To Overseed or Not to Overseed?
Pros and Cons of Overseeding Your Lawn
If you haven’t yet made a decision about this winter’s lawn, it is not too late. There are, however, a few pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to overseed this season.
What is Overseeding?
Overseeding is defined as seeding on top of your existing lawn; usually with a temporary cool-season turfgrass such as perennial Ryegrass. This practice supports green active grass growth when your warm season Bermuda turfgrass is dormant.
Sports fields, golf courses, homeowner associations, commercial sites and home lawns are often overseeded in the fall to achieve a green quality turf during cooler months.
Competition between the cool and warm season grasses can be significant in the early spring when the warm season turf is trying to re-grow after winter dormancy, often referred to as spring transition. If the spring is cool, it will favor the overseeded perennial Ryegrass at the expense of the re-growth of the warm season Bermuda grass. In years that favor continued persistence of over-seeding, there can be significant damage to the Bermuda grass turf.
Existing turfgrass will be “scalped down” to provide a seedbed that supports a quick fall transition. Scalping, along with fall competition from the cool season grass, prevents the warm season turfgrass from being able to store necessary carbohydrates. The warm season turfgrass will then go into winter dormancy in a weaker condition, with less stored reserves to recover in spring.
Suspending the overseeding process for at least one season is recommended to rejuvenate the Bermuda grass root system and nutrients. By learning to accept a less than lush lawn during the winter months, you will not only realize significant water savings but you will also save time and *money.
*National Seed Shortage – prices for Perennial Ryegrass forecasted to increase potentially doubling cost.
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