Over-Seeding & Spring Lawn Care*

While it’s important to attend to your lawn in the spring, serious renovation should be done around Labor Day

  1. What kind of lawn do you want?
    1. How are you planning to use it?
    2. How much time and money are you willing to spend on it?
  1. Know you square footage.
  1. Test the pH.
  1. Mow the lawn shorter than usual—about 2”
  1. Remove as many weeds and as much debris as possible.
  1. Thoroughly rake or dethatch the lawn.
    1. Thatch:  is comprised of living and dead material (i.e. grass clippings, grass stems, and other debris)—usually hidden by the grass the material accumulates and decomposes over time.  Many cool weather grasses don’t create heavy thatch.  Warm weather grasses, like bluegrass do create heavy thatch.
      1. Thatch can prevent fertilizer from reaching the soil.  It can also play host to insects and fungal diseases.
    2. Usually, using a hand rake will do all you need for dethatching; however, some lawns may require the use of a dethatching machine.  The machine makes vertical cuts into the lawn and pulls the dead material to the surface.
  1. Based on the pH results add the soil amendments.
    1. Lime
    2. Fertilizer
    3. In that order
  1. Over-seed with grass seed at about half the normal rate (for instance, most AS&L lawn mixes are applied at a rate of 1lb per 200 sq.ft. for a new lawn—for over-seeding use 1/2lb. per 200 sq.ft.)
  1. Water daily until established.
  1. Create a regular maintenance plan.


* Based on Paul Tuckey’s The Organic Lawn Care Manual