healthy and vibrant. There are a number of reasons to overseed an existing lawn:
you may have some bare spots in your lawn, or you want to improve the diversity of
grass varieties in your lawn or the density of the turf. Perhaps you want to give your
lawn a more vibrant color, make it less susceptible to disease, insect infestation, or
invasions by weeds.
If you live in a climate that has hot summers and mild winters, you probably
have a warm season turf grass growing in your lawn. These go dormant and turn
brown during the winter; overseeding with rye grass is a great way to keep a warm
season lawn looking beautiful through the winter months.
The best time to overseed your lawn is in the early fall; if you missed that
window, you can also overseed an existing lawn in the spring. You should avoid
overseeding an existing lawn in the heat of summer. The first step to overseeding
an existing lawn is to “scalp” it, or mow it down much lower than you typically
would. This helps to reduce the competition from established grass with the new
seeds, and makes sure they are not blocked from receiving sunlight while they are
getting established. Drop your mower’s cutting deck to its lowest setting, and go
over the entire lawn at least twice. Do not leave your grass clippings in the lawn;
remove and either discard or compost them.
Next, remove thatch from your lawn. Thatch is the layer of dead and
decaying organic materials just above the soil surface. Use a garden rake to pull all
of the thatch out. It’s best to rake first in one direction, and then repeat at right
angles. If you have a very large lawn or tough thatch, you can rent a power
dethatcher from most garden centers. These are operated very much like a lawn
Once the lawn is properly thatched, you should be able to see a fair amount
of the soil surface. If the soil is still fairly compacted, aerate it using a broadfork or
aerator shoes on smaller areas, or a lawn tractor with a tow-behind spike aerator.
Add a very thin top dressing of well-finished compost or manure to the
surface of the lawn. Less is more in this case: it is preferable to put too little manure
or compost down than risk putting too much down. Rake the compost into the lawn
with a thatch rake; make sure the existing grass is not buried in it.
Select a variety of seed that will compliment your existing lawn and make
sure it is well suited to your climate. Follow the instructions on the package for the
application rate. Depending on the size of the lawn, you can either apply the seed
with a mechanical spreader like a rotary or drop spreader, or broadcast seeds by
hand. Gently rake the lawn to help the new seeds settle. Water the lawn generously,
and continue to water it at least twice a day until the seeds have become
If you are on the lookout to buy grass seed online, visit our website McKays Grass Seed to see a wide variety of grass seed for sale.