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Fall lawn overseeding

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Slice seeding

Now if the yard seems to have more dirt than grass, try "slice seeding" using a verticutter. Rental agencies will have these machines.

"They have a vertical blade that slices down through the thatch and then they'll have a seed box on top of it that will drop seed down into the slits," Christians says. "And that's a great way to do it when you're overseeding. If you've got a lot of bare spots you can just drive one of those slicer-seeders through there and it just does a great job. But the main thing is you've got to get it down through the organic layer to the soil."

Once the seed is planted, add some starter fertilizer with more phosphorus than nitrogen. Look for a formula where the middle number is highest, something like a 10-20-10.

After everything is in place, keep the lawn watered. The critical time is about a week after you've seeded, when the grass is peeking up and setting a root. If it's allowed to completely dry out, those tender seedlings will die.

Learn more:

How to lay sod: When you want a green lawn in a hurry, sod is a great option, especially on slopes where grass seed would wash downhill in a rainstorm.

Fix the lawn: Follow this step-by-step guide to lawn overseeding and nip lawn problems in the bud.

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