How and When to Overseed Your Lawn

Lawn overseeding

Are you an avid gardener taking the best possible care of your lawn - watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing and everything else needed for it to flourish? Do you still have issues with your lawn looking worn out, thin and unhealthy despite that? Don’t worry, this is something that happens more often than not and we have just the solution you need.

Overseeding is the process of sowing new seed into an existing lawn. This method is used by professional gardeners and knowledgeable garden enthusiasts and will turn your tired lawn into a fresh and vibrant paradise. Overseeding could take some time and effort, especially if you have a bigger lawn, however, it’s very useful, produces great results and is environmentally friendly as it reduces the need to use chemicals to support your lawn. Read on if you want to learn how to overseed the right way.

How to overseed a lawn

  1. Prepare the required tools, equipment, and products – that’s the first step and will save you a lot of time once you start. Some of the most important things you’ll need are a lawnmower, the proper type of seed, a spreader, fertilizer, and a rake or roller. You can also read our beginner’s guide to essential gardening tools.
  2. Weed the lawn – if you have issues with weeds, make sure to treat your lawn and use the proper weed killer. We recommend that you consider the 2,4-D one as it’s effective and safe for lawns. The weeding should be done about 2 weeks prior to the overseeding.
  3. Mow the lawn – mow your lawn short to make sure that the seeds won’t get stuck in the tall grass and that they will get enough sunlight.
  4. Rake up the thatch and remove any clippings – the thatch is actually a layer of old dead soil, moss and other material in the lawn. You should remove these and any grass clippings to ensure the seeds will germinate. If your lawn is bigger and you’d like to save yourself some time, you can rent a gas-powered dethatching machine from your local hardware rental centre. By using a dethatching machine, you’ll also loosen the soil (other methods include roto-tilling, aerating, heavy raking), which is one more thing to help the new seeds and seedlings take root.
  5. Water the lawn – if the lawn is dry and the weather forecast does not give any hope for rain (which would be unusual), you’d want to water the lawn by running the sprinklers for about an hour or two a day for several days before overseeding. This will help the new seeds to germinate and root.
  6. Rake up the thatch and remove any clippings – the thatch is actually a layer of old dead soil, moss and other material in the lawn. You should remove these and any grass clippings to ensure the seeds will germinate. If your lawn is bigger and you’d like to save yourself some time, you can rent a gas-powered dethatching machine from your local hardware rental centre. By using a dethatching machine, you’ll also loosen the soil (other methods include roto-tilling, aerating, heavy raking), which is one more thing to help the new seeds and seedlings take root.
  7. Spread the seed on your entire lawn - it’s very important to choose the right type of seed for your lawn and the regional climate conditions. Make sure it is of good quality in order to ensure your lawn will look its best. Spread the seed evenly by hand or using a spreader. We recommend that you follow the instructions on the package and use the specified amount depending on your lawn size.
  8. Lightly rake or roll the lawn – this will help the new seed get in contact with the soil, which in return will help it germinate. To roll the lawn you can use a roller, a lawnmower with a roller, or, if you don’t have any of these on hand, you can simply start walking up and down the lawn, which will ultimately have the same effect.
  9. Fertilise the lawn – yet another crucial step in the process of overseeding is the proper fertilizing of your lawn. Applying the right type of fertilizer for your type of lawn and the corresponding weather conditions in your area will benefit both the old and new grass.
  10. Water the lawn – new seeds need regular watering. Don’t let them get completely dry. Start by lightly watering the lawn a couple of times a day in the first few weeks. After the seed is established, you can proceed to water your lawn less frequently and for a longer period of time.
  11. Proceed with regular lawn maintenance – now that overseeding has done its magic and your lawn is looking its best, you should proceed to take regular, comprehensive care of it. Mowing, watering, and fertilizing are not everything you should do to keep the lawn of your dreams.

When to overseed a lawn

First of all, you should avoid overseeding during the hottest and coldest months of the year, so that excludes summers and winters. The best time to overseed in the UK would be spring – March, April and early May, or early autumn – late August to September. During these months, the weather is not too hot, not too cold, there is a high chance of rain and, as we mentioned a few times already, seeds need moisture in order to germinate. If you live outside of the UK, you should consider the climate conditions in your area and plan the reseeding process accordingly.

Pro tips for overseeding

  • Select the best seeds for your lawn. The quality and type of seed you choose are crucial for the overseeding process. You can buy the same type of seed as your current lawn, or choose a couple of different options that go together nicely.
  • If your lawn has not been fed for some time, use pre-seeding fertilizer up to a few days before overseeding. This will contribute to the overall result.
  • Apply topdressing – this is not a must-do. However, topdressing along with the overseeding will provide your lawn with much-needed nutrients for the new grass, so we highly recommend this. You simply need to apply a very thin layer of dressing to your existing lawn and use a rake to spread it around evenly. In case of doubts, you can review this article for more details.
  • Aerating essentially this is the process of perforating the soil with small holes by forking the lawn or removing small plugs of thatch.  Aerating will help reduce soil compaction and allow vital resources to go deep into the roots, ultimately improving the quality of the soil.
  • Make sure you don’t overdo it. Apply only the needed amount of seed. We already mentioned a few times that if you’re not certain how much to use, you can follow the instructions on the seed packaging.
  • Minimise the traffic on the newly overseeded lawn for about 7 to 21 days.

Conclusion

Overseeding has a lot of benefits and is a method frequently used by garden professionals. It will help improve the overall condition of your lawn, give it a fresh and lively look, minimize weed and moss formation, and get rid of any bare patches and spots. This is not a simple method, so before starting the process, you should prepare accordingly by supplying yourself with all of the required tools and products. And if you’re not feeling up to the challenge or simply want to leave this to the professionals, the Fantastic experts will be glad to step in and help you out with the task. You can easily book your professional lawn care service online with just a few clicks and enjoy some free time for yourself.