Tips on Reseeding

Written by elaine pratt
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Tips on Reseeding
Reseeding helps to fill in thin or bald patches on lawns. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Reseeding is an important step in ongoing lawn maintenance. People generally reseed in autumn to ensure a healthy lawn throughout the growing season. Timing, soil set-up, planting and care are all important factors in growing a healthy lawn.

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The best time to reseed is in the fall, as adequate moisture is typically available, and temperatures are moderate, according to Cornell University. When the seeds are planted, put at least 4 inches of topsoil over them. This will insulate them during the cold winter. In addition, the snow itself will help with insulation. Weed-free straw or marsh hay can also be used for this purpose.

Soil Setup

Setting up the soil before reseeding is important. Start by using a rake to remove dead grass and any thatch build-up. This will help the roots attach to the soil. Next, disperse a layer of topsoil or compost and peat moss over all areas that need to be reseeded. Use the rake to work the top inch of the soil.


Disperse the seed as evenly as possible over the area that needs to be reseeded. Using a seed spreading tool or one hand, spread the seed from different angles to get good coverage. With the rake gently press the seeds in the topsoil or peat moss. Water the reseeded areas, but don't overwater. The reseeded areas need to be kept moist at all times. If you live in a warm climate, you may need to water reseeded areas more than once per day.


Taking care of a newly reseeded lawn is crucial. When the grass has grown at least an inch tall, apply water-soluble lawn fertiliser that contains potash, nitrogen and phosphorus. Wait as long as possible, at least six weeks from planting, before mowing this part of the lawn. Mowing and footsteps can damage new grass. When you do mow, try not to remove all of the blades in one sweep. Instead, gradually lower the mower blade to prevent stress on grass and roots.

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