How to Plant New Grass Seed Over Old Lawn

Is your lawn not looking its best? Are you finding it hard to make your yard green and lush? You've come to the right place! Learn how to bring new life to your yard by planting fresh grass seed over your old lawn.

Overseeding is an easy and affordable way to improve your lawn. It makes thin areas denser and fills in spots that are bare. By following simple steps and some important tips, you can have a lawn that's not only healthy but also looks beautiful. Your neighbors will be jealous!

Benefits of Overseeding Your Lawn

Overseeding your lawn is like giving it a fresh start. It helps make the grass healthier and look better. This is especially true if your lawn is weak or not very thick. It also makes the grass denser, thicker, and more vibrant.

One big plus of overseeding is that it stops weeds from growing. It fills in patchy areas and covers the soil. This makes it hard for weeds to find space to grow. This approach means you'll need fewer weed-killing chemicals. It's a more eco-friendly way to care for your lawn.

Overseeding also improves how your lawn looks. The new seeds make the grass prettier, thicker, and more even. As the new grass grows, it will make your lawn look rich and beautiful. This adds to how nice your home looks.

It's not just about looks. Overseeding also helps strengthen the roots of your grass. The new grass grows roots deep into the soil. This makes your lawn stronger and able to handle tough times better. With its stronger roots, your lawn can deal with less water, disease, and being walked on. It stays looking good and strong.

Erosion reduction is another key benefit. Overseeding makes for a thicker layer of grass. This protects the soil and stops it from washing away when it rains or when you water too much.

Moreover, overseeding is a natural, chemical-free way to improve your lawn. It doesn't need harmful pesticides. Only new grass that naturally cares for your lawn. This is good for the environment. It helps you take a step towards living more sustainably.

In short, overseeding brings many good things. It makes your grass thicker and more colorful. It pushes away disease and weeds, promotes strong roots, stops erosion, and is a gentle way to look after your lawn.

When is the Best Time for Overseeding

The best time to overseed your lawn depends on where you live and the grass type. Each region has an ideal season for this important task. Let's see when to do it in different areas.


Fall is the prime time for overseeding in the North. The soil is still warm, perfect for seed growth. The air's cooler, which helps prevent weeds from taking over. This allows your new grass to get a strong start before winter.


If you're in the South, aim for late spring to mid-summer for overseeding. Here, warmer soil is key for some grass types to sprout. By seeding then, your grass will have the perfect start to its growing season.

Overseeding can save your lawn from looking tired. It's a budget-friendly way to make it lush again. Just time it right based on where you live, and your grass will thank you.

Prep your lawn before overseeding. Cut the grass short, loosen the soil, and clear away dead spots. This setup helps the seeds get a good start.

Choosing the right seed matters too. Match it with what's already growing in your yard. Expert advice from your local garden store can help you pick the best for your lawn.

Add a layer of enriched soil before you seed. This boosts the soil's nutrients and helps new grass get a good hold.

Don't forget a starter fertilizer after seeding. It feeds the new plants and helps them grow deep roots. Water lightly often to keep the soil moist until the grass is as tall as the rest of your lawn.

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Northern yards should get overseeded at least 45 days before the first freeze. This gives the grass enough time to grow strong. In the South, seed when nights are consistently cool for winter grass color.

Water the newly seeded lawn as directed for the first nine days. Then, keep it from wilting by watering as needed. By caring for your overseeding properly, you'll see lovely, thick grass.

Pennington Products
Pennington Smart Seed products
Grass seed that works well in different lawns, like sunny, shady, or high-traffic areas.
Pennington Ultragreen Starter Fertilizer 12-22-8
Great for new seeds, as it helps roots grow strong and provides needed nutrients for leaves.
Pennington Lawn Booster products
This product includes seed, fertilizer, and soil enhancer all in one for easier overseeding.

Overseeding can make a big difference for your lawn's appearance and health. Follow these steps and consider the timing for your area. Soon, your yard will be the greenest on the block.

Preparing Your Lawn for Overseeding

Before planting new grass, preparing your lawn well is crucial. This prepares the ground for new seeds to grow well. Let's go over some key steps to do this:

  1. Mow the grass shorter than normal: You should cut your grass shorter than usual before overseeding. This makes it easier for the new seeds to get established.
  2. Remove clippings and debris: Rake up your lawn to remove old clippings and debris. This step ensures the new seeds make good contact with the soil.
  3. Consider adding enriched soil: If your lawn needs it, adding enriched soil can be helpful. This enhances the nutrients and improves where the seeds will grow. Just don't put on too much so it doesn't hurt what's already there.
  4. Choose the appropriate grass seed: Picking the right seed is very important. Think about the climate and your lawn's specifics when choosing. This ensures the new grass will grow well.
  5. Spreading the grass seed: Now it's time to actually plant the seed. Use a spreader for even covering. Make sure to follow the seed's instructions for how much to use.
  6. Provide nutrients and consistent watering: After seeding, nutrients are necessary for the new plants. Start with a good fertilizer. Water regularly until the new grass is as tall as the old. This helps roots grow deep and keeps the lawn healthy.

