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How and When to Overseed Your Lawn

Keep your yard healthy, lush, green, and vibrant by implementing overseeding into your lawn care regimen. Overseeding your lawn can improve your turf’s thickness and fill in the inevitable bare spots that often emerge from season to season.

A more plush turf can also help to ward off unsightly weeds from taking over your lawn and minimize erosion. Follow our robust and informative guide on how to overseed a lawn, so your turf is looking its best now and in upcoming years.

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Prepare to Overseed Your Lawn

Before you get started, visit your local extension office with a soil sample. Most lawns thrive best when the soil is about 6.0-7.0 on the pH scale. It takes approximately two weeks to receive soil test results, so plan accordingly before your overseeding endeavor. Make adjustments to your soil before purchasing and planting seed.

Choosing the Right Grass Seed for Your Lawn

The right grass seed can make all the difference when it comes to seeding or overseeding your lawn. There are many factors to consider before you invest in grass seed.

Selecting The Right Grass Seed For Your Region

The region that you live in can impact what kind of grass seed you should be planting. There are two main types of grasses:

  • Warm Season Grasses: St. Augustine, Bermuda, centipede, buffalo, zoysia
  • Cool Season Grasses: Fescue varieties, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass

Additional Grass Seed Considerations

The level of usage and the growing conditions that your lawn has can play a significant role in what type of grass seed will work best for your lawn. Not all grass seeds are alike; some grasses are finer than others, so they may not be conducive to active families who use their lawns for play. Some grow best in hot weather, and some thrive in cooler temperatures and are more tolerant of shade.

Consider these factors when selecting a grass seed:

  • Degree of shade
  • Drought tolerance
  • Wear and tear
  • Site size
  • Terrain
A hand pouring grass seeds to the ground

When to Overseed Your Lawn

When learning how to overseed a lawn, it’s important to consider timing. It’s best to overseed lawns when temperatures are milder, there is more dew on the grass, and fair amounts of rain are prevalent. This makes overseeding best in the early spring or fall months.

The best time to oversee your lawn also depends on where you live. Early spring and fall overseeding are idyllic if you are growing cool-season grasses because the ground is the ideal temperature for seed germination, and the cool air helps support healthy root growth. Late spring to early summer is ideal for overseeding warm-season grasses in hotter climates.

Note that if you have put down a weed preventative, you should wait at least four weeks before adding new grass seed to the area.

How to Overseed a Lawn

Overseeding is precisely what it sounds like.  Essentially, you are adding grass seed to your already established lawn to bolster and thicken the turf.  It sounds easy enough, but grass seed cost can really add up, so you want to make sure that you follow some essential tips as you overseed, so you have the best germination results.

  • Mow your lawn at your mower’s lowest setting.
  • Rake your lawn to loosen up and remove any dead grass and debris that may have settled at the base. Dethatching is best done with a metal rake. Remove any weeds, flattened grass, or roots from the turf.
  • Aerate your lawn if soil compaction is a problem.
  • Spread organic lawn soil topper on top of newly mowed grass. Take time to spread the new soil out evenly across the lawn to be about ¼ inch to ½ inch deep. Ensure that the area is raked smoothly.
  • Water the grass and newly spread soil.
  • Use a garden spreader to spread grass seed evenly across your lawn.
  • Follow up your grass seed application with an even distribution of starter fertilizer for optimal results.
  • Water your lawn regularly when rain is not in the forecast. Water the property for approximately 30 minutes each morning. If it is very hot or particularly dry in your region, water again mid-afternoon. Never water after in the evening because standing water can cause puddling overnight and can cause fungal problems.
  • Wait to mow your grass until the new seedlings are at least three inches tall. Mow grass at a higher setting at this time to protect the new growth.
Backyard garden with fresh plants and grass

Tips On Overseeding Your Lawn

Overseeding is an essential part of growing and maintaining a lush lawn. Not only does overseeding fill in bare, damaged spots on your existing turf, but it bolsters your entire lawn area with better quality grass seed and new growth. When you know how to overseed a lawn, your lawn will thrive and will soon become the most envied on the block.


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