In certain parts of the country, August through November is known as Overseed Season. During this time the soil reaches the ideal temperature to overseed your clients’ landscape for healthy turf during the upcoming winter months. Here’s what you need to know, plus five tips to have a successful and prosperous season.
Preparing for Overseeding
Overseeding requires planning and preparation for a successful execution of this short season. To ensure your success, here are tips to help you prepare.
Start by evaluating all your clients’ landscapes to determine who you should talk to about your overseeding service. Try to book them quickly so you can plan your supplies and shopping for items you will need.
Tip #1: Create a worksheet before meeting with clients to help you stay organized. Include their contact information, a place for the scheduled date, and a checklist of which products to use.
As soon as you know what your total needs are for the service, use the worksheets to create a master shopping list, calendar, and tools inventory.
Tip #2: Do a full inventory of the tools you will need. Check their condition to see if you need to replace any items. Make sure to add them to your shopping list.
Now you’re prepared to purchase what you need and potentially take advantage of price breaks by buying large bags of seed, fertilizer, and topper.
Once you have your seed, you’ll need to store it while waiting for outdoor temperatures to cool enough. Make sure your storage facility is clean and protected from mice or rats before you bring in seed. You’ll also want to inspect the facility beforehand to ensure seed remains dry.
When soil temperatures reach 55° F to 65° F, begin the application process. Above-average temperatures are forecast for September through November 2022.
Tip #3: Monitor the weather to time your seed applications with online tools like the NOAA Weather Service temperature monitor.
Take the right steps in your application process for a successful overseed service.
Step 1: Remove thatch to increase seed contact with the soil.
Step 2: Apply seed. A hand crank spreader for small lawns and a broadcast spreader for larger areas will help you spread seed evenly and at the correct rate.
Tip #4: Seed rate is important to achieve the desired results. The general seed rate for Ryegrass is 10 to 12 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Fescue requires 6 to 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
Step 3: Apply a seed topper to condition the soil, prevent seed movement on sloped areas, protect seed from birds, and prevent seed from drying out during germination.
Step 4: Apply a starter fertilizer to give seeds a strong start. Some options include EMPRO 18-24-12, 5-20-10, 6-24-24 or 5-10-31. Visit your local Ewing location for fertilizer advice for your area.
Tip #5: If customers don’t want overseeding service, they may be interested in an application of turf colorant to keep their dormant grass a vibrant green during the winter months. Add this option to your worksheet!