Overseeding Your Lawn to Fix Damaged Patches of Grass

Overseeding your lawn is a proven effective means for rehabilitating patches of sun-damaged or thinning grass. Determining the ideal time of year to overseed your lawn involves taking into consideration your local climate and the type of grass in your lawn. Before overseeding, address the conditions that led to the damaged patches of grass. Preventing thin or damaged spots in the future will make the need to overseed again a remote likelihood. 

Your Climate

Overseeding is generally best performed in the late spring or fall. A crucial aspect of overseeding is to make sure the newly seeded grass will receive plenty of water after the procedure is complete. As such, the winter poses a risk to a successful overseeding due to the fact that precipitation is generally decreased or frozen. Similarly harmful is the summer sun. In the summer, the heat and dry conditions will rob the soil of the chance to have the water reach the deeper levels of soil to foster deep root growth and strong blades.

Prepare the Soil

Prior to overseeding your lawn, prepare the soil to receive the new seeds. Loosen the top levels of soil by toiling to create an accommodating environment for new seeds. Seed growth is heavily dependent upon direct contact between the seeds and moist soil. Use a dethatching tool to remove thatch from the soil. Thatch is the collection of stems, roots, wilted leaves and blades that forms a thick barrier just beneath the soil’s surface. The barrier stops water from reaching the lower soil and therefore denies nutrients to lower roots.


When overseeding the entire lawn or a substantial part of your lawn, use a seed spreader to keep your spreading consistent over a larger area. Overseeding a smaller area can be done by holding handfuls of seeds and spreading them liberally over the area of attention. Spread new top soil over the new seeded areas especially regions of the lawn that have been perennial trouble zones. Water the lawn generously without soaking the soil after spreading the seeds and then twice per week for the six weeks following the overseeding.


For the first 6 weeks or as long as 2 months, mow your lawn more frequently than usual. Keep the new grass to a height less than 2 inches to allow the soil the full benefit of your watering effort.  If you choose to use fertilizer, make sure the type you use does not contain weed control. Be sure to only fertilize your lawn in cooler conditions to avoid burning the grass. The best choice in fertilizer is one that is without pre-emergence and formulated for the kind of seeds used in the overseeding. 

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