How to Plant Grass Seed on an Existing Lawn (Expert Tips)


Having a green shady lawn can add the aesthetic value of your home. Moreover, it will beautify your house and give a plush living. However, you might realize that your green lawn is starting to look dry, worn, weak and thin. It can reduce the aesthetic value of your home.

You can over seed your lawn by yourself. This process can rejuvenate and increase your grass density while crowing out weeds. Over seeding a lawn can help fill in bare spots and reinvigorate your lawn. The thin lawn does not look good, does it?

It is a good and easy way to strengthen the lawn and thicken your grass to protect against weed problems. Over seeding is important since it helps to revive worn and thin lawn, fill in bare spots, crowds out weeds by thickening lawn and improve heat and drought tolerance.


What Must be Prepared Before Planting Grass

There are some things you need to prepare to plant grass seeds on an existing lawn. However, begin the over seeding process in early fall or early spring. Most grasses grow best during the temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool season grasses are best sown in early fall, and warm season grasses are best sown in early spring. Cool night can prevent disease, and warmth during the day encourages seed germination. Here are some steps to plant grass on an existing lawn.

Prepare the stuff

Before you start to plant grass on your existing lawn, you need to prepare some stuff, such as lawn mower, rake, detacher, aerator, rotary spreader, 8-8-8 fertilizer. After you have completed the things you need for the over seeding process, buy the best grass seed.

High-quality grass will result in a great lawn. You can find high-quality grass, for instance, and NTEP rated variety. If you find a grass seed with NTEP, it means it has been evaluated and rated independently by the National Turf Evaluation Program (NTEP).

NTEP rated grass seeds mean that the seeds are top quality and specifically bred for superior green grass color, disease, and insect resistance and drought tolerance. Regardless of the high price of this grass, you need to understand that this costly grass is worth to its long life span.

It is such a good investment for you lush and plushy lawn that can last for a long time. Therefore, I really suggest you have top quality grass seeds for the overseeding process.

Prepare the Soil

Before over seeding your lawn, water the grass as usual, twice a day. It can help to make the soil keep light moist, but not soggy. Remove debris and rubbish from your area, loosen the top ¼ inch of soil in a bare spot, break up soil clumps, avoid to much soil.

Avoid too fine soil, small clumps are acceptable, level the areas where excess water might collect, fertilize after seeding and do not use weed killers before or after planting the seeds. Then mow your lawn at the lowest setting and bag the clipping.

Mow the lawn to a height of above 1 ½ inches and remove any weeds you come across. Rake up the lawn clippings or use a lawn mower with a bag attachment. And then scratch the soil surface about ½ inch deep with a rake, walking back and forth over the length of the lawn.

After that, scratch the soil surface by walking perpendicular to your initial direction. Scratching the soil loosened the top surface and helped to put the seeds more properly.


After you have completed all the preparation stuff, such as preparing the material and seed, now you come on a time where you need to fill the grass seeds. You can plant the grass seeds manually or by the rotary spreader. If you use a rotary spreader, you need to fill the machine with grass seeds and it can automatically plant them on your lawn.

As a rule of thumb, apply 2 to 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Apply approximately 16 seeds per square inch. Too many seeds too close together cause seedlings to fight for room and nutrients. Grass may be weak or thin in these areas. Plant your grass seeds no more than ½ inch deep.

Cover Seeds

Lightly drag the grass seed bed so no more than ¼ inch of soil covers the grass seed. Cover it with a special product to hold seeds in a place and retain moisture. After you cover the grass seed, do not forget to water your seeds regularly, such as two or three times a day for the first 10-14 days to promote proper germination which allows the soil to dry slightly before watering again.

The best time to water plant is in the morning, so the grass has time to dry before nightfall. In order to know how much water is needed by the grass, check the soil absorbency. Check that the top ½ inch of soil is must at all times until the seedlings are 11/3 inch tall. During the rainy and hot season, adjust the water needs.

The key in this step is to keep grass seed bed moist to enhance germination, water lightly (not saturate) and frequently (at least once a day) until the new grass is two inches high, and water new grass regularly to keep roots moist.

When to Over seed

Over seeding time can be different from one place to another. Besides, it also depends on the type of grass seed. If you choose cool-season grass seed, then the best time for you to over seed is spring and fall.

During the fall season, the soil is still warm but the air is cooler, it can promote optimal growing conditions. On the contrast, if you plan to plant warm-season grass seed, then you can do over seeding in late spring through mid-summer to provide ideal conditions.

Another tip is during the over seeding, particularly when the grass seed sprouts, keep all activity off the lawn for some weeks. Do not mow the lawn for approximately three weeks and until the new grass grows to a height of 3 to 4 inches.


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