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How To Reseed An Existing Lawn

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How To Overseed Your Lawn

How to Reseed a Lawn

Your lawn care company may be able to perform lawn overseeding, which take the pressure off you as a homeowner. Your lawn care company know the best grass varieties for your region of the country and your specific lawn needs. If your lawn care company isnt able to overseed, you can do it yourself. Overseeding your lawn isnt a difficult process, but you need to follow all of the steps to ensure successful germination.

Prepare The Soil For Grass

Perform a soil test to determine what soil amendments are needed before planting. Fill in any low spots and make sure the yard has a 1 to 2 percent slope away from your house or other buildings, advises the University of Maryland Extension. Remove any rocks, weeds and roots and break up large clumps of soil.

Till the lawn 4 to 6 inches deep with lime and fertilizer. The amounts needed are determined by the results of your soil test. Add 1 to 2 inches of organic material such as compost. This not only adds nutrients to the soil, it also helps to remove compactions so that the soil will drain better, creating a better environment for your grass.

Finally, smooth out the lawn with a rake and use a water roller to firm the soil. This step ensures a level soil bed without compacting the soil.

How To Apply The Overseeding On The Soil

Once the soil is prepared, the reseeding can be spread. Since the grass seeds should be spread very evenly, a spreader is also suitable for this purpose. Make sure that there is no wind. Grass seeds are very small and light and quickly evaporate. Once the lawn seeds are distributed on the ground, there are two different approaches to how you can proceed.

Option one suggests you firm up to reseed a bit, otherwise, it will blow away the next day. You can either use a lawn roller, which you can borrow from a hardware store for a small amount of money, or you can use treads. Some amateur gardeners also just tread them down carefully if the areas are small.

Other gardeners suggest working to reseed into the soil with a rake. This also prevents the seeds from flying away. Which of the two you choose has long been a debate that has yet to produce a proven result.

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How Do You Best Prepare The Reseed For Growing

Lawns in general need a lot of water in the first period. If you have already laid sod or sown your lawn yourself, you probably remember this. So water to reseed daily for 4 to 6 weeks. On hot summer days, you can also water it in the morning and in the evening. It is important to avoid burning in the initial period.Some gardeners also swear by peat on the reseeding. The peat is supposed to protect the grass seeds from flying away in the wind, as well as cover the reseed so that it cannot be eaten by birds. Peat protects against drying out and also against excessive rain. Because, especially at the beginning, heavy rain can simply wash away the reseed.

Grasses That Benefit From Overseeding

Reseeding a lawn TimeLapse.

The practice of overseeding lawns is really nothing more than spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. The golf industry has been doing it since the sport began and is an important step in maintaining quality turf. Knowing how to do it correctly is the key. There is no need to invest in expensive equipment, just what is needed to do it correctly.

Not every grass type requires overseeding. The practice of overseeding lawns is primarily reserved for cool season bunch type grasses such as tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass and occasionally bluegrass. There are exceptions, but for most home lawns, grass types that spread by the production of “runners” are not generally overseeded unless it is damaged or diseased. This includes most warm season grass varieties. An exception is bermudagrass that is occasionally overseeded in the fall using a cool season variety.

Understanding Grass Growth

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How To Overseed A Lawn

Lawn care is an integral part of exterior home maintenance, and a healthy, vibrant lawn can add beauty and value to any home. Regardless of how much time you spend in your yard, your grass can begin to look thin and brown as it ages, and the best way to restore its appearance and vitality is with overseeding. Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to overseed a lawn from the landscape experts at The Grounds Guys®.

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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Spread The Grass Seed

Its seeding time! Just fill up your Scotts® spreader with grass seed, adjust the spreader settings according to the label directionsuse the New Lawn coverage rateand apply. The Scotts® Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader is an extremely easy-to-use choice for small lawns , while the Scotts® Turf Builder® Edgeguard® DLX Broadcast Spreader brings exceptional precision when youre applying seed to larger lawns . For really big lawns , the Scotts® Elite Spreader, with its 6-foot spread pattern, will help you get the job done quickly.

What Kind Of Lawn Should I Reseed

How to Reseed a Lawn | This Old House

The right variety to reseed is essential. While there is an abundance of reseeding available in stores, identifying the right one from them is not exactly easy. Keep in mind that if you choose the wrong grass, the young blades of grass may not grow properly.

It is advisable to know what type of grass is already in your yard if you want to reseed.

