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How To Overseed An Existing Lawn

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How To Overseed Or Reseed Lawn

How To Overseed An Existing Lawn – Fall Lawn Renovation and Overseeding Step 4

How to overseed a lawn

Overseeding is one of the easier ways to repair a lawn. Rather than digging up your existing lawn to reseed it or lay new turf, you simply have to seed your existing lawn. For best overseeding results, you should:

  • Identify your grass

  • Aftercare

Overseeding a lawn is a great way to bring new life to your garden.

When your grass is looking a bit tired but isn’t quite at the stage where you need to learn how to lay new turf, overseeding may be the answer.

Whether your grass has bare patches, thin areas or is looking a bit off colour, overseeding can help bring it back to its former glory.

If possible, the best time to overseed your lawn is in spring so that the grass has become established by summer.

About Aeration And Overseeding

Aeration is the process of de-compacting the soil in your yard by cutting small holes into it. These holes allow oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach your grasss roots, which strengthens your grass. Overseeding is a process for improving your yard by adding fresh grass seed to your existing lawn to thicken and revitalize your turfgrass. While these are two separate techniques for improving your yard and lawn, when combined into a single weekend project, these two tasks work in harmony and can help improve the health of your grass for the next several years. The holes created by aeration allow grass seed and starter fertilizer to achieve better soil contact, which improves results.

Overseeding An Existing Lawn

You can overseed at other times of the year. Spring , is also a favourite time for overseeding. Just remember grass seed germination relies on two main factors soil temperature, and moisture. Grass seed needs soil temperatures to be at least 7-8 degrees celsius, and frequent rainfall is important to ensure the seed germinates. See also: How long does seed take to grow.

The area to be over-sown should ideally be closely mown and then scarified or in some way prepared in order that the seeds can be carefully incorporated into the surface mineral soil bypassing any thatch or organic matter present at the surface.

Select a suitable mixture of grass seed using the Lawn UK lawn wizard.

Ideally, sow the seed after the ground has been thoroughly wetted by a good fall of rain.

Mix the seed in a bucket with equal proportions of a suitable carrier such as general purpose compost and sand a light garden soil could be used but would need to be sterilised in order to eliminate the numerous weed seeds liable to be present.

For best results, the mixture needs to be moist and spread evenly over the target areas.

The use of a compound fertiliser such as a proprietary lawn feed which is low in nitrogen is also likely to be necessary and would be instrumental in hastening seedling establishment and recovery of the existing lawn.

Keep off the newly over-seeded area if possible until new seedlings are firmly anchored.

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Add A Light Soil Layer

Another way to help your newly added seed to settle into your lawn is introducing another layer of dirt to the top of the grass. This very thin layer should include an enriched soil that nourishes your existing soil and provides a positive growing environment for new seed.

You can find soil that is made specifically for this purpose, which includes extra fertilizer and other ingredients to make it easier for grass to grow.

Just be sure that the new soil doesnt blanket the existing grass enough to cause damage thats the opposite of our goal.

How To Overseed A Lawn The Simple Guide

3 Easy Steps To Overseed Your Existing Lawn

Everyone wants a thick, green, and healthy lawn. Its the perfect way to show-off to neighbors, a great place for a picnic, and a safe place for children to land if they fall in the yard.

However, if you want a lawn that turns neighbors green with envy, you need the knowledge and knowhow to do it right. Otherwise, it can take longer, cost more, and be way more work than it needs to be.

If you want the best lawn in the neighborhood, you need a maintenance plan that can simplify upkeep. A major part of this plan should involve overseeding, which will help keep your lawn in tip-top shape without requiring you to dig up the grass anytime it thins out.

Ready to learn how to work smarter, not harder?

Keep reading to discover what you need to know to help your lawn look its best.

Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own. We pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

In This Article:

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: Distribute The Seeds

After the lawn is ready for overseeding, use a seed spreader for a more extensive lawn. Follow the label guidelines of the grass seeds mentioned per square feet of area. You can also use a handheld spreader for a smaller area.

If you need to fill small spots, you can spread the seeds with your hands. Also, ensure to spread the seeds in calm air. As it not only avoids seed wastage but also promotes an even seed distribution. Slightly rake over mulch or compost to protect the new seeds.

Choosing The Best Time To Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn

In most landscaping and gardening projects, timing is everything. And thats true for aeration and overseeding.

But theres not a one-size-fits-all best time to aerate and overseed your lawn. Where you live, and the type of grass you have in your yard will dictate when you should tackle these projects.

This is because you want to give the grass time to grow and strengthen before harsher weather conditions arrive, so you want to aerate and overseed your lawn just before your grass has the ideal growing conditions.

Those conditions largely depend on your geographic location and how seasonal changes affect your grass.

That said, here are the best times for aeration and overseeding most lawns:

When to Aerate and Overseed Warm-Season Grasses

If you live in a southern climate, your lawn is probably made up of warm-season grasses. For you, the best time to aerate is during the late spring, and youll want to overseed your lawn at the same time.

