Overseeding

  1. Rake to expose as much of the soil as you can.
  2. Top dress with topsoil or compost, as good seed to soil contact is important.
  3. Lightly throw down some grass seed – the trick is a little a lot. You may have to do this every other day for about a week, depending on the size of the area and if the birds are enjoying your seed.
  4. If using a high amount of perennial ryegrass, over seed annually as ryegrass tends to clump.
  5. The area just needs to be moist, so if in a very sunny area and there has been no precipitation, keep the top few centimetres moist with a light sprinkling of water. Be careful not to wash the seed away.
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The best time to overseed is September

Fewer weed seeds germinate in fall so this is the best time to overseed. You can overseed in spring as well, especially if there is winter damage, but save yourself time and money and avoid overseeding during the hottest summer months.

  • Sunny areas: Use a blend of about 60 per cent Kentucky Blue, 20 per cent Perennial Rye and 20 per cent Red Fescue seed.
  • Shady areas use a blend of 20 per cent Kentucky Blue, 20% Perennial Rye and 60% Fine Fescues. Be aware that chinch bugs prefer fescue grass.

More tips

  • Place burlap over seeded areas to keep birds away and to keep soil moist for faster germination.
  • Overseed your whole lawn with perennial ryegrass throughout the season any time there’s rain in the forecast. Perennial ryegrass can germinate in 3-5 days so it is great to use to quickly fill in bare spots.
  • Use a blend of species that includes Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fescues only in the fall. Kentucky bluegrass takes up to 30 days to germinate so it needs the cool weather and precipitation in the fall.
Image of a patchy lawn with a section covered by burlap. Rocks hold the burlap down.