There are many different kinds of grass seeds available on the market, and it is challenging to choose the best grass seed for overseeding. As we all know, grass seed is expensive, and one wants to get the best for the money. For this purpose, it is essential to choose the best seed according to your environment and climate.
There are two main types of grass, i.e., warm-season grass and cool-season grass. To choose the best grass seed for overseeding in your lawn, you need to get an idea of your lawn’s climatic conditions and sun exposure. Generally, cool-season grass benefits the most from overseeding.
Overseeding is a process in which you spread new grass seed over existing turf. This process is done to improve the look of a worn-out lawn, fill the empty patches, and strengthen the grass to bear environmental stresses.
If your lawn has low fertility, lousy drainage, soil compaction, and is prone to certain diseases, then overseeding it with the best grass seeds can prove to be a savior.
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Best Grass Seed For Overseeding
Generally, people don’t use warm-season grasses for overseeding. But, it is a different scenario when the lawn is worn out or damaged. Cool-season grasses are perfect for overseeding.
Here are some top picks for the best grass seed for overseeding:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Tall Fescue
- Kentucky bluegrass-tall fescue blend
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Annual Ryegrass
- Red Fescue
- Bermuda grass
- Zoysia grass
Kentucky bluegrass is a well-known cool-season grass. It is known for its ability to fill the bare spots with a moderate growth pattern. The grass goes dormant in hot and dry environmental conditions and becomes brown. Kentucky bluegrass seed can thicken the thin grass if you put the fresh seeds over the worn-out grass. It is recommended to keep the seeds moist to let them grow.
Prepare the lawn well before spreading the Kentucky bluegrass seeds for overseeding. Get rid of all the weeds and thatch. Properly aerate the soil and turf and use fertilizers if required. Once established, it can choke out many weeds. It takes some time to develop but once established, Kentucky bluegrass spreads faster, giving a thick green carpet under feet.
Just like Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue grass seeds also need moisture to grow and germinate. Tall fescue seeds can be used alone or in combination with Kentucky bluegrass for the best results. Keep in mind that tall fescue seeds should be used for overseeding in an area where there is enough moisture and sunlight.
Tall fescue seeds can adapt to different environmental and soil conditions. It can be used in lawns where there are high temperature and dry conditions. These lawns bear harsh environmental conditions.
Kentucky Bluegrass-Tall Fescue Blend
Many people use a blend of different types of grass seeds to overseed their lawn. A combination of seeds comes with its benefits and pros. If you want to use a combination of grass seeds for overseeding, a blend of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue would be the right choice.
Keep in mind that the tall fescue should be in more quantity than the Kentucky bluegrass in the mixture: the tall fescue seeds should be around 90% of the total mix.
Perennial ryegrass is very famous among the species of grass seeds for overseeding. It is known for the overseeding of warm-season grasses. It has a very rapid germination rate (3-5 days). It can grow annually with bluegrass. It is famous for its lovely hue and density. One of its negative aspects is that it is sold at a higher price than other grass types. It has an excellent texture and subtle color, which makes it different from annual ryegrass.
Perennial ryegrass does not spread at a higher rate; you need to repair the thin sections. Once established, there is no type of grass as comfortable and beautiful to walk on as perennial ryegrass. The perennial ryegrass is the best grass seed for overseeding as it produces a thick layer of grass in few weeks; it has an impressive density.
Annual ryegrass is somewhat the same as perennial ryegrass. It is also one of the best grass seeds for overseeding home-based lawns and turfs. Overseeding with annual ryegrass needs to be done every year. It is an expensive option but comes with many benefits like preventing erosion to the new lands.
The only drawback is that it has a classic yellow-green color and is more prone to diseases if you don’t give proper attention. Annual ryegrass can reseed itself; it is a warm-season grass.
Red fescue is the best grass seed for overseeding in shady sections of lawns. Red fescue can be used alone or in a blend for this purpose. It is well known for filling the empty or thin patches of the lawn. Red fescue seeds take 12 to 22 days for germination. If your lawn has experienced severe, harsh, and dry summer conditions, overseed it with red fescue.
Overseed your lawn with red fescue for quite a time to achieve a thick and lush grass carpet. Overseeding with fescue helps to prepare the lawn for winters. Red fescue has narrow leaf blades, which is why it is also known as fine fescue.
Bermuda grass seed is one of the best grass seeds for overseeding in the summer or spring season. The spring season is considered to be the best time for overseeding warm grasses like Bermuda grass. During spring, there is a favorable temperature and soil condition for the optimal growth of the grass.
In the case of Bermuda grass, it is suggested overseeding with the same quantity and quality to get consistent growth. It grows at a fast rate as compared to other warm-season grasses. If the climate is frost-free, the Bermuda grass can stay lush green.
Bermuda grass has exceptional heat and drought tolerance and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. It is famous for its toughness and resilience. As it is a warm-season grass, it requires full sun exposure and good drainage. It is also salt tolerant.
You need to pay extra attention while going for Bermuda grass as it is a high maintenance choice. You will have to make a monthly lawn care plan. During its peak growth, it requires more fertilization. Soil pH of 5.8 to 7 is best for its development.
Another famous warm-season lawn, zoysia grass seed, is known for its high heat tolerant capacity. It withstands the effects of drought. You can easily use this grass for overseeding where heavy foot traffic is expected. During its optimal growing season, it lays a thick carpet of lush green grass. It is a warm-season grass but can also tolerate cold. Sun exposure is preferred for its germination, but it can also work in some shade. It requires less watering and maintenance.
The active growth of zoysia grass starts in warm weather conditions of spring. Zoysia grass seeds are perennial. They come back after a year if grown in an appropriate climate. Zoysia takes some time to establish compared to other grasses. But once fully established, it forms a thick layer.
Bahiagrass is also very popular for its heat-resistant and drought-resistant capacity. It is mostly used for overseeding in the southeastern region of the US. In this area, the grass grows at a moderate rate and requires less maintenance. Full sun exposure is optimum for its growth. It requires fewer nutrients and water and starts growing from the end of spring till summers. Bahiagrass is also perennial, which persists year after year. It has a deep root system that helps it tolerate the drought best.
Bahiagrass is a very low maintenance grass and can excel even in poor soil conditions. It produces a good turf quality and enters a dormant period in winters when it becomes tan.
Criteria For Choosing The Best Grass Seed For Overseeding
Different lawn types need different grass seeds. Make sure that you choose the best grass seed for overseeding, which suits your lawn’s environment and climate conditions. Take a keen look at your lawn, understand what it needs, and decide accordingly.
Always try to get grass seed from authorized retailers. If you only plant or sow one species, be sure to buy certified seed. If you use a combination, the blend’s quality can be defined by an analysis written on the bag. Some mixtures may contain “nurse grass” like ryegrass, which promotes the lawn’s rapid establishment.