The Basics of Overseeding (Reseeding) a Lawn

Woman sitting on Toro Timecutter Z Seed Spreader in front lawn

Post By RelatedRelated Post

Overseeding, commonly known as reseeding your lawn, is a simple way to jump-start new turf growth and thicken your lawn. By spreading fresh grass seed over existing grass, you are able to fill in thin spots to achieve a lusher lawn without tearing up any turf or soil.

Does My Lawn Need It?

Not every lawn needs overseeding. Lawns that are looking especially tired from the stresses of summer heat, are demanding extra water and fertilizer to do well, or are becoming susceptible to insects and disease would likely benefit from overseeding. Cool-season grasses like bluegrass, fine fescue, tall fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass, which struggle more with the effects of heat than warm-season grasses, have the greatest opportunity to reap the most benefit.

For your lawn to benefit from overseeding, it’s best for it to be at least half covered in grass. If your grass is sparse and unhealthy, it may be best to start from scratch rather than attempting to overseed.

Why Should I Overseed?

Overseeding gives you a rejuvenated, lush lawn! The process not only fills in the thin patches and enhances the overall look of the lawn, but it can save you money and time later. Overseeding your lawn reinforces your lawn’s health, resulting in a better response to mowing, fertilizing, and watering. Additionally, an overseeded lawn will likely be more equipped to hold its own against insects, disease, and even foot traffic.

When Should I Overseed?

The best time to overseed a cool-season lawn is during late summer or early fall when these grass types are experiencing a surge in growth.

During the fall:

  • warm-season weeds are less aggressive
  • warm soil supports germination
  • cooler air supports growth
  • soil moisture remains consistent

If done in the fall, the grass seed has a few months to take root before low temperatures halt growth, but be sure to overseed at least forty-five days before your average first fall frost as recommended by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance service.

If you choose to overseed your warm-season lawn, plan for late spring when these grass types begin their growth. For winter color on your warm-season grass, plan to overseed in the fall when your grass slows in growth and begins to lose its color. Be sure to wait until after nightly temperatures are regularly below 65°F.

How Do I Get Started?

Warm-season or cool season, be sure to reseed your lawn during its growth spurt in order to get the most out of your overseeding. Ready to get started? Get going with these step-by-step tips on how to overseed your lawn.