There are many reasons for overseeding a lawn area with grass seed. This could be due to general maintenance after raking or scarifying, replacing patches/minor repairs, or you may want to add specialist grass seed for shady areas to improve appearances around trees and buildings. Whatever the reason, you should evaluate the current usage of your lawn and decide on a suitable product.
Overseeding an existing lawn
We stock a range of products suitable for overseeding and you might want to take this opportunity to add new grasses to your lawn if its usage has changed over time. Our ever popular BS Low Maintenance Grass Seed is specially formulated and contains 25% chewings fescue, 52% strong creeping red fescue, 10% smooth-stalked meadow grass, 10% hard fescue and 3% crested dogstail, which are slow growing grasses. This mix is also tolerant of dry, infertile conditions and can be used in both sunny and shaded areas. This makes it a good allrounder for people who want an attractive lawn but have busy lifestyles.
Other mixes range from BS Childs Play Lawn Seed for lawns with mixed usage to BS Bowling Green Grass Seed, the perfect choice for creating exceptionally high-quality domestic lawns, with a mowing height of just 5mm.
The rate for overseeding is sometimes lower than the rate for starting a new lawn, although sometimes adding more, particularly if ryegrass is included, will speed recovery. However, if you are trying to improve your lawn by changing the type of seed then adding more will cause more of a change.
Do not automatically assume more is better! This will cause extremely dense growth that will stick out like a sore thumb. Use a grass seed spreader for a more even spread, they're more economical too.
How to overseed
A dry lawn is not the ideal condition for overseeding. Turning on a sprinkler for a couple of hours each day, for a few days before seeding will remedy this. You don't want the ground to be soggy, but seedlings need water to germinate and root.
The grass seed should be split into four equal quantities. It should then be spread, by hand or using a spreader, in a different direction with each lot, e.g. top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right and right to left. This will ensure even coverage.
The lawn should then be rolled. Using the roller on your lawnmower (with the engine switched off) is fine if you don't have a separate roller. As a last resort, treading up and down the lawn will have the same effect of increasing soil contact and improving the end result.
At this point, it is the most convenient time to fertilise the lawn, helping both the old and the new grass. Here at Boston Seeds, we stock a wide range of granular lawn fertiliser products for you to choose from. However, if you are not sure which is best for your lawn then read our article about 'Which Fertiliser To Use?' for more information and guidance.
Lastly, a light daily watering, if there is no rain, will keep the seed moist without washing it away. Mowing should continue as normal, however, keep your blades sharp and keep it no lower than 1inch for the first couple of months.