By sticking to these steps, you can greatly improve your lawn. Good preparation ensures the new seeds have the best chance to grow. This leads to a fresh, healthy looking lawn.

Nutrient Requirements for Various Grass Seed Types

Grass Seed Type
Nitrogen (N)
Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
Cool-Season Grasses
1-4 lb/1000 sq. ft.
0.25-1 lb/1000 sq. ft.
1-2 lb/1000 sq. ft.
Warm-Season Grasses
1-4 lb/1000 sq. ft.
0-0.5 lb/1000 sq. ft.
1-2 lb/1000 sq. ft.

Choosing the Right Grass Seed

When you need to oversee your lawn, choosing the right grass seed matters a lot. You should think about the current grass type and what your lawn needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Climate and Region

Know your lawn's climate and where it's at. For places up north, go for grasses that love cooler weather. They do well in the cooler months, which is perfect for fall overseeding. But, in the south, warm-season grasses sleep in winter so planting cool-season grasses keeps things green.

2. Grass Type

The kind of grass you already have changes your seed choice too. Some types need planting every year because they only last one year. Other types, like perennial ryegrass, do best when replanted in the fall to keep growing evenly.

3. Lawn Needs

Think about what your lawn needs to get better. Do you want thicker, nicer grass? Are there empty spots that need filling? Maybe you want to protect your lawn from bugs and diseases. Knowing your needs helps you pick the best grass seed.

For expert advice, talk to a local lawn care pro or go to a good garden center. They know what works best in your area. They can also suggest the right grass seed types.

Recommended Grass Seed
Northern Regions
Cool-season grasses (e.g., Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass)
Southern Regions
Warm-season grasses (e.g., Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, St. Augustine grass)

Picking the right grass seed is key to overseeding success. Think about your climate, the current grass, and your lawn's needs. This way, the new grass will grow well, making your lawn look and feel better.

Spreading the Grass Seed

Now your lawn is ready for new grass seed, it's time to bring it back to life. Spreading the seed well is key for even growth and a healthy lawn. Here's what to do:

  1. Use a spreader to spread the seeds evenly. A spreader makes sure every part of your lawn gets the right amount of seed. This leads to successful growth.
  2. Read the seed's package for specific directions on spreading. You need to know the correct settings for your spreader. This includes the rate and the opening size.
  3. It's important to get the seed rate right, not too much or too little. This step is critical for a thick, beautiful lawn.
  4. Start in one corner and work in straight lines. Overlap the rows a bit for full coverage. This avoids thin patches in your lawn.
  5. For big lawns, try a crisscross pattern. First, spread seeds in one direction. Then, go the other way. This creates a checkerboard pattern for thorough coverage.
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Spreading grass seed well is crucial for a great-looking lawn. Follow these steps for even, lush growth.

Caring for Newly Seeded Lawn

Proper care is key for the success of newly seeded grass. To help it grow well and have a lush, healthy lawn, here's what you should do:

  1. Water Regularly: Daily watering keeps the soil moist for the new seeds. Newly seeded spots might need light water several times daily, especially if it's dry and windy. Sandy soils dry out fast, needing frequent watering to stay moist but not soaked.
  2. Avoid Heavy Foot Traffic: Don't walk on newly seeded spots for about a month. This protects the young grass and helps their roots grow strong without damage.
  3. Mow at the Right Time: Only mow new grass when it's grown a third more than the final height. Do this four to six weeks after seeding. Remember the "one-third" rule when cutting to keep the grass healthy.
  4. Apply Fertilizer: Fertilizer helps new grass for 6-8 weeks, but follow-up is needed. Use a specific new grass fertilizer 2-4 weeks after seeding, and then every 6-8 weeks to keep the growth strong.
  5. Control Weeds Safely: Weeds can be an issue, but hold off on herbicides until the new grass is established. Wait until you've mowed it a few times to be safe.

Keep the top inch of soil moist but not too wet for seeds to sprout. If it's hot and dry, lightly mist the soil daily, especially in the morning. Water the grass deeply after mowing, doing so up to twice a week, to help the roots grow.

When mowing new grass, only do it when it's 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches tall. Don't cut more than one-third of the grass in a single mowing. This helps prevent harm to the new lawn.

By following these steps, you'll establish a great lawn from new seeds. Take good care of the grass, and you'll soon have the lush, green yard you dream of.

Establishing a Lawn Care Routine

It's vital to start a regular lawn care routine when your grass seedlings match the existing grass's height. This routine is key to keeping your lawn healthy and vibrant. It includes feeding your grass and battling weeds.

