How to Overseed a Lawn

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A healthy lawn does it just happen. It takes some effort to maintain a healthy and thriving lawn that will create a beautiful exterior for your home. Whether you’re someone who spends a lot of time doing yardwork or have a limited amount of time work, there are some basic things you can do to improve your lawn. However, despite your best efforts, you may find that your grass is thinning or browning as it ages. With the right tools and techniques, you can restore your lawn to its former glory through overseeding.

What Is Overseeding?

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Lawn overseeding is the process of planting or applying seeds on top of an aging lawn that no longer looks appealing. Overtime, your lawn will lose its vitality and the rate of new grass growing will become slower. You will also notice that the quality of grass has decreased and weeds typically will begin to thrive. You should consider overseeding your lawn if you notice that the grass on your lawn has become brown and patchy and the grass blades are thinning. Another common reason why people overseed is if they want their warm-season grass, which is dormant during winter, to be vibrant year-round. To achieve this, your grass needs to be overseeded with cool-season seeds.

When Is the Best Time for Overseeding Lawns?

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Timing is important. The type of seeds you will be planting will determine the best time to overseed your lawn. In climates that are in northern regions, overseeding should be done approximately 45 days before the first frost is expected for that area. Doing this will help promote growth for an ageing lawn. Tending to the turf to promote growth and health should be done well into the spring season after there is no longer a threat of freezing in the area.

If you live in the southern regions and have warm-season grass, overseeding should be done after temperatures are cooler and are consistently below 65° F at night. Be sure to get the area adequately prepared when temperatures are warm to promote germination.

How to Overseed a Lawn

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Tools needed

  • grass seed
  • enriched soil
  • a lawn mower
  • a rake
  • a seed spreader
  • sprinkler

Step by Step Process

Once you have these items, follow the steps below:

  1. Mow the lawn and rake up debris
    The first thing you’re going to need to do to begin the overseeding process is to mow the lawn on the lowest setting, making sure that you bag the clippings. After you do this, rake the lawn to collect loose grass blades and whatever other debris that may be on your lawn. This creates room for the new seed.
  2. Apply enriched soil
    The next thing you need to do is apply a thin layer of enriched soil over your lawn and use the rake to spread it evenly across the grass. The layer of enriched soil should be about one quarter of an inch.
  3. Add seeds
    Get the seed spreader and fill it up accordingly based on the instructions. Then apply the seed over the lawn and refill the seed spreader when you need to. If you are spreading this over a smaller area, it may be better to use a hand spreader instead. For a larger lawn, use a drop or broadcast spreader.
  4. Feed the grass
    Apply fertilizer to the lawn. Be sure to select a fertilizer that is best for new grass and also make sure that the quantity you apply to the lawn is appropriate. The fertilizer should contain phosphorus, which facilitates healthy root growth. You want your lawn to develop a strong root system and the right fertilizer can aid in that. The other nutrient that your fertilizer should contain is nitrogen, which promotes growth of the grass blades and gives your lawn a beautiful green colour.
  5. Water the lawn
    Watering your seeds will ensure that they receive the right amount of moisture for optimal growth. We suggest that you do so once or twice a day, at least until the new grass reaches the same height as the old grass. Once this is achieved, you can reduce the amount of watering and only do so as needed. Being conservative in your watering will allow the grass roots to lengthen and develop. Wait until the lawn has filled in and the new blades have reached the length of at least 1 inch before mowing the lawn.

For more tips on overseeding or caring for your lawn, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.