Overseeding: A Quick Guide

There are many little steps that homeowners can take as part of their regular lawn maintenance to ensure a vibrant and full lawn year-round, and one of the most important is overseeding. This is defined as the act of sowing seed throughout your existing lawn. Over the years grass takes longer and longer to grow, making it difficult to maintain a full lawn cover and allowing unwanted weeds to pop up. Overseeding can improve patchy dead spots in lawns and ensure a lush appearance.

Overseeding can also be used to supplement your existing lawn during harsh months of the year. If you live in the southern part of the United States and have warm-season grass, then adding cold season grass during the cooler months on the calendar can lead to an extended growing season for your yard.

The best times for overseeding are right after the summer from mid-late September into early October. If you miss that window, then the next best time is around the first signs of spring weather in your area.

Replacing your whole lawn can be a tedious and costly endeavor. So adhering to the following overseeding process can save you time and money in the long run.


The Overseeding Process


  1. You must first prime the area for the new seeds. This can be done by mowing the grass to an even height of one to two inches, which provides the best setup for proper absorption. You should also aerate the tough patches of soil to allow for proper seed entry into the turf. Next, it’s best to lay a light layer of compost over the desired area to provide nutrients to the newly added grass seeds. It’s better to lay too little compost, rather than too much, so be conscious of how much you spread across the yard.

  2. Before you proceed, be sure to do your research on the type of grass in your yard and the type that you will be adding. The only thing worse than patches of dead grass in your yard is two grass species with different colors and appearances clashing in your lawn.

    Once you pick the grass seeds you want to add to your lawn, spread the seeds evenly across the yard. You can use tools like a rotary spreader or a drop spreader, or just use your hands as long as it’s an even layer. After you complete that, gently rake the grass to make sure the seeds are properly incorporated with the dirt.

  3. To complete the process, apply an extended time-release nitrogen fertilizer and water the area. Keep the new sod moist over few weeks until you begin to see sprouts. For the first couple of months it’s best to keep the grass at a height of 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 inches.


Read Next: All About Grass Types