The act of spreading a layer of grass seeds across your existing yard is called overseeding. It’s a good thing. In fact, overseeding is a little landscaping secret for growing a strong, healthy lawn.
Even in a healthy lawn, overseeding can be extremely beneficial. This is particularly true in cooler climates in the northern US. Overseeding your lawn will help replace dead grass and, at the same time, thicken up your lawn which is good for looks and weed resistance.
It’s also an opportunity to introduce stronger, better grass varieties and it will boost your lawn’s ability to prevent erosion and retain storm water for a more eco-friendly backyard.
Here we focus on overseeding for cool season lawns. However, warm season bermuda lawns can be overseeded with bermuda grass in May or June to help remedy thin or patchy growth.
To learn more about grass types and recommended growing regions visit our Comparing Cool and Warm Season Grasses article here.
Many people overseed to help fix a lawn that’s gone thin, but pros overseed to maintain a healthy lawn and prevent thinning in the first place.
COOL SEASON GRASS (Northern US)
If you live in the northern US, it’s recommended that you overseed your lawn in the fall, so that new grass can establish itself in the milder fall weather. For most regions the ideal time is September or October when temps are in the low 70’s during the day. You can also try overseeding in the springtime as long as the young grass gets established before the summer heat sets in.
Now is your chance to add strength to your grass by selecting a blend that’s suited to your climate from drought tolerance to shade tolerance – select what your lawn needs.
Adjust your mower blade one notch lower – nothing drastic.
In most cases, you can grass cycle as usual unless your grass clippings are large enough to prevent seeds from getting down to the soil. If needed, you can rake and bag the clippings along with any excessive thatch or debris in the lawn.
You can spread seeds by hand or use a spreader if you have one handy.
Watering is vital to initiate seed germination and to get young grass to grow. Make sure your lawn doesn’t dry out, but don’t overwater it either. It all depends on your climate. Many areas in NE (i.e. Boston) and NW (i.e. Portland) may not have to water at all, while drier areas like the Texas panhandle may need to water every day until seeds germinate.
One of the most vital things you can do to improve your lawn is to grow the right grass type for your location and conditions. With the Sunday line of pro quality grass seeds, you can choose the best type for your lawn.
Cold Season Grasses*
Warm Season Grasses*
*1 tennis court = 2,808 sq ft
* If you aren’t using Sunday seed, be sure to follow seed manufacturer’s specific application recommendations.