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What is Overseeding?

Is your lawn looking a bit sorry for itself? The chances are, with the heavy winter we experienced in Scotland, it is not back to its usual springtime green.

You may be tempted to try and fix this with chemical feeds and fertilisers, however there is an easier and safer way to improve the appearance and health of your lawn, without taking such drastic measures.

Overseeding is the process of adding seed to an established lawn, to even out the colour and fill in patches caused by excess water, weeds or play equipment. This natural process enhances the grass without exposing pets, children, or other plants to unnecessary chemicals.

When Should You Overseed?

As with all seeds, grass has a window in which it will develop at its best – usually either in the Spring or Autumn, with temperatures around 13C for full germination to take place. If you overseed in Spring, your new grass should have time to grow before the summer heat, or if you choose Autumn, it will take before the winter freeze.

It is also worth choosing a week when winds are forecast to be lighter as grass seeds are small and can easily be blown away by strong gusts, undoing all your hard work before the seeds get a chance to take root.

The Overseeding Process

Overseeding your lawn is simple in theory – spreading seed over your existing grass, however in practice, there are steps you should take to ensure that the process works and you aren’t left with more patches than you started with.

There are three main steps to follow when attempting to overseed your lawn – they are relatively straightforward, but following them carefully will help ensure the best possible results.

Step 1: Preparation

For your seed to take, your lawn needs to be free of debris and dry, dead grass. Objects such as stones, pet toys, weeds, and litter all need to be removed then the grass should be cut using your mower’s lowest setting – just be sure to put it back to normal afterwards!

Next grab your rake and bag up all the grass clippings. Usually you might leave these to feed the lawn, but as we’ve mentioned above, you want the surface clear of debris. Finally, give the lawn a final pass with the rake to pick up any bits that might have been missed.

Step 2: Seeding

It is important to choose the right seed for your garden to get the best results. While there are some fantastic general purpose seed mixes, there are also a number of specialist blends which may better suit your needs such as; hardwearing (great for people with dogs and young children), shaded (ideal for North-facing gardens, or lawns which don’t naturally attract a lot of sunlight), easy care (for those who want great results with minimum effort), and ornamental (to really make your lawn pop with vivid green tones).

You should then spread the seed evenly across the surface, taking care not to leave clumps which could lead to a patchy lawn – you may consider purchasing or hiring a spreader for this to ensure the seed is properly distributed. 

Step 3: Watering and Ongoing Maintenance

Proper watering is one of the most important steps to ensure the success of your overseeding project and is the hurdle which many people fall down at.

As soon as you have spread the seed, you should water thoroughly with around 2-3cm of water and then water lightly, daily until the seeds germinate – usually around a fortnight. If you have a particularly hot, dry, or windy day you should consider an extra watering to prevent the seeds drying out.

Once the seeds have germinated, you can drop down to watering every few days, however again be wary of dry days. 

Before to limit activity on the new grass until it has fully grown, then, when you notice the new grass is the same height as the existing lawn, you can revert to your usual watering and mowing schedule and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

When to bring in the professionals?

As you can see, overseeding is not a complicated process, but there may still be occasions where it’s better to bring in the professionals, such as if you have a particularly large lawn, one prone to drainage issues, or if you have a problem with moss and other weeds.

However, if you would like to give it a go yourself, we stock a range of grass seeds for all types of lawn. To discuss your requirements, get in touch with our friendly team.