Fix Lawn Damage with Overseeding

May is the month where everything is finally blooming. The flowers are colourful, the trees are becoming fuller and the grass is greening up. However, this also means it’s the time when weeds are trying to overtake your lawn and grubs may be feasting away, leaving ugly brown patches all over your lawn. Here’s how you can fix this lawn damage and choke out weeds with overseeding.

Getting Rid of Weeds
If your lawn is unhealthy or thin, weeds can easily spread and take hold, fertilizing in the soil between the grass blades. Dandelions are an especially large culprit since it doesn’t take them long to go to seed and then spread quickly over your yard (or your neighbours), and they will grow all season long. With a proper lawn care regimen, overseeding will give you a thicker lawn, which will choke out current weeds and will create an inhospitable environment for new weeds to grow.

Grub Damage
Certain insect larvae, known as grubs, will eat grass and its roots as it grows to maturity. The biggest offenders during May are European chafers, Japanese beetles and June beetles. They look like little which c-shaped worms with a black head and bury themselves in the soil of your yard and eat the grass roots, creating brown patches as the grass weakens and dies. They also are a favourite snack of racoons and skunks who will dig up your yard looking for these tasty morsels.

Another culprit is the leatherjacket, the larvae of the European crane fly, which as an adult looks like a giant mosquito, and you’ll often find them attached to the outside of your house during July. Unlike the other grubs, the leatherjackets eat the grass blades, sometimes all the way down to the soil.

If you’re able to catch this early, nematodes will kill off the grubs, but if it’s too late, overseeding will fix the damage caused by the grubs and the animals digging for them.
How to Over-Seed

  1. Pick the right grass – look for a combination of perennial ryegrass, fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.
  2. Add a layer of topsoil or compost to add nutrients and help to hold moisture
  3. Seed – about a pound of seed per 200 square feet
  4. Irrigate – THIS IS KEY – the seed cannot dry out before it germinates (about a week), so quite a bit of water is needed. You should water from about an hour after you’ve seeded and then multiple times a day to keep it moist. Because watering is so crucial to overseeding, an inground sprinkler system can really be of benefit. You can program it so it will come on as many times as required, and will cover the entire area which you over-seeded. Having an irrigation system will save you from having to keep an eye on the time and then going out to move the sprinkler to another area of your yard. Plus, it will ensure your newly seeded grass isn’t getting too much water, flooding it out and washing the seed away.