Garden Advice

How to Overseed a Lawn in the UK

In this post, we’re going to explore one of the most crucial lawn care practices – overseeding. The process will immensely improve the health and the appearance of your green space, making you proud of your garden.

If you’re dealing with:

  • Bare patches;
  • Thin, worn areas;
  • Lifeless grass,

It’s time for a change! Keep on reading.

Table of Contents:

What is overseeding?

Overseeding is the process of adding new seeds to an existing lawn. Commonly known across gardeners and gardening enthusiasts, it is a mandatory procedure to boost the quality of your lawn. For the best results possible, it is often performed together with other garden maintenance jobs such as scarifying, topdressing and aeration.

Benefits of overseeding

  • Cover bare patches and thin areas
  • Make your lawn lusher and denser
  • Minimise weed and moss formation
  • Grow a greener and healthier garden

When to overseed your lawn?

The process should be performed during the cooler seasons. Indulging in the activity in early autumn will assist in the germination of the seeds. That’s when you have to sow grass seeds if you’re starting a new lawn as well. Overseeding your lawn in spring will also help you achieve the best results possible. The damp weather during those two seasons predisposes the efficient growth of the new grass.

It is not recommended to perform it in the hot seasons due to the excessive heat and lack of moisture. However, it is still possible, if you put in the extra effort, to water your lawn consistently.

For tips on when to tackle various other garden tasks, read our UK gardening calendar!

How to prepare for overseeding

Determine if you need to perform the procedure together with any of these other lawn care jobs.

  • Scarifying – If you’ve built up a decent amount of dead grass blades, lawn clippings and moss over time, definitely consider scarifying. You can use a rake or a powered scarifier to perform it.
  • Topdressing – The procedure is based on applying topsoil over an existing lawn. This is good in conjunction with overseeding because the new seed will have direct contact with the fresh dressing and help it take root easily and grow quickly.
  • Aerating A simple process of poking tiny holes into your lawn’s surface using a garden fork. Doing this will reduce soil compaction and allow vital resources to go deep into the roots, improving the quality of the soil.

Once those tasks are out of the way continue to:

  1. Prepare the soil – If you don’t expect any rain, begin to frequently water the garden for a few days. By doing so, you will provide a pleasant environment for the new seeds to catch roots and germinate. If the lawn hasn’t been fed for a while, you can also apply fertiliser a few days before you overseed.
  2. Choose the right seeds – It is important to select a seed mix, which is compatible with the climate and your existing grass. If you’re happy with what you have now, you can choose the same grass type. Otherwise, you can go for a different sort. The variety will make your lawn healthier and bring a different look to your garden.

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How to overseed a lawn

Now you are ready to get down to the actual business of reseeding your lawn.

  1. Remove weeds – They can certainly interfere with the whole process and lead to poor results. If you’re going to use a weed killer, make sure you wait a week or two before applying the new seed.
  2. Mow your garden – The length of your grass should be approximately 1 – 1½ inches. This will help the new seeds easily establish a solid connection with the soil.
  3. Scarify – It is important to get rid of moss and thatch buildups. That way the new seeds will efficiently connect with the soil. Overseeding your lawn after scarifying, will let the new grass grow quicker, denser and healthier. Removing the thatch will provide you with a great foundation to work on and improve the efficiency of other lawn care procedures. 
  4. Aerate your lawn – Aerating is recommended in order to loosen up the soil and allow fresh air to flow in. It will let the new seeds easily find their way into the surface and get comfortable, ready for growing. 
  5. Apply topdressing – This is not a mandatory step, however, topdressing and overseeding a lawn will provide vital nutrients for the new grass and give it a head start. All you need is to apply a very thin layer of dressing over the existing lawn and spread it around with the back of a rake.
    Make sure that the grass is poking out above the topsoil, otherwise, you might suffocate it.
  6. Apply the new seeds – Spread them across the lawn. To reseed an existing lawn you’ll need approximately 15-30g of grass seed per m2 . Try to distribute them evenly and add more to thin areas, where you’d like to increase the density. Use a rake to delicately bury the seeds inside the soil. 
  7. Overseeding aftercare – Proper maintenance after the procedure is crucial if you seek to achieve the best possible results.

Once you’re done with there tasks remember to:

  • Water it frequently – If rain is not expected, it is important to build a consistent watering schedule for the first few weeks. The point is to keep them moist in order to support the germination process. Water immediately after you reseed and keep on watering at least once a day for a couple of weeks.
  • Apply fertiliser – This is optional, however, it can significantly boost the development of the new grass. If you’re going to add fertiliser after the procedure, ensure that the seed has already germinated.
  • Mow the lawn – When it grows up to 3 inches, you can perform a light mow. Do not overdo it. A good rule of thumb is to mow a quarter of its size. You should never trim more than a third of a freshly sowed grass.
Minimise traffic over the overseeded area for a few weeks.

Do you lack the time to do it yourself?

If you live a busy life, but still want to have your lawn renewed, let us help you achieve it! The dedicated gardening experts come fully equipped with everything necessary to transform your garden into a green paradise.Book a professional overseeding and top-dressing service with Fantastic Services today!


  • If you seek optimal results, consider overseeding grass seed in conjunction with other lawn care procedures.
  • Due to the natural damp and cool weather, the best time to overseed is during spring and autumn.
  • Grass seeds require moisture to germinate. Remember to water them consistently.
  • Leave enough grass after mowing so that it can establish strong roots.

If you’re not sure how to get the lawn of your dreams, expert care might be in order. Take a look at how a lawn care service can help you in our post on the topic!

Source: Shutterstock/Imagesines

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