Drought Damage? Time to Start Thinking About Fall Seeding!


Soil with seed and new grass.

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of the August. Every year at this time I always ask myself “where has the summer gone?” Typically by now we start to see some cooler temperatures, especially at night, which does help the turf out immensely. That being said, nothing can help a lawn like cooler days and rain, which we are still waiting for in some areas.

My theme for the past number of posts has been focused on the hot, dry weather the north and northeast have been experiencing this season, especially compared to other areas like the midwest where they have had more than normal amounts of rain.

For those that have had to deal with drought and possible watering restrictions, your lawns may not be looking very good at the moment. Not to worry, now is the time to start thinking about how to get your lawn back into tiptop shape. With September’s cooler temperatures and more frequent rainfall, there is a great opportunity to make huge improvements in your lawn before winter hits. Most people don’t realize that the period between September and early November is the best time to seed your lawn – even better than in the springtime! This is because you often get too much fluctuation in temperature (both air and soil) during the spring season, not to mention excessive rainfall. This makes it difficult to get optimal seeding results.

Regardless of the time of year that you seed, there is one constant requirement: water. Turfgrass seed requires moisture for up to a month, depending on the type of grass seed used. If the seed dries out at any time after it has become moist, it will die. The majority of homeowners make the mistake of putting seed out and not watering it…and then wondering why they didn’t see any results.

There are many benefits of seeding in the fall. Firstly, it will help thicken up any areas that may have been thinned out during the summer months (like during the drought I mentioned previously). Another big benefit of overseeding is that it introduces better cultivars to a lawn that may have been planted or sodded 20+ years ago. Every year, seed growers improve their grass hybrid species to have better drought and disease tolerance than the previous years. Overseeding is a great way to help introduce these more tolerant species of grass to your lawn. The result is fewer turf diseases and a smaller water requirement down the road.

While there are many different ways of seeding your lawn, Weed Man will typically do it in combination with aeration or by using a split seeder. If the lawn has had major drought damage, split seeding is the best way to renovate the lawn. Because seed requires some soil contact, combining overseeding with aeration or split seeding is a great way to make that happen. I’ve seen homeowners just throw seed out over their lawns without thinking about soil. This is a waste of money, as it is unlikely that much seed will germinate without soil contact.

To learn more about fall seeding, please visit our website at www.weedmansua.com. And don’t forget that the next few months is the time to do it before it’s too late and we see those colder days of late fall.

Questions about your lawn? Weed Man would be happy to help. Find your local Weed Man using our locator map HERE.

Keep those lawns healthy,