Many amateur gardeners also complain about a noticeable difference between reseeding and the original lawn. Although the freshly seeded lawn grows, it has a difference in color or is less or more dense. Thus, the beautifully maintained lawn quickly resembles a carpet of spots. If you have no idea, it is best to visit a hardware store and get advice there. Otherwise, we have created a great overview of lawn seeds in this article. Here you can find out everything you need to know on our site.

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Professional Lawn Care Help

After you overseed your lawn, your grass will be thicker and healthier. If you want to keep it that way, you have to put in the work to maintain it consistently.

Proper lawn maintenance includes cutting the grass every one or two weeks during its growing season. Mowing the lawn on a regular schedule encourages the grass to grow in a dense mat.

Dont have time for all that mowing? Dont sweat it weekly service from LawnStarters local lawn care pros is only a click away.

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

What Do You Need To Pay Special Attention To When Reseeding Your Lawn

To reseed your lawn, you dont have to completely redo everything. Often, spots recover well and its easier and more enjoyable than reseeding the entire area. Plus, you can still walk on the rest of the lawn, which is a big advantage. Because this also makes watering much easier.

But so you dont have to fret any further, weve put together what you should definitely look out for when reseeding lawns.


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Choosing Right Grass Seed

The next step is choosing the right grass seed product that will allow you to reseed your lawn successfully. There are many products available on the market today, but it is important to do some research prior to making any decisions about what kind of grass seeds might be best for your particular situation.

Pick The Right Seeds For Your Yard

How To Overseed or Reseed Your Lawn The Right Way?

Now that you are ready to apply seeds, you need to find the right ones for your climate, the amount of sun your lawn receives, and how much wear and tear it will experience. Resist the urge to save money on cheap seeds. Quality matters here, and you want the freshest, healthiest seeds available.

Warm-season grasses do best in southern climates. They stay green throughout warmer weather, but they will turn yellow or brown in cooler seasons. Some common options include Bermuda or St. Augustine grasses.

Fescues, Kentucky Blue-grass, and perennial ryegrasses are cool-season grasses. They thrive in cooler climates, where they will grow most throughout the spring and fall. Growth will slow in hot summer months. Cool-season grasses often do well in shaded lawns.

Some grasses are better suited to being trampled. Kentucky Blue-grass is an excellent choice if you have kids or pets that will be running and playing on the lawn. On the other hand, fescues tend to be more delicate and wont handle the abuse well.

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Correct Existing Lawn Problems

For troubles beyond normal thinning, test your soil and make corrections before overseeding. Follow test recommendations for using soil amendments and repairing bare lawn spots. If needed, take time to dethatch and core aerate compacted lawns so air, moisture and seed can get to the soil. Pennington One Step Complete products combine premium seed with a stabilized-release fertilizer and wood mulch to simplify lawn repairs.

Why Is Overseeding Lawns Necessary

After several years, mature plants begin to slow down their reproduction rate. Since a blade of grass lives only an average of 45 to 60 days, production of new tillers must continually outpace the dieback of older leaves. Young grass will produce tillers faster than older grass. Therefore, one of the most important secrets to maintaining a healthy, thick lawn is to make sure your grass is young. The practice of overseeding lawns is the easiest way of Keeping grass young.

When is the Right Time for Overseeding Lawns

Overseeding lawns consisting of Cool season grasses should be done in late summer or early fall. There are many reasons for this. With fall germination, the young grass will have two or three months to become better established before temperatures drop too low and growth stops. Next spring, the young plants will have another few months to develop deeper roots before the summer heat sets in. This is the primary reason, but there are also other reasons for overseeding lawns in the fall. Below are a few:

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Take Care Of Your New Seed

Fertilizing your new seed is essential for its growth. Fertilizer delivers essential nutrients that help it to germinate and grow into the healthy lawn that you want.

All-natural fertilizer is the best option for fertilizing your new seed, as phosphorous supports rapid root growth however, there are restrictions on certain types of fertilizer, so be sure to check restrictions in your area.

My go-to method is to broadcast a thin layer of compost over my lawn after spreading the new seed.

Not only will this ensure good contact with your new lawn seed, it feeds your established grasses. Its pretty cheap to order a delivery and spread it with a wheelbarrow and shovel.

Why Overseed Your Lawn

How To Reseed A Lawn

Overseeding is important because it can act as an easy way to fill in bare spots in your lawn.

These spots may have been left by a variety of factors, such as weather, stray toys, neighborhood dogs, etc.