This is because warm-season grasses thrive and grow best during the heat of summer. By performing these lawn improvement projects in late spring your seedlings will be established just in time for their ideal growing conditions and they can thrive and develop deep roots throughout the heat of summer.

When to Aerate and Overseed Cool-Season Grasses

For you, early spring or early fall aeration and overseeding will deliver the best results, with early fall my recommendation.

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How Much Grass Seed

When youve decided which lawn seed to use, the instructions should tell you the rate at which it needs to be applied. Quite often the over seeding rate is lower than the rate for starting a new lawn though sometimes adding more, particularly if rye grass is included, will speed recovery. However, if you are trying to improve your lawn by changing the type of seed then adding more will cause more of a change.

Do NOT automatically assume more is better! Ive seen patch repairs done where you cant see the soil for grass seed. This will cause extremely dense growth that will stick out like a sore thumb. If in doubt stick to about 10 to 20 seeds per square inch.

The next page will cover all the variables for seeding rates.

What Type Of Grass Seed Is Best

How to overseed an existing lawn for the BEST RESULTS

Your choice of grass is generally determined by your areas climate. Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bentgrass and the Fine Fescues, are used primarily in western, northern and eastern areas of the United States. They tolerate moderate summertime temperatures but will also survive severe cold associated with northern winter conditions.

Warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass and Bahiagrass, are used in the south, southeast, and southwest United States. Theyll withstand extreme heat, but are unable to tolerate sustained temperatures well below freezing. Tall Fescues are used extensively in the midsouth and west regions and with the advent of new turf-type Tall Fescues, their use is expanding into other geographic areas as well. For detailed recommendations, contact your lawn care professional or county extension agent.

Do you need to start over?Proper overseeding can renovate a lawn if it has at least 50% or more healthy turf. However, if your lawn has less than 50% healthy turf, it may be better to kill out the old turf, weeds, etc., and reseed the entire lawn.

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Tips And Techniques For Overseeding Lawns

The concept of overseeding lawns as part of a regular maintenance has been around for years, but it is still new to many homeowners. This one step will do more to improve the quality of your lawn than almost anything else you can do.

For the organic and conventional home turf experts, this is one of the best things you can do. Years of experience proves this. The information on this page will explain why overseeding your lawn is so important for a thick, healthy, and weed free lawn.

The two images below show the same fescue lawn before and after seeding. Overseeding was performed in early fall and was recommended due to thinning grass and increasing weed problems. The second image was taken the following spring after overseeding. The grass is thicker and the thin areas have filled in.

: Lawn Preparation Before Reseeding

After testing the soil, follow the below-mentioned steps to prepare the lawn before reseeding.

  • Kill the existing grass by using chemicals.
  • You can also spread a 4m or thicker black poly film sheet to kill the grass by blocking the sunlight. It will take two to three weeks to dry the grass completely.
  • Use a rigid tine rake to remove the weeds and dead grass from the topsoil.
  • Use a rented tiller to till the soil to a depth of 5 inches.
  • Spread conditioners to the entire lawn as recommended by the soil test analysis.
  • Remove all the debris and rocks.
  • Use a broom rake to smooth the ground.
  • Create Furrows by dragging the rake.
  • Apply the best starter fertilizer into the furrows after consulting the local nursery. Make sure not to over-fertilize the area.

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When Is The Best Time For Overseeding Lawns

When to overseed lawn depends on the type of seeds you are planting. In northern climates overseeding should be performed 45 days before the planting zones first frost. This is ideal for strengthening a weak or thinning lawn. Strengthening turf in the spring is best done when the threat of all freezes has passed their region.

Those living in southern climates with warm-season grasses should overseed to obtain winter colour, when temperatures have dropped below 65 degrees at night consistently. Prepare the area properly prior during elevated soil temperatures to promote germination.

How to Overseed a Lawn

You will need:

  • Sprinkler

Step One: Mow and Rake

Begin the overseeding process by mowing your lawn on the lowest setting and bagging the clippings. Next, rake the lawn to remove any loose grass or debris, further exposing the soil to accommodate the new seed.

Step Two: Amend the Soil

Add a thin layer of one-quarter of an inch or less of enriched soil over the existing grass and gently rake it in to provide a healthy environment for the new seeds to settle into.

Step Three: Add the Seeds

Fill the seed spreader and adjust the settings according to the directions on the label, and apply over the entire area, refilling as needed. For smaller areas, you may want to use a hand spreader while a drop or broadcast spreader is more suitable for larger lawns.

Step Four: Feed the Grass

Step Five: Water the Lawn


How Long Should I Wait To Mow The Grass After Overseeding


If you cut the grass down to at least 1.5 before overseeding, you should not need to mow for a few weeks before the grass gets too high.