For a great-looking lawn, it's crucial to:

  1. Fertilizing: Use a good lawn fertilizer as directed for your grass and where you live. It adds nutrients that help your lawn grow strong and look great. Always read the label for how much and when to apply.
  2. Weed Control: Keep an eye out for weeds and stop them from spreading. Use herbicides meant for lawns. Follow directions closely to protect your grass. You can stop new weeds with pre-emergent herbicides and kill the ones you see with post-emergent products.
  3. Watering: Watering just right is essential, especially after planting new seeds. Keep the ground moist with a steady schedule. Water deeply but not too often to make your grass grow deep roots and withstand dry spells. Change your watering as needed due to weather or the type of grass you have.
  4. Mowing: Mowing is key for a good-looking and healthy lawn. Set your mower at the right height for your grass. Try not to cut more than a third of the blade at once. This helps your grass grow well without stress.
  5. Proactive Overseeding: Make overseeding a part of your regular care. Grass can thin over time, especially where people walk a lot. By overseeding, you fill up bare spots and keep your lawn thick and green.

A well-planned care routine is crucial for reviving old lawns with new grass. It keeps lawns healthy and beautiful all year round.

Winter Overseeding in Southern Regions

If you live where warm-season grasses stop growing in winter, overseeding with cool-season types is a good idea. It keeps your lawn green and pretty in the cold. Winter overseeding lets you have a dense lawn when your main grass goes dormant. Here's how to do it right.

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Timing is Key

Start overseeding at least 45 days before the first fall frost, says the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance. This gives the seeds time to grow before winter.

Choose the Right Grass Seed

For southern areas in winter, choose cool-season grasses that can handle the cold. Good choices are annual and perennial ryegrass. They keep the lawn colorful in mild winters.

Prepare Your Lawn

Get your lawn ready for overseeding. Do things like dethatching, aerating, and cutting the grass short. It's best to seed when the soil is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the Grass Seed

Use a broadcast spreader or a hand-held one for even coverage when seeding. Use the settings suggested on the seed bag for the best results. Too much or too little seed can cause problems.

Care for the Newly Seeded Lawn

Give your new grass care to grow. Water it lightly twice a day for four days. Then, water heavily every other day for five more days. Adding a starter fertilizer helps the new grass thrive in the winter.

Avoid walking over the new grass and try to keep pets away. You might also want to lightly cover the seed with straw for extra protection.

Maintain Proper Lawn Care

After the new grass grows, keep up with lawn care. This includes following the fertilizer schedule. Plus, protect the lawn from pests and diseases. Mow the grass to the right height as well.

Benefit from a Green Lawn Year-Round

Overseeding with cool-season grasses is great for a green lawn all year in the south. Just follow the steps we've outlined. You’ll enjoy a lovely lawn no matter the season.

Summer Overseeding in Northern Regions

In northern regions, lawns often turn dry and brown in summer. Yet, you can keep your lawn green and healthy by overseeding in summer. Choose grasses that love heat and follow some key steps. You'll see your lawn turn into a lush, vibrant landscape.

Choosing Heat-Tolerant Grass Seed

Selecting the right grass seed is vital for summer overseeding. Pick heat-loving types such as Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, or Buffalo grass. These grasses do well in hot weather and use less water than other types.

Steps for Successful Summer Overseeding

  1. Prepare the Lawn: First, cut the grass shorter than usual and clean off any debris. This prepares the soil for the new seeds.
  2. Spread the Grass Seed: Use a spreader to sow the heat-tolerant grass seed. Make sure to follow the seeding rates recommended on the seed bag.
  3. Apply LawnSoil™: Adding a layer of enriched soil can boost the growth of your new grass. Scotts® Turf Builder® LawnSoil™ is a good choice for this.
  4. Water Regularly: Water the lawn lightly once or twice daily to keep the soil moist. This helps the new seedlings grow strong and healthy.
  5. Apply Starter® Food: New grass seedlings need extra nutrients to grow quickly. Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass has what they need.
  6. Monitor and Maintain: Watch your lawn as it grows. Adjust your watering schedule and switch to regular lawn care once the new grass catches up.

Summer overseeding needs careful and regular attention, especially when it's hot and dry. Stick to a schedule of watering, fertilizing, and mowing. This is the key to a healthy, flourishing lawn.

With the right grass seed and these steps, you can make your lawn lush in the summer. Overseeding is a great way to refresh your lawn without a big redo. Enjoy a beautiful, green space all summer long.


To make your lawn look better, plant new grass seed and keep these tips in mind. Depending on where you live, choose the right grass type. For the northern US, pick cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass. For the south, go with warm-season kinds like St. Augustine.

When you plant depends on your location. For places like Massachusetts, do it in early fall. In Pennsylvania, aim for late summer to early fall. Always prep the soil well by getting rid of weeds and aerating.

Caring for new grass is key. Make sure it's watered enough in the start and use a special fertilizer. Also, make a routine for looking after your lawn. This includes mowing correctly, feeding it with the right food, and being careful with weed killers.

With the right approach and care, your grass can grow beautifully. Start today and watch your lawn turn into a lovely green space. This not only looks great but also adds value to your house.

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