Great lawns in Minnesota can be a challenge with the extreme weather changes. If your lawn is patchy and in need of rejuvenation, consider overseeding instead of digging up your lawn, which will produce a richer lawn suited to your area. The choice of the best grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota is important for that beautiful lush, green lawn you’ll want to walk barefoot on.
Minnesota has a cooler climate, so the best grasses for planting are those suited to cooler climates, such as Kentucky bluegrass and the Fescues. For overseeding, the variety that is selected should be compatible with the look and quality of turf with the existing lawn. The choice of the best grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota also depends on the area that is being overseeded, especially if it is in the sun or the shade.
Our Top Picks
1. Kentucky Bluegrass
Jonathan Green Blue Panther Kentucky Bluegrass Seed
2. Fine Fescue
Outsidepride Legacy Fine Fescue Blend
3. Perennial Ryegrass
Fundamentals Perennial Ryegrass Mix
Keep reading for more info about which variety is best for your lawn.
Over time, any lawn can become worn and patchy. Perhaps the type of grass that has been planted doesn’t thrive for a long period, pests may have attacked the grass, or it may be susceptible to diseases. To bring your lawn back to life, you can overseed it.
Quite simply, overseeding means spreading new grass seed over an existing lawn so that the new seeds will germinate and the lawn will effectively regrow over the old grass.
Different Types of Grass
Grass is not just grass. There are many varieties of grass with different needs. Some prefer the sun, while some prefer the shade. Other grasses do well in an environment with high rainfall, and then there are those that grow best with minimal water. It is important to use the correct grass seed for the conditions under which you live.
The climate in a certain area determines rainfall and temperature, so choosing the right grass for overseeding depends on where you live and what grasses suit that environment.
You will likely find that there are a few grass varieties that will suit your particular needs for where you live. You could be seeking a particular look or feel of the lawn and may even use different grasses in particular parts of your garden.
If you are unsure which grass varieties can produce a very even green lawn, then visit your local golf club and inquire about the varieties of grass used there. This can give you some inspiration, and the varieties obviously suit your area.
The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding in Minnesota
Of course, there are almost as many types of grass you could use for overseeding as there are places to grow them. In Minnesota, though, certain factors will guide you when you look at the different varieties.
Particular types of grass grow better in shade and others in the sun, so you need to look carefully at the space in your yard where you want to grow the lawn. As you are overseeding, you will have an existing lawn, so find out what variety of grass is planted there. If it’s not growing well, then you should change the variety.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider when you choose the grass is the climate.
Climate in Minnesota
Because of its size and location, Minnesota does not have one consistent climate, so the choice of the best grass seed for overseeding will be relative to the particular part of the state.
The overall climate of Minnesota is described as being ‘continental’. This means hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures in the state are generally cooler because it is fairly far north. You need to take into account the overall weather conditions and temperatures when you choose the best grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota.
The area to the east of Minnesota has its own climate because of the influence of Lake Superior. The temperatures experienced in this area are more even than in the rest of the state. The summers are cooler, and the winters are warmer.
The winters in Minnesota are very cold and characterized by snow. Summer is humid, and the temperatures can rise to a relatively hot degree, although these are not the temperature that the state experiences consistently.
Generally, you need to think about Minnesota as grasses suited to cooler temperatures and those that grow well in a humid environment.
Choosing the Seed
When you are considering what the best grass seed is for overseeding your lawn in your particular area, consider the temperatures and rainfall you receive. Also, remember to take note of where you want to plant them in your garden. You should also take note of how quickly the grass grows, how much time you can afford to spend managing your lawn, and the look you are going for.
When you choose the best grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota, price is also a factor. Take care that you don’t go for a cheaper option if it’s not an appropriate grass for your area, or it is actually an inferior grass. Make sure that what you buy is actually the variety you are paying for.
Kentucky Bluegrass is a good option for grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota. It is a cool-temperature grass and can tolerate lower temperatures than most other grasses. It makes an attractive, dense lawn but needs quite a lot of maintenance, meaning regular watering and fertilizing.
You will also have to apply pesticides quite regularly. Kentucky bluegrass is very hardy in winter and can repair itself very well, which makes it an attractive grass for areas that are quite busy. It needs direct sunlight to grow and will not grow well in the shade.
The Fine Fescues grasses are suited to cooler climates but also tolerate heat and resist weed growth in summer. The Fescues do not need a lot of water and fertilizer. They are also less vulnerable to pests. Because the Fescues are relatively slower-growing, they do not need as much mowing as often as some other varieties.
They are hardy grasses and can take a lot of traffic. They can grow in some shade and do not need more than about 4 hours a day of direct sun.
Perennial Ryegrass is a popular grass suited to cooler temperatures, making it a good choice for grass seed for overseeding in Minnesota. It is a hardy grass and grows well throughout the year, although it slows down during winter. It has a low resistance to drought and enjoys quite a lot of water.
Some perennial versions have been cultivated to be hardier and are better suited to areas that have quite a lot of wear. Perennial ryegrass grows quite quickly and prefers the sun but can tolerate some shade.
Things to Remember About Grass Seeds
Most varieties of grass can be blended with different varieties, so keep this in mind when you are going to overseed. If your existing lawn has not done well, then you should change the variety of seeds you use.
You can purchase your grass seeds from a nursery or garden store. Some seed packets contain the grass seed that has been mixed with supplements, such as germination aids. This will determine how much fertilizer you will need to use when you scatter the seeds over your lawn. Make sure you make sure what may be mixed into the seeds before you make your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I grow warm-season grass in Minnesota?
Minnesota generally has a cooler climate, so don’t choose warm-season grass for overseeding. A few varieties of cooler season grasses are well suited to overseeding in Minnesota.
Why should I overseed my lawn in spring?
Generally, spring is the time when new growth begins, as the weather warms up after winter. This means that spring is the best time to overseed so that the new grass will be encouraged to germinate.
The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding in Minnesota
When you decide to overseed your lawn, make sure that you choose the best grass seeds for your area and its requirements. You will need to think about the amount of sun the patch of lawn receives and how much water is available. Whichever grass variety you choose, make sure that it is cool-season grass to suit the generally cooler climate in Minnesota. When overseeding your Minnesota lawn, which seed is your favorite?
Looking to upgrade your outdoor spaces at home? Then find inspiration for your Minnesota backyard with our landscaping ideas, outdoor furniture suggestions, gardening recommendations, and more!
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.