Overseeding - Knowledgebase Question

indianapolis, In
Question by dmonkul
April 6, 2010

I live in Indiana and am getting ready to overseed my back lawn (1000 sqfeet) using an overseeder. I am wondering what is the best way to cover the entire lawn using a rental overseeder. For example, is it better to make horizantal lines or is it better to go over the the entire lawn twice once horizantal once vertical.


Answer from NGA
April 6, 2010


You're on the right track! But before broadcasting the seed, do a little lawn prep. If the grass is more than 1 or 2 inches tall, mow it down to 1/2 inch or so and remove the clippings. Next, give the yard a hard raking to loosen the soil and remove leaves, thatch (dead grass that has built up on the lawn), and anything else that has accumulated on the lawn over winter. This will give the grass seeds a chance to rest on the soil surface where they can easily root.

Now you can overseed your lawn. Calibrate your spreader-you do this to set the spreader drop rate according to your stride. How fast you walk will influence the coverage. Your spreader will have instructions for doing this.

Then, fill the spreader with half of the seed and spread the seed evenly walking in one direction. Next, fill the spreader with the other half of the seed and overseed walking perpendicular to the previous direction. Whether you overlap each row slightly depends on whether you are using a drop spreader or a broadcast spreader. With drop spreaders, you do not overlap-but you do precisely line up with your row. Broadcast spreaders require overlapping the throw patter by about 1/3 on the next pass.

To keep the seed coverage even, top-dress the grass seed with a light compost mix. You only want to just barely cover the seed. This is more of a dusting of material. It will help keep moisture near the seeds and help increase capillary action of the soil.

Best wishes with your project!

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