down to the low 80s high 70s. I will send out an email to all my customers this week or next to see who wants to get overseeded and will begin as soon as the temps come down.

Care Free LC
09-24-2008, 07:56 AM
Last year i overseeded several yards with rye and had great results. i used Pennington seed available at any local home depot or lowes. It was not the best breed of seed though. it grew too high and took too much time/effort to mow and clean up. This year i would like to find a different breed of seed that doesnt get 8" tall every week. Does anyone have any experience with what seed will grow slower and stay shorter?