Advice needed...


LawnSite Member

I have a question pertaining to overseeding/slit-seeding. Today being Sept. 28th, is it too late to overseed by this weekend? I can rent an overseeder from Home Depot and do the yard by no later than Saturday. Is it too late? I already have the seed. It is Lesco Premium athletic that is sold at Home Depot.

Background on my yard - I am in northeast Ohio (30 miles south of Cleveland) - Zone 5b I believe. The forecast is predicting for cooler upcoming temps but by this weekend should still top out in the low 70s. My lot size is 2 acres. Last year is when the yard was put in by a local landscaper so it is about a year old. The yard was seeded in the first week of October last year. I was not exactly happy with how it came in (lots of bare areas). Some of that was due to lack of rain at the time of installation and such large areas to water and other circumstances (high winds as we have very few trees on our lot for wind blockage). Anyway, the seed was a mix of fescue, perennial rye and kentucky blue grasses. The kentucky blue grass is pretty much predominant now but very clumpy/patchy and has just went through its normal summer dormancy and is just now starting to come back (green up).

The neighbor guy (who I respect and used to work for Orkin) put in his yard about a month ago and it is doing very well. He swears by Lesco products - he says that's all he uses. From looking at his yard, I would say that he knows a thing or two about lawns. It is already coming in pretty thick and looks better than mine (I am not too proud to admit that as embarrasing as it it). He has overseeded at least twice since his initial installation. He seems to think there is still a small window of time to overseed my yard. However, I have read some conflicting information on this forum and gardenweb that says it may be too late. In addition, my yard currently is pretty overrun with clover and a few broadleaf weeds. If I am still able to overseed as he says, would this be a waste of time seeing as how the new seed would be competing with already existing clover/weeds? Would it be better to try to eliminate this stuff first and then overseed next spring? One problem I have is that I have already purchased the seed and starter fertilizer from Home Depot (on the neighbor's recommendation). I guess I could return it and get my money back. And one other note. I do own a spike aerator. Would it be wise to use this over the entire lawn before overseeding as it might help create even more pockets for the seed that an overseeder may miss? The local Home Depot rents out BlueBird overseeders in case anyone is wondering. I believe that is my only choice although I have read that some have Classen (sp?).

Any responses would be much appreciated. I hate to continually bother the neighbor guy and don't want to be a nuisance to him. Not to mention I need to educate myself from this forum so that I can enjoy a fantastic lawn in the future. Thanks all.


LawnSite Member
Personally I would seed now. I'd either rent a slit seeder and go over the lawn to get all of the thatch up(I have a small yard so I rake the hell out of it), mow up the loose thatch, aerate(with a real aerator. The spike thingy will further compact your soil. You want the plug pulled up out of the ground), put down some lime, seed, put down starter fertilize, topdress with topsoil or compost, then water, water, water. Take care of the weeds in the spring. It's pretty much too late now.

Also, never seed cool season grasses in the spring. You'll never get good results.