Disrupting the interaction between primase and helicase in Escherichia coli increases Okazaki fragment (OF) length due to less frequent primer synthesis. We exploited this feature to increase the amount of ssDNA at the lagging strand of the replication fork that is available for λ Red-mediated Multiplex Automatable Genome Engineering (MAGE). Supporting this concept, we demonstrate that MAGE enhancements correlate with OF length. Compared with a standard recombineering strain (EcNR2), the strain with the longest OFs displays on average 62% more alleles converted per clone, 239% more clones with 5 or more allele conversions and 38% fewer clones with 0 allele conversions in 1 cycle of co-selection MAGE (CoS-MAGE) with 10 synthetic oligonucleotides. Additionally, we demonstrate that both synthetic oligonucleotides and accessible ssDNA targets on the lagging strand of the replication fork are limiting factors for MAGE. Given this new insight, we generated a strain with reduced oligonucleotide degradation and increased genomic ssDNA availability, which displayed 111% more alleles converted per clone, 527% more clones with 5 or more allele conversions and 71% fewer clones with 0 allele conversions in 1 cycle of 10-plex CoS-MAGE. These improvements will facilitate ambitious genome engineering projects by minimizing dependence on time-consuming clonal isolation and screening.