Gardening Advice

Overseeding a Lawn: How and When to Repair Your Lawn

Mabeline72 /

During the warm months, it’s only natural to spend more time outside. And when you have a garden, what better place to catch some sunshine, play with your dog or make barbecue? But sometimes, after winter or a long and hot summer (which Australian summer isn’t really?), you might notice your lawn doesn’t look too appealing.

Bald patches taking up more space than the greenery is not only unappealing, but they make room for moss to grow in the lawn, along with different weeds. Without addressing this problem quickly, with time, it gets harder to repair. So consider overseeding your lawn timely and rejuvenate it for good. Here’s how.

Table of Contents:

When to overseed your lawn

he best time to reseed your lawn is in either spring or autumn. Both have different reasoning behind it, so here’s how to choose according to your needs:

In spring

Early spring is the suitable time for most grass types. It’s also the time when most people start noticing the first bald patches as the new grass sprouts, hence preferred time to act. If you decide to overseed your lawn in spring, make sure you choose appropriate grass type and always follow the given instructions. If you succeed, you’ll have all summer to enjoy your green lawn and brag to your friends about it!

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In autumn

On the other hand, even after a successful spring and summer, at the beginning of autumn, your lawn can look worn. Maybe you used your garden a lot, and there was foot traffic, or dry patches appeared both from the sun and uneven irrigation. If you choose to overseed in autumn, do so before the first frost, as the germination temperature of grass seeds is between 15-25 C°. Autumn seeding produces tougher grass that can withstand harsher temperature changes. The plus side of oversowing in early autumn is that nature can help you out a little with rain, resolving any irrigation concerns.

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How to overseed a lawn

After choosing the appropriate time for overseeding and you got your preferred grass seeds, it’s time to get to work. Roll up your sleeves, and let’s go!

  1. Remove rocks, debris and weeds.

    This way you make sure your grass has a nice soft bed to grow without any obstacles getting in its way. Remove rocks and debris. For the weeds – you can pluck them by hand, but if you decide to treat them with a no-grow serum, wait at least a week (or the amount of time stated on the product you use) before you start the process of reseeding.

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  2. Mow your lawn.

    Mow it close to the ground. The optimal height is around 2-4cm, anything below that you’re just doing more damage than helping.

  3. Aerate the seedbed.

    First, if your lawn is non-existent, you should rake the top 5cm of the soil to prepare the seedbed. If there’s some grass, but it’s patchy, use a garden fork to loosen hardened soil. You can’t expect much success without this step, as grass grows best on softened and aerated soil.

  4. Add quality soil to bold patches.

    Wherever the soil is exposed, add a mix of loam and fertiliser (optional). Healthy soil is important for a good-looking lawn, so make sure you check our Soil Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Soil Types.

    Don’t wait too long between the steps, as weeds can quickly grow in all the bare patches.

  5. Level the soil.

    After that, level the soil and rake it one way, so it leaves furrows for the seeds behind it.

  6. Moisten the soil.

    Just moisten the soil, avoid sogging it. Some people skip this step but here’s why you shouldn’t. By doing this, you prevent the seeds from moving around when you first water them. A lot of people make the mistake of seeding over very dry soil and when they water the lawn afterwards the seeds move as they can’t hold to anything (even with furrows), resulting in once again unevenly seeded lawn. This can also happen due to heavy rains.

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  7. Apply the seed.

    As we already learned, every grass type is different, so use its recommended seed rate. You can mix the seed with lawn food or add a fertilizer afterwards. Apply the seed with a crosshatch pattern (like a grid type). This way you secure even growth.

  8. Use fertiliser.

    This step is optional but it will kick-start the seeds by giving the much-needed nutrients. Be careful not to overdo it if you already added lawn food to the seeds.

  9. Irrigate regularly.

    Keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds sprout. It’s recommended to do so around 4-6 times a day, depending on the weather conditions. Water your reseeded lawn using a light spray, avoiding washing the seeds around. If you let the seeds dry out, you’re most probably getting a patchy result (again).

  10. Enjoy your beautiful green lawn.

    The germination should take anywhere between 10 days to one month, depending on the soil, seed type, fertilizer, and more.

Maintaining your lawn

Hopefully, after all that, you finally have the green lawn you wanted! But the work doesn’t end here, as the lawn now has to be maintained that way, Regularly by cutting the grass, weeding, and watering. Don’t let that hard work go to waste. Maintaining your lawn green can be a chore, so that’s why there are professionals you can hire that can happily do that for you. Spare yourself the time and energy and call a professional to take care of your lawn.

Patchy lawn? Maintaining it sounds like a chore?

Fantastic Gardeners are here to the rescue! We can bring your lawn back to life and keep it healthy.

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  • Thick and strong lawns don’t allow weeds to grow. Bare patches do.
  • Reseed in early spring or early autumn. Spring – quick results, autumn – resilient grass.
  • Soft aerated soil without rocks or debris is the very first step.
  • After sowing, don’t let the seeds dry up. Irrigate regularly a few times a day.
  • Don’t forget about the aftercare. Maintaining your lawn is just as important. Otherwise, all that hard work would go to waste.
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