Fix an Ugly Lawn with Overseeding // Complete Step by Step Guide For Beginners

so you may have heard of the process of

over seating alone but what exactly does

that mean today let's talk about the

quick and easy steps as you can do in

your yard to improve the overall look of

things with over seating


so overseeding is adding new grass seed

to an existing yard without removing the

grass that was there this can do a lot

of things to improve the varieties of

grass that we have in there and

sometimes can help you to change grass

type over time as well

today is September 3rd when I'm filming

this so if you live a little bit farther

south you can start this process just a

little bit later into the fall right now

for me right in the middle of Iowa here

in the Midwest right now would be a

great time to start and if you're

farther north and me you want to really

get this process going soon or choose a

grass type that is going to be a little

bit quicker to grow in first part of

this process that we're going to do is

cut our grass a little bit lower now

what does a little bit lower mean well

for most people if you've been trying to

take care of your lawn through the

summer a lot of times you're leaving it

a little bit higher height and if not

then right now it might be a little

lower already and it might be a little

brown it might look a little tough from

summer it just depends on your

conditions but if you have been cutting

it taller it's a little bit more

beneficial to get our lawn to a little

bit of a lower height before we add the

additional seed to it now this is going

to make it look kind of rough for a

little while that's okay do not worry

about it it will bounce back then you'll

be totally fine and that stress that is

caused from cutting it a little bit

lower here this one time will not be an


the next step in our process is to check

the lawn for either thatch buildup or a

lot of dead grass that happened after

summertime as I mentioned you might have

had summer stress going on you might

have had some areas that looked a little

bit brown or you got a little bit of

fungus that happened during the summer

time so depending on what your grass

looks like if you feel like you need to

thin it out a little bit then we're

talking about the dethatching process

now if you actually have a buildup of

thatch you'll want to go out into your


check down by the soil layer and if you

find a spongy layer of kind of brown and

dead organic material there and you find

more of a half-inch build-up there then

you're probably going to want to do this

detaching process this dethatching

process can be done here with a tool

that you can buy on your own it can be

done with a rake manually which is some

pretty tough work I will say so just

keep that in mind but also you could go

to a rental place and get a dethatching

machine as well and come in and remove a

lot of that dead material a lot of that

thatch material it's going to open up

your yard and have it ready for the new


now the next process is technically

isn't essential to doing over seeding

but I found that core aeration can

really help the process quickly core

aeration is removing some plugs of soil

putting them up on top of the surface

letting them break down it'll give us a

little bit of top dressing on the yard

as well but it also opens up some holes

to give us some air water and nutrients

to penetrate down into the root zone of

the grass and so that's kind of the

whole point of core aeration but we can

add it to our over seeding process here

if we would like to also give us a

little bit better seed bed some area

there for the seed to grab on to some

soil up on top of the surface and that's

kind of the process of what you can do

here with core aeration and over seeding

together how do you know if you need to

core aerate well specifically if you go

out into your yard and you take a

screwdriver with you and you try to put

it down into the ground if you can

easily put it down into the ground then

maybe this step isn't essential for you

right now but if you're having trouble

even putting it down into your soil at

all then I would probably recommend

doing the core aeration process now core

aeration can be done yourself go to a

rental store maybe a home depot and pick

up the Machine and if you've never done

this before just a bit of a warning it

is a workout but I can do it and I've

done it many times so I know you can do

it as well

otherwise you can hire out this process

there's many people I'm sure in your

area about to offer this in the fall

time so check around make some phone

calls if you'd like to have it hired out

now it has come to the time of our

actual seating and what we're going to

do is just add our seed right over top

of the existing grass as I said over

seeding is just adding new seed to your

existing lawn if you've done that core

aeration process and the dethatching or

even if you haven't done core aeration

and you can see down to the soil a

little bit you're going to be fine there

we're typically going to add our seed

with some kind of spreader just helps to

make sure things are done evenly also on

the bag of seed that you buy typically

it is going to have an over seeding rate

on there compared to a new lawn rate so

pay attention to the rates so if you

want to get really technical with that

I've made some videos on that you can

actually weigh out the seed and know

exactly how much you're putting on your

lawn if you would like to for most

people with the over seeding rates if

you keep it fairly low you're not

dumping piles of seed on there with your

spreader then you're probably going to

be okay but I really recommend measuring

it out if you can it's the best way to

know exactly how much you're putting on



so grass seed and grass seed types for

cool-season lawns can get into a little

bit of a big conversation here but I

will let you know that I started out

using perennial ryegrass in my yard two

to three years of over seeding and it

had great results but you have to

understand a little bit of the downsides

of rye grass in a warmer climate it can

really suffer during the summertime it

doesn't really like the extreme warm

temperatures so if you're a little bit

farther south I would probably recommend

going with a tall fescue tall fescue is

going to give you the option of a little

bit more summer drought tolerant and it

can withstand the heat a little bit more

and it has a great look to it as well so

if you're thinking about something a

little in a little bit southern region

that you have cool season lawn I would

think about fescue so if you're right in

the middle of the country here like I

said you can choose some rye grass most

people probably are going to do Kentucky

bluegrass or tall fescue and if you have

some shaded areas look for a shade mix

as well that's probably going to have

some fine fescues in there now if your

up farther north in some of those

northern sections then Kentucky

