If you live in an area of the United States that has fluctuating seasons, then you have likely experienced the frustration of seeing your beautiful lawn that is so green and alive in the Spring and Summer turn brown and unattractive in the Autumn and Winter months. This can make the long, cold Winter seem sad and feel like an energy drain on some people. Furthermore, you might be employed in some position that requires landscape maintenance and that means you are charged with keeping some business’ lawn nice-looking all year long regardless of the season. What to do about this dilemma? The answer is surprisingly simple: overseed your Spring and Summer lawn with cool season grasses.
Cool season grasses are defined as those with an optimum temperatures range for growth from 60 to 75 degrees F. Warm-season grasses optimally grown in temperatures ranging from 80 to 95 degrees F. Cool season grasses will of course be those that grow in the northern US and warm season grasses will be those that grow in the south. What we call the Transition Zone is in between the northern and southern regions and it is here that it is most difficult to maintain a healthy looking lawn in any season. But again, overseeding will work.Among the most common warm season grasses in the US are Centipede, Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahia, carpet grass, and buffalo grass. If you are uncertain which kind of grass your warm-season lawn grows, do some research or consult a lawn expert.
In any event, what is important is that timing is everything with overseeding lawns. If you don’t time the overseeding correctly, it is all done in vain and will never work. With all of the warm season grasses mentioned above, the “timing” starts when the day’s high temperature begins to consistently stay below 70 degrees F. If you have lived in your current area for at least a couple of years, you are probably already familiar with what time of the year this begins. Therefore, when that time approaches, prepare to overseed your lawn. Your warm season grass will go dormant then, but you may not see it with the naked eye at first, so be prepared and watch the temperatures closely. Again, if you hesitate to start seeding, all is lost.
Ideally the cool season grass you want to use for overseeding is rye. Rye grows gorgeously in cold temperatures but then easily dies away in the Spring to let the warm season grass beneath flourish. However, fine fescues and bluegrass make viable, lovely alternatives to rye. Make one of these cool season grasses your choice.
When you prepare for overseeding, cut your warm season lawn as short as possible and remove all lawn debris. You need to make sure that the cold season grass seeds you sow will take root. Follow the instructions on the bag of cold grass seed for how to spread them. Remember that you will want to spread them the same way you spread your warm season seeds. Maintain your cold season lawn as you would a healthy warm season lawn: water regularly; mow the lawn if it gets too high; and use fertilizer.
So, it is simple to maintain a healthy, beautiful lawn all year round. Just never forget that timing and preparation are the secrets to success.