How to Overseed or Reseed Your Lawn The Right Way?

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A healthy, dense and vibrant lawn is a welcoming impression of your home. That’s made possible through proper lawn care. Unfortunately, despite how much you invest in your lawn, your grass can still begin to look thin and brown with time. The best way to restore its appearance and improve its color is with overseeding or reseeding.

What is Overseeding?

In the simplest terms, this is a method of adding grass seed over an existing lawn without turning the soil. It is the most important tasks you should do for a healthy lawn. Overseeding or reseeding is a great way of rejuvenating your lawn after hard seasonal conditions.

What is Overseeding

Reasons for overseeding

As time passes by, you might observe a slower reproduction of new blades in your lawn. This may make your lawn unhealthy and more susceptible to invasion of weeds. That’s not something you want to happen, isn’t it?

Reasons for overseeding

While overseeding might be time-consuming especially if you have a large lawn, it’s quite easy to do and it’s worth your effort. Below are reasons you should overseed your lawn.

  • It helps protect your lawn from invasion of weeds and diseases thus increasing the health of your lawn.
  • Repair the brown and bare patches.
  • There has been a change of season. Cool-season seeds may need to be overseeded with warm-season grass for year-round growth.
  • Newly overseeded lawn has stronger roots than older grass thus higher probability of becoming denser and less prone to weeds.
  • To replace an unsuitable type of grass in your lawn.
  • Rejuvenate your lawn.
  • It minimizes the usage of chemicals thus being a cost effective and environment friendly.

When to Overseed lawns?

When is the best time to overseed your lawn? Well, this depends on the type of seeds you wish to plant, the prevailing season and your location. Choose wisely.

When to Overseed lawns

Overseeding in autumn provides the seeds enough time to germinate and establish the grass before the onset of cold season and also helps the grass to prepare for the cooler winter weather.

Overseeding in spring is best done after any possible effect of freezes has passed. It highly helps in rejuvenating your lawn after winter.  

Detailed instructions on how to Overseed or reseed a lawn the right way?

They say that ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ So, after you purpose to overseed or reseed your lawn, start by right ticking the below.

What you require.

  • A rake
  • Grass seed
  • Seed spreader
  • Enriched soil
  • Sprinkler
  • Lawnmower

With the above materials, you’re now good to go.

Step 1: Mow the lawn 

Depending on your location, select a time when the lawn is dry and probably patchy. Remove any rubbish from its surface. Using the lawnmower, mow your lawn closely on the lowest setting while bagging the clippings.

Mow the lawn

Step 2: Rake the Lawn

Ensure you remove any weeds, debris and break up any present layers of dead matted thatch or grass. This exposes the soil and readies it to accommodate the new seeds.

Rake the Lawn

Normally, thatch is good before it reaches a thickness of one inch. If your lawn is too large, you can rent a gas-powered dethatching machine to save on time and labor.

Step 3: Add a thin layer of soil.

Add a thin layer of soil

This step is important if the ground is compacted. If so, loosen it up by adding approximately 15cm or less of the enriched soil and gently rake it. This provides a healthy ground for the new seeds to establish and also improves drainage.

Step 4: Add the Seeds

First, it’s advisable, though not a must, that you use the same type of seeds as your existing lawn. Also, you better avoid the very cheap brands of seed. For small lawns, you can sow using your hands.

Add the Seeds

Assuming we are using the seed spreader. Now, fill your seed spreader with the seeds and adjust its settings according to specified directions on the label. Apply thoroughly over the entire area and refill the seed spreader as needed.

Step 5: Raking.

Immediately after seeding, rake lightly to help the seeds become contact with the soil. Failure of seeds to make direct contact with the soil causes the fail to geminate. You can also walk over or roll lightly over the seeded area to help press them into the soil.

Step 6: Feed the Grass

Apply fertilizer that contains the necessary concentration of nutrients required for new grass. Phosphoric fertilizers are good during the start. They give the seedlings extra nutrients and required to help them germinate and thrive.

Feed the Grass

After 6-8 weeks, follow it up with a Nitrogen fertilizer for enhanced top growth and greening. Lay a very thin layer of the top-dresser over the entire surface of the lawn. Let it be very little lest it burns the grass. 

Step 7: Water the lawn

Use the sprinkler to water the lawn regularly. Ensure the seeds and the soil is consistently moist by watering them once or twice until the new grass is on the same level with the old grass. After establishment, continue watering the lawn as needed to prevent wilting and also ensure a deeper root system.

Water the lawn

To achieve a healthy lawn, it requires a lot of water. Once the grass has been established and the grass is growing healthily, lower the water consumption to help save on your monthly bills. As a rule, regardless of their stage of development, little and often watering of the grass is best. Be keen not to drown the grass with over-watering. 

Step 8: Mow.

Once the grass is 45-50mm, you can start to mow it on a high cut setting. After some time, you can adjust the blades to an ideal cutting height of approximately 30mm. Frequent mowing is desirable but always maintain a healthy growth of at least 1/3.

Mow grass

Note: Don’t mow the grass until it has filed and fully established itself in the lawn.

Mistakes to avoid when overseeding or reseeding your lawn

From the simple steps stated above, you now feel that overseeding is quote easy, right? Well, people still mess up. Avoid these common mistakes while overseeding or reseeding your lawn.

  • Ignoring the prescribed seeding rates. Right seeding rate increases the chances of success and minimizes competition for the necessary resources.
  • Using the wrong type of seeds. Like alluded to before, use seeds that match your lawn and climate patterns. Cheap may be costly in the long-run, they’re normally past their planting prime and likely to be filled with weeds.
  • Wrong timing. One might get tempted to overseed the grass immediately it gets patch and thin. However best outcome happens when you do it at the rights season with right seeds.
  • Controlling weeds immediately after overseeding. These weeds treatments can harm the new grass as it can’t differentiate between it and the old grass.

Which is the best grass seed to use while overseeding?

Well, the choice of grass is dependent by your area’s climatic conditions. Be careful while determining the grass seed to use.

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass tolerate moderate high temperatures and also survive cold associated with winter conditions. Warm-season grasses tolerate extreme heat but don’t tolerate extreme cold temperatures below freezing.  

Do you Overseed or Reseed your lawn?

Overseeding helps renovate your lawn if it has at least half of healthy turf. If the lawn is overly emaciated with less than half healthy turf, you may need to kill out the old turf and any weeds therein and reseed the entire lawn.

Overseed or Reseed your lawn

Bottom Line

A thick and healthy lawn does not just happen overnight. It requires time, luck and effort. The secret lies behind proper overseeding or reseeding. The basics on how to overseed or reseed your lawn are same everywhere, however, timing and goals based on the location may vary. The above steps don’t look daunting, isn’t it? Well, if you do it right and note the things to avoid, chances are you will have a lawn that all your neighbors will envy. Best of luck in your next overseeding or reseeding project.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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