Lawn overseeding: tips & step-by-step instructions

Kati
Kati
Kati
Kati

I am a qualified gardener and horticulturalist and love everything that grows! Whether it's a shrub, a tree, a useful plant or a supposed weed: for me, every plant is a little miracle.
In the garden I look after my 13 chickens, grow fruit & vegetables and otherwise observe how nature manages and shapes itself.

Favourite fruit: Blueberry, apple
Favourite vegetables: Braised cucumber, kale, green pepper

Is your lawn looking thin and the grass not growing back? Then it is time to overseed your lawn. Find out which overseeding mix is best and how to overseed your lawn in the following article.

patchy grass vs. lush grass
Overseeding can turn a patchwork of holes into a perfect lawn again

Lawn reseeding is a way to renew your lawn without laying an entirely new turf. The overseed mix is made up of specially selected grass seeds which ensure that the lawn grows back lush, dense and capable of regenerating again and again. Overseeding may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Read on to learn why it is important to overseed as well as when and how to go about it.

Why is overseeding so important?

Do you want to have a beautiful and lush green lawn? Then reseeding is essential for the vast majority of lawns after a while. It can make sense to overseed just a few years after laying a completely new lawn. Lawn grasses are quite delicate plants that are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations in our part of the world. As a result, they lose strength over time and no longer grow as well. This is when you begin to get a thinning lawn. When more and more patches appear in the previously dense lawn, moss and weeds can quickly take hold. To prevent this, you should regularly overseed your lawn.

What makes a lawn overseeding mix special?

A lawn overseeding is a specially adapted seed mix for repairing existing lawns but is not suitable for establishing new lawns. A good overseeding mixture consists mainly of perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne). This is most often absent from older, thinned-out lawns, as it struggles with cold, frosty winters and dry summers.

Perennial rye is an extremely fast-growing and “bunch-forming” grass, meaning it naturally grows in small clumps. However, some varieties are also able to sprout lots of runners – for example, the variety Lolium perenne ′New Orleans′ has this characteristic. These runners and its generally persistent growth allow rye grass to quickly fill patches in the lawn given the right conditions – thus your lawn will grow back dense and healthy. For this reason, we also use the ′New Orleans′ variety in our Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix.

Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix
Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix

Premium lawn seed: particularly fast-germinating & stoloniferous, for a thick & healthy lawn, with coated seeds

Tip: A thinning lawn due to drought and cold can be improved by providing a sufficient supply of potassium in late summer or early autumn. This would make overseeding the lawn less necessary. Use a potassium-rich lawn fertiliser such as our Plantura Autumn Lawn Feed.

When is the best time to overseed your lawn?

You can overseed your lawn any time between April and October, but late spring (end of April or May) or early autumn are best, as there is enough moisture and temperatures less extreme. It is also important that the temperatures stay above 12°C overnight so that the seeds germinate properly.

Brown, thin patches of grass in a lawn
Bare, thinning patches invite weeds and moss into your lawn [Photo: grandpa/ Shutterstock.com]

As already mentioned, you should overseed your lawn if it looks sparse, there are bare patches in the lawn after a cold or wet winter, or after you have scarified your lawn. It may be necessary to overseed the lawn just a few years after it was planted. It does not matter whether the lawn was traditionally sown or laid as turf rolls, because patchy lawns give weeds and moss room to grow. To keep weeds and moss at bay, overseeding is an essential maintenance measure.

Tip: Is your lawn dense but not thriving, or plagued by disease and hardly growing? Then use a lawn scarifier and apply fertiliser regularly, such as our Plantura Lawn Feed. On the other hand, if your lawn has very large patches, it is better to repair the lawn rather than overseed it.

How to overseed a lawn?

Lawn care is not always easy – there is also a lot to consider when overseeding. Here are step-by-step instructions for overseeding your lawn to get your garden looking dense and lush again.