bluegrass will do fantastic perennial

rye will do a little bit better since

you're not getting as much heat and

depending on the variety of perennial

ryegrass that you choose sometimes it

also has a little bit of difficulty

surviving extremely cold winters so keep

that in mind as well

but if you want something quick to grow

in perennial rye grass and tall fescue

are going to be the fastest ones and

bluegrass will take much longer to kind

of come in and get itself fully

established but once bluegrass is there

and into your next season's coming up if

you're taking care of everything very

well that bluegrass is going to be a

great grass for you and will last a long

time it fixes itself repairs holes kind

of by spreading it's a great grass but

as I mentioned I use printing ryegrass

in my yard four to three seasons of over

seeding and it did a great job for me I

didn't notice too much of an issue with

summertime they're mixed in with my

existing lawn but just keep that in mind


now you got your seed down and you want

to know what to do about fertilizer so a

starter fertilizer is a good option when

you're growing in new seed because it

contains more phosphorous which is going

to give us some better root growth and

give that grass seed a little bit more

of a boost there to kind of get itself

established now there are different

starter fertilizers on the market one of

them actually does have a weed preventer

in it that's made by Scots so if you're

looking to actually prevent some weeds

at the time of seeding as well that is a

product you can use otherwise any of the

starter fertilizers that you get at a

store or wherever you buy them it's

going to be totally fine a little tip

that I found in my yard over time is

that I don't typically add the starter

fertilizer right at the time of seating

and of course we don't want a lot of

traffic on the yard after we seed but

before that new seed comes up probably

three to five days or so it just depends

I will then add my starter fertilizer at

that time just so that I don't give that

existing grass a huge boost of growth

right away because we want that grass to

slow itself down a little bit while the

new grass has a chance to come up so

three to five days something like that

it's about the timeframe that I would

add the starter fertilizer just so that

we're not giving that existing lawn

quite as much of an initial boost

now one of the most important steps with

any seating project is watering so once

we get that seed down we just have to

keep it wet and keep it from drying out

but this doesn't mean putting so much

water on the yard that there's puddles

everywhere either it's kind of a

balancing act so you need to keep the

seed wet without drying out but not go

overboard so usually with an existing

lawn this is a much easier process

because you have some existing grass

there to hold in some moisture once that

seed falls down to the root zone of the

existing grass it will also hold some

moisture there a little bit better

so typically probably two to three times

a day with over seeding so probably

about mid-morning maybe 11:00 a.m. or

something like that and maybe about

mid-afternoon three o'clock is a good

time to get some watering on there and

again we need to get water on heavy

enough to where we're going to keep that

seed wet but not so heavy that we are

going to actually drown the seed so

probably 5 to 10 minutes per watering it

all depends on how much Sun you're

getting your location how much wind the

weather there's so many factors there

but that's a general rule of thumb so

setting up your own sprinklers is

totally fine it's what I've done in the

past if you have an irrigation system

makes things a lot easier but don't

think that you have to have an

irrigation system by any means and check

out some of my videos on building

sprinklers and using sprinklers to

oversee it as well or do any seeding

projects I have plenty of video and

information on that too


waiting as long as possible is going to

be our best case scenario but it just

depends on the grass type as I mentioned

if you use perennial ryegrass like I did

in the past I found that I could wait

about 10 to 14 days or so before the

existing grass and before the new grass

was getting so tall that I really needed

to get it cut wait as long as you can

but don't let it get to five six inches

or something like that where your

existing grass is now shading out the

new grass and kind of removing the

sunlight from it which is going to help

it to grow whatever machine you use make

sure your blades are sharp and if you're

using your rotary mower just try to be

as gentle as you can on it and try to

get on the lawn get off the lawn as

quick as possible you get a good clean

cut on there then through the fall time

just keep up your mowing frequently and

I know this is something that people

probably don't think is extremely

important but if you can get out there

every three days during the fall that

would be absolutely amazing to

continually cut this get it to thicken

up a little bit that's going to help you

in the next season as well if you can

keep that mowing up so as much as

possible I can't stress that enough to

keep up your mowings keep your machine

running at a high level keep your blade

sharp this alone is going to make a big

difference in your yard this fall


probably about four weeks after the

process of initially seeding that's when

I'd probably adil another dose of

starter fertilizer or really any

fertilizer at that time it doesn't

really have to be starter fertilizer but

that's a good time frame after you've

probably mode once or twice something

around there that will work well and

what about weeds so when our grass is

coming in we have to just kind of let it

be as it is now there might be some

existing weeds to come in don't worry

about these too much at this time

because our whole goal is that over time

by adding this new seed by mowing

properly by doing all these things we're

going to choke out those weeds naturally

and once your lawn gets thick enough it

will actually choke out those weeds and

they will not be able to grow so don't

worry about it too much of these initial

stages so after you've mowed probably

three to four times usually most bottles

will say at least three to four times

then you can come in and kind of target

some of those weeds that might have come

up so keep that in mind three to four

mows after you've done that you can come

in and spray a little bit I usually just

use a regular we'd be gone product

something over the counter and just

target the weeds that I'm finding in my



that is the process of over seating

alone and it might sound a little bit

daunting at first but I promise you you

follow these steps you will have a much

improved yard this fall and coming into

the next seasons as well so if you have

any questions let me know thanks so much

for watching this video we'll see you

next time