A lack of overseeding athletic fields or overseeding at the incorrect rates can be major reasons why athletic fields fail. Late summer is the time to make sure you’re overseeding your athletic fields.

Why Should You Take the Time to Overseed?

  • To increase turf density following play, thus maintaining a safe playing surface
  • To introduce a new cultivar of cool season turf (HGT)
  • To introduce a new type of grass
    • Ryegrass into bluegrass stand
    • Ryegrass into bermudagrass

Overseeding Practices

There is not a specific preparation for overseeding; however, using a slice seeder for the task and aerifying prior to overseeding are good practices.  Also, overseeding should be completed before topdressing. Topdressing is a good practice to ensure good seed to soil contact. Dragging cores, from aerification, should be done after overseeding as well as applying starter fertilizer.

Overseeding Formula

Follow this simple overseeding formula:

  1. Core aerify
  2. Overseed
  3. Topdress
  4. Drag the cores, sand, and seed into the field
  5. Apply a starter fertilizer like 16-28-12 with Foliar-Pak Armament at a rate of 4 bags an acre

Overseeding Rates

Don’t hesitate to overseed at a higher rate in season. Remember that seed is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep fields looking good and coaches happy throughout the season. Overseeding rates depend on the level of play, amount of play, time of year for play, and overseeding budget.

Where and When to Overseed

Typically, overseed the entire field once a year. High traffic areas can/should be overseeded as often as needed based on play. Some areas (goal mouths for soccer, in front of the mound for baseball, football hash marks) should be overseeded at least once every 2 weeks in season.