How to Overseed Fall Fescue

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    • 1). Mow the grass to a 1 1/2" height. This short height allows light to reach the soil easier. Remove excess clippings with a rake. Don't worry if you allow a few clippings to remain. These can help keep the seeds from blowing away.

    • 2). Go over the lawn with a spike aerator. Punch in 20 to 40 holes per square foot with the aerator. Travel east and west with the aerator, and then cover the lawn again going north and south. This opens up the compacted ground for the fall overseeding.

    • 3). Scratch the surface of the soil with a verticutter. This device cuts grooves in the ground that provide a place for the fescue seeds to germinate. If your soil is fairly loose after you aerate it, you may skip this step.

    • 4). Set the seeder to broadcast the fescue seed at a rate of six to eight pounds per 1,000 square feet. Spread the seed onto the lawn. Try not to overlap as you make passes across the lawn with the seeder. If you do, you may have some areas with heavy seeding and other areas that have thinner growth.

    • 5). Fertilize the lawn with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Water the lawn well. If you don't receive frequent rain showers, keep watering the lawn daily until the seeds germinate and the roots take hold. Because it may take up to three weeks for the fescue seed to germinate, you need to pay close attention to how dry the soil gets while you are trying to reestablish the fescue in your lawn.

    • 6). Mow the grass when it's three inches tall. Continue mowing it until the end of the growing season. The roots continue to mature during the winter months, so by spring your lawn overseeding should be a success.

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