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Lawn Overseeding 101

Lawn_Overseeding_101Did you know that a single blade of grass only lives an average of 40 days before it dies? Our lawns are constantly working to produce new blades to replace the ones that have died back. 

There are ways to keep the lawn healthy and living longer, but just like all other living things, grass growth will slow down as it gets older

So think about it, how old is your lawn?  

Many St. Louis lawn professionals like Dowco recommend overseeding your lawn every year or every other year. This ensures that the rate the grass is reproducing is always faster than the rate that it’s slowing down.

If you want a young, healthy lawn, overseeding is important.  


Overseeding helps to keep our lawn lush and repairs any damage that may have occurred over the brutal summer.

Repairing this damage is essential in helping to keep weeds at bay. Sedges, Annual grasses, and broadleaf weeds are looking for any opportunity to move in, and that bare spot that the brown patch fungus created last season is just the type of home they are looking for.


Seeding in the fall, specifically around Labor Day, allows the best chance for seed establishment before heavy freezes and leaf litter arrive. Weed pressure greatly reduces at the first frost and allows us the time to revive our grass and put up the defenses to keep these pests out.

It is somewhat common to see inexperienced lawn professionals promote aeration and overseeding in the spring.  We hesitate on that because spring is the time for crabgrass preemergents.  You can read that article here: When Should I Overseed My Lawn? Spring or Fall? 



In St. Louis, Fescue seems to be the best all around grass for our environment. Fescue is a versatile grass that can handle full sun, some shade and is accustomed to our bi-polar weather. It’s popular for its dark green color.  It is not disease proof, but many of the newer varieties have a good resistance. 

Dowco uses a blend of turf type tall fescue grass seed called, Winning Colors.  Each 50 pound bag of grass seed contains 4 different types of grass seed that vary in their size and texture. The fine fescues have narrow grass blades and prefer the shade and the more coarse blends can withstand higher heat. Since one single type isn’t perfect for everywhere, the blend works well for our lawns.

Turf type tall fescue has been developed specifically for lawns and professional turf experts. I’m not sure any of them could have resisted the outbreak of disease we experienced this summer though!  The environmental conditions were just too perfect.


We need to touch briefly on the anatomy of your lawn to get the best understanding of the importance of overseeding.

Seed_anatomyEach grass “seed” is capable of producing a grass plant. Think of the grass plant as a small “bunch” of grass blades grouped together.  The grass plants expand by creating more tillers and blending together to create your lawn!  

But, don’t be confused.  Fescue grass does NOT spread. It is a bunch grass, which means it expands by the production of new tillers. A tiller is a new leaf blade that is grown from the base of the plant.

Since fescue does not spread, overseeding is necessary to maintain the thickness of the turf. 

Lawns that look thin and have bare spots, likely haven’t been overseeded in years. This automatically makes them have a poor immune system and more susceptible to pests, diseases, weeds and being scorched by drought or drowned by heavy rains.  


A true turf transformation does not happen overnight and it may take a few years of this practice before your turf is truly to where you want it to be.  We recommend that all of our clients aerate and overseed every year if the budget allows.  If not, every other year is a must!

Don’t give up on your lawn if you’ve tried seeding in the past and didn’t get the results that you wanted. There are many factors that contribute to a thick, lush, healthy lawn and this is just one of them.  Dowco can help you!

Even if you have an amazingly healthy and thick stand of turf, you should look at aerating every year and overseeding when it is necessary.


Dowco provides aeration and overseeding for our clients in the fall.  Click the link below to find out why our services are unique and better than the rest! 

Learn more

After you get that thick, lush lawn I encourage you to go walk through it barefoot, just remember to clean up the dog’s mess before you do.  

I hope to see you all walking barefoot in your lawn soon!   

Topics: Turf Care Fall Turf Renovation

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