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Fall lawn overseeding

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Get the seed in the soil

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Dr. Nick Christians, horticulture/turf specialist, Iowa State University

Our lawn has seen better days. It's kind of thin and could use a good seeding. My husband, Bob, will probably tear it all up and start over. I'd rather hire someone to do it. It's a lot of work preparing the seed bed so the new grass will actually grow.

Turfgrass specialist Nick Christians says you can't walk around sprinkling grass seed from the rotary spreader and expect it to grow. It'll germinate in the thatch layer and die, so you have to get the seed down to the soil.

"One way you can do that is to core aerify," Christians says. "You can rent aerifiers that poke holes in the grass, and I like to go over it two or three times, really open it up and then put the seed down in those holes. And that works perfect. It'll come up in there, it holds moisture, everything works well."

If there aren't a lot of bare spots and the grass just seems a little thin, Christians doesn't recommend overseeding. He says try good lawn maintenance with regular feeding and weed control first, which should thicken it up.

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