Overseeding your lawn can also help to improve the density of your lawn grasses. This can prevent weeds from taking root.

It can also enhance the color and uniformity of your lawns appearance.

Overall, overseeding a lawn is important in maintaining a healthy lawn. While its much easier than tearing out your lawn and starting from scratch, it is super easy to overseed incorrectly. Making mistakes can damage your lawn instead of helping it. Also, grass seed is expensive. You want to make sure youre getting the most value from every seed you spread on your lawn.

Here are my best tips on how to overseed a lawn the right way.

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Water Immediately And Maintain Your New Lawn

As with overseeding, the ground needs to stay moist until germination has completed, which for most seeds occurs within a couple of weeks. Some, however, can take up to a month. Again, check your seed instructions to understand germination time for your specific seed. Once you start to see germination, you can cut back on watering. Dont overwater, as you could potentially wash seeds away. Hold off on resuming your mowing schedule until you feel youve reached the point where germination is complete.

Remove Thatch And Debris

After mowing, rake your yard with a metal rake or a dethatching machine to remove excessive thatch and debris. Thatch is a layer of organic components found between the grass and soil that can prevent proper air circulation and water absorption for seedlings, which is necessary for germination. Vigorously raking your lawn also helps to loosen and break up the soil to create good seed-to-soil contact, making it easier for the seeds to take root.

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How To Reseed Your Lawn

As mentioned earlier, reseeding is a different process from overseeding, which is used if your lawn is very thin and has few barren spots which require filling in. With reseeding, is completely regrowing your lawn from bare dirt and then planting new grass seed. Here are a few steps of how to reseed your lawn:

What Is Lawn Renovation

When to Reseed Lawn and Tips for Reseeding

Lawn renovation involves killing existing turf and replacing it with new grass without tilling or changing the grade which is normally done during the establishment of a new lawn. Partial lawn renovation may also include the items listed below.

  • Introduce a new or improved variety of the same turfgrass species into an existing lawn. For example, seeding a new bluegrass variety into an existing bluegrass lawn.
  • Introduce a similar-looking species into an existing lawn such as perennial ryegrass in a bluegrass lawn.

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How To Overseed A Lawn The Simple Guide

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:

Patching Bare Patches: A Mini Re

Bare patches can be caused by hot, dry weather. These conditions are also conducive to several lawn diseases, such as: rust dollar spot brown patch and dog spot. Heavy traffic is another cause of bare patches.

Here are the steps for patching bare spots in the lawn. The steps for re-seeding the entire lawn are nearly the same.

  • Rake to remove dead grass and weeds, and loosen the soil. If weeds are persistent, spot treat using a non-selective herbicide it kills everything. Follow label directions.
  • You can purchase a lawn repair kit that includes seed and mulch or you can make your own by mixing grass seed, soil or compost, and Milorganite.
  • Sprinkle the seed or mix on the prepared soil and lightly rake it in for good seed-to-soil contact.
  • Spread a layer of mulch, such as peat moss or hay, to keep the soil moist.
  • Water as needed to keep the top few inches of soil moist.
  • Resume mowing when the grass reaches 34. You know a decent root system is forming at that height.
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    Spreading And Nurturing The Seed

  • 1Spread grass seed evenly over the entire lawn. Use the amount specified on the seed packaging, based on the size of your lawn. To seed, you can either use a rotary spreader, a drop spreader, a hand spreader, or spread by hand.
  • Make sure you choose a variety of seed that blends nicely with your existing lawn. Bermuda grass might be great, but it probably doesn’t blend all that nicely with Fine Fescues.
  • It’s best to stay away from cheaper brands of seed. You really get what you pay for. If you decide to economize too much, your lawn may carry the telltale sign.
  • 2Lightly rake the newly seeded area to help the seeds settle on the soil. Remember that any seeds that do not come into direct contact with the soil will not germinate.
  • 3Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Make sure you use a fertilizer that’s appropriate for your specific lawn conditions, as indicated by the soil sample results.
  • Put a light layer of topdressing over the seeds. Use the back of a leaf rake and lightly rake or tamp the topdressing.
  • 4Water the lawn completely immediately after overseeding. Continue to water the lawn frequently, three to four times daily for at least the first several weeks to ensure proper germination the key is to keep the seeds moist. Never let the seeds get completely dried out. Once the grass seed is firmly established, water the lawn for longer periods less frequently.
  • Do not overuse the nitrogen fertilizer. Too much nitrogen can burn the new germination and seedlings.
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