I've seen a lot of yards that have great looking turf in one part (maybe the backyard), but struggle to make grass grow in others (perhaps the front). The homeowner is doing the same thing across their entire yard (same mowing practices, watering practices, fertilization, etc), so why does one part of the yard continue to struggle while another thrives? It probably has to do with the type of grass that was originally put in.
Does this situation sound like your yard? Thick turf in one area, weak turf in another? There's a good chance you've also got the wrong type of grass in one part of your yard.
Next time you're in your yard, look up. In the weak-turf area, is it a sunny area with very little shade? Chances are your yard was seeded or sodded with a shade-loving turfgrass. Or maybe the weak part of your turf is in a shady area. Chances are it was seeded or sodded with a sun-loving turfgrass.
So as a homeowner trying to grow thick healthy grass in ALL parts of your yard, are you supposed to research different types of grass seed, know the sun tolerance of each type of grass, and then calculate the amount of sunlight each part of your yard receives? Nope, it's not going to that complicated.
Our recommendation for people looking to thicken up their turf by overseeding is to buy a sun/shade seed mix. You overseed your lawn with a sun/shade mix, and you just let nature sort out what grows where. The sun-loving seed with thrive in the sunny areas, the shade-loving seed will thrive in the shady areas, and you will be a happy homeowner with a thicker turf in all parts of your yard.
We sell a great uncoated (no chemical coating) sun/shade grass seed mix, and will deliver it for free anywhere in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon Counties. We've been using this mix for years with great results. Have questions? Email Steve at Steve@GoodSweetEarth.com.
Another option is clover. Dutch White Clover is a great groundcover that tolerates both sun and shade, fills in bare spots nicely where turf often struggles, stays green all summer long, grows at the same rate and height as turfgrass, and is good in high-traffic areas. We sell clover seed too!
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.