  1. Overseed in late spring or early autumn. The soil temperature needs to be consistently above 12°C for good germination.
  2. Mow your lawn short.
  3. Scarify your lawn – this aerates the soil allowing water to seep down. It also helps to remove weeds, moss and lawn thatch. If you do not have a lawn scarifier, simply rake the lawn.
  4. Fertilise the area with a plant-based lawn fertiliser such as our Plantura Lawn Feed.
  5. After this preparation, apply the lawn overseeding mix to the entire lawn area. You can do this with a spreader or by hand. In both cases, go over the area once lengthwise and once crosswise, spreading half of the overseed each time. In total you will need – depending on the seed mix – about 20g/m².
  6. Once you have spread the seed, carefully rake it in and then press down gently into the soil with footboards or a light roller.
  7. Watering is extremely important in the next few days and weeks. Without water the germination process cannot begin, and the freshly sprouted seedlings are also extremely sensitive to dry conditions. Letting the germinating seeds or the young grasses dry out will lead to inconsistent, patchy growth and so the overseeding will have been in vain.
  8. Once the new grasses are more than 8cm tall, it is time to mow the lawn; cut to 4cm. Make sure your mower is sharp, as the grasses can easily be uprooted. A little while later, when you mow the lawn for the second time, you can also apply fertiliser. When fertilising, use slow-release lawn feed.
Reseeding thinning lawn
Overseeding is best done in spring or autumn [Photo: Mabeline72/ Shutterstock.com]

What to look for when buying a lawn overseeding mix?

In general, watch out for the following points when buying a lawn overseed mix:

  • High proportion of the vigorous perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne)
  • Ideally, the lawn seeds should be certified, to ensure reliable germination and a long shelf life
  • Use a mixture with coated seeds. A coating keeps the grass seeds moist during the germination process which increases success

All these characteristics apply to our reseeding mix, which we have developed alongside lawn experts. Our Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix contains the species Lolium perenne and the runner sprouting variety Lolium perenne ′ New Orleans′ for a particularly self-regenerating lawn.

Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix
Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix

Premium lawn seed: particularly fast-germinating & stoloniferous, for a thick & healthy lawn, with coated seeds

On top of that, our lawn seeds have a high-quality coating that retains water and protects the seeds from drying out. Another advantage of coated seeds is that the seeds have an optimal supply of nutrients after germination, meaning sowing is also possible on problematic dry sites. And sowing with coated seeds has further key benefits: It makes the individual grains round and somewhat heavier to allow more even sowing and the seeds are easier to see because they are simply larger. Birds do not consider coated seed to be food, even if they were to try one of them – so there is no need to worry about losing your seeds to feathered thieves. Overall using coated seeds results in very high germination and even coverage.

a bag of grass seed
Overseeding gives the lawn a new lease of life – but it takes a little more than just seed [Photo: vladdon/ Shutterstock.com]

At Plantura, we are committed to sustainable gardening, not just in the products we manufacture, but also by taking you, the reader and customer, seriously and listening to your questions – to ensure that your seeds sprout and grow into a lush green lawn. Our Plantura Lawn Overseeding Mix contains certified grass seeds that are coated and convenient to use. What’s more, we will provide you with information on year-round lawn care in several of our articles and, of course, if you ask us directly.

More questions about overseeding

Here we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions for reseeding your lawn.

Can you overseed and fertilise the lawn at the same time?
Fertilisation and overseeding can basically be carried out alongside each other if you are using a plant-based fertiliser. Plant-based fertiliser ensures an efficient, healthy root system, whereas using too much mineral fertiliser can inhibit root formation.

How does lawn overseeding work without digging?
The whole procedure for lawn overseeding is done in this order: mow the lawn, scarify, aerate or rake the area, remove moss and weeds, fertilise with organic lawn fertiliser, sow the lawn overseeding mix, press the seed in and finally water. You will find a detailed description in our instructions further up in the article.

awn plugger in use
A lawn aerator or “plugger” is used to aerate the lawn and then spread sand on top [Photo: Lynn Blue/ Shutterstock.com]

When is an overseeder used to reseed the lawn?
Professionals may use overseeders on large areas. These slit the soil, sow the seeds one by one and cover them with soil. However, an overseeder is only worthwhile for overseeding large areas.

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