You dont want to mow at all until the new grass seed has germinated, taken root, and begun to grow, which can take about 12-14 days to occur with regular watering.

The first time you DO mow again, set the mower to its HIGHEST setting so that you are only cutting the older long grass and not the new shorter grass.

Make sure to bag the clipping so that they do not cover and suffocate the newly sprouting grass down below.

Repeat this once a week until you see the new sprouts have reached the same height as the existing grass you are cutting.

Only then you can begin to lower the mower one setting at a time each time you mow until back to your normal mowing height.

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How To Overseed An Existing Lawn

Before sowing, have a look at the weather forecast for your area. Temperatures need to be 10 degrees and above consistently for at least two weeks for your grass seed to grow.

Do not sow in flood, frost, snow or extremely hot conditions. This means that typically the best times to sow grass seed are in Spring and Autumn.

With the weather perfect for sowing, its now time to prepare your seedbed.

Heres everything youll need: A garden trowel or weedkiller A pre-seed lawn feed A watering can, hose or sprinkler Net covering or old CDs A lawn mower

With your equipment at theready, the first thing you need to do is remove any weeds or moss.

For Overseeding Preparation Is Key

When you begin to overseed your lawn, you have to prepare the area. To prepare your lawn for overseeding:

  • Mow your lawn shorter than you normally would.
  • Remove all of the clippings .
  • Loosen the turf with a rake.

Mow your lawn shorter than usual to improve the percentage of seed that contacts the soil.

Youll also want to delay mowing your new grass after overseeding. Mowing your lawn close will buy you some extra time before you have to mow. Mowing too early can rip your new grass out because it wont have strong enough roots.

For normal mowing I recommend mowing 1/3 of the grass length. When overseeding, get closer to 2/3 of the grass length cut and raked.

After mowing and bagging your clippings,, rake over the area to remove all excess clippings and debris and to begin to turn over the soil, so it is ready to receive the new seed.

Raking is a good way to loosen the soil in your lawn so your grass seed has good contact. Without good soil contact, your seed wont germinate and grow.

I go over my lawn with an iron rake to loosen the turf.

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What To Consider When Overseeding A Lawn

Overseeding a lawn means planting grass seed directly into your existing grass. You don’t have to break up your lawn or soil. It can help prevent weeds from taking over your lawn.

When to overseed depends on where you live. Overseeding a lawn in fall is ideal if youre growing cool season grasses. That’s because the soil is still warm enough for seeds to germinate and the cool air helps grass to grow a strong root system. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fescue are cool season grasses. Cool fall weather starts earlier in the North, so overseed your cool season grass by late summer or early fall if you live in there.

Late spring or early summer is ideal for overseeding warm season grasses in the South. Bermuda, centipede, Saint Augustine and zoysia are warn season grasses. If youre overseeding a lawn in spring or early summer, give your seedlings frequent, light waterings. That helps them get established before hot, dry weather sets in.

There are a few things to do before you start overseeding a lawn:

Revive Your Lawn By Overseeding

How To OVERSEED Your Lawn in SPRING // Complete Step by Step Guide

Is your lawn looking thin and brown? Well, Scotts can help you get back to the thick, lush, green lawn you’ve always wanted and all you need to do is overseed. If you put down a layer of seed over your lawn in the spring or fall, the thin areas will thicken up, and your lawn will start to look terrific again.

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Loosen Turf With A Rake

For the best chances at your grass seed taking hold in your soil, it helps to loosen the turf with a rake before using the seed spreader. Compacted turf is less likely to absorb the seed and germinate because it struggles to reach the soil under the turf.

This can also help improve air circulation to the soil, helping the new grass to grow.

When Is The Best Time To Overseed

Late summer or early fall is the best time to overseed lawns. Soil and atmospheric temperatures are most favorable for optimum seed germination and growth. With adequate moisture, fertilizer and sunlight, the new seedlings will be well established before cooler fall weather sets in. Also, weed competition is less of a factor at this time, giving the grass seedlings a better environment to grow and develop.

Spring overseeding risks the chance of weather-related problems and weed competition. Also, spring seeding may interfere with the application of preemergent crabgrass or broadleaf weed killers concurrent application of seed and herbicides is generally not recommended because the herbicides may cause poor seedling establishment. It is best to delay herbicide treatment 4-6 weeks after new grass seed germinates. If you choose to overseed in the spring, be sure to follow proper seeding and treatment practices.

Midsummer overseeding faces greater chances of disease, heat and drought stress, and weed competition. Proper weed control and adequate irrigation are musts if overseeding is attempted in midsummer.

Dormant overseeding involves seeding in late fall or early winter, after soil temperatures are low enough to prevent seed germination.

Note: When overseeding Bermudagrass in southern parts of the U.S., late spring or early summer seeding usually works best. Bermudagrass and other warm-season grasses need warmer weather to germinate and fully develop.

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