Late summer or early fall is a great time for overseeding to heal cool-season lawns that have been damaged by summer drought, diseases, lawn damaging insects or foot traffic. Cool-season grasses grow best when air temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool-season grasses found in our lawns include Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrasses and fescues.

When to Do Fall Overseeding

Cooler fall weather arrives earlier the further north you go, so the timing of fall overseeding depends more upon daily temperatures than it does on the calendar. A good rule of thumb is to overseed early enough in either late summer or early fall to give the turfgrass seed time to germinate and mature enough so they can survive the winter.

How to Do Fall Overseeding

This involves selecting the best grass seed to use for fall overseeding. This requires some knowledge of the types of turfgrass so the new grass matches (as much as possible) the appearance of the lawn where it’s being seeded.

Fall Aeration and Overseeding

Grass seed germination depends upon seed-to-soil contact, overseeding is often combined with lawn aeration, which pulls cores of soil from the lawn so that water, air and nutrients have access to the root system. The resulting holes in the soil also give the new turfgrass favorable conditions to grow and mature, assuming they receive frequent light watering and are fertilized properly.

Benefits of Overseeding in the Fall:

Lawn Care Program
March through early May An application of complete balanced fertilizer with pre-emergent crabgrass control (and broadleaf weed control weather allowing)
Early May through June A complete balanced fertilization with broadleaf weed control
June through July A complete balanced fertilization (spot treatment for broadleaf weeds)
July through August A complete balanced fertilization (spot treatment of weeds and crabgrass)
September through November A complete balanced fertilization with broadleaf weed control
November through early December A winter feeding (promotes root development and faster green up)
Mahoning Valley Landscape & Nursery Association
Ohio Department of Agriculture