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Here’s the Best Time to Reseed Your Lawn

Amber Guetebier
Written by Amber Guetebier
Updated October 19, 2021
Two young women sitting at the front porch of a house
The Good Brigade/DigitalVision via Getty Images

You don’t have to settle for a patchy lawn

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An emerald green lawn is the envy of the neighborhood, but what if your grass is brown, dry, or mostly dead? If you’ve gotten to the point where your lawn has become an eyesore, it may be time to reseed your entire lawn. 

While this can be a time commitment, the results will last for years to come. Find out how to know if it’s time to reseed your lawn.

What Is Reseeding?

Reseeding is sometimes confused with overseeding but is not quite the same. Unlike overseeding, which involves patching bare or thin parts of your lawn with new seed, reseeding goes a step further—you actually kill off the existing grass and reseed the entire area.

When Should You Reseed Your Lawn?

Reseeding your lawn is a time commitment, but sometimes it’s the only solution. 

If your yard is brown and dead in smaller patches, you probably just need to overseed. But if your lawn is more than 50% overrun with weeds, is showing signs of a disease, or is more than one-third dead and brown, it’s probably time to reseed the whole thing.

What Time of Year Is Best for Reseeding a Lawn?

In general, the best time to reseed a new lawn is late summer to early fall. Reseeding during this time is ideal because:

  • The soil will be warm enough to support seed germination

  • Weeds won’t be growing as rampant, so your new seeds won’t have to compete

  • There will be enough time for the grass to grow before the first frost

Depending on your climate and growing season, it is also possible to reseed your lawn in early spring.

How Do I Reseed a Lawn?

Reseeding a lawn is a multi-step process. It can be time-consuming and may require a few tools that homeowners don’t always have on hand. You’ll first want to determine how much of your lawn needs reseeding and whether you can patch the lawn by simply overseeding instead. 

If you determine that most of your lawn needs to be completely reseeding—for example, due to soil fungus or other diseases—you’ll need to remove all the existing grass and start with fresh soil. You’ll also want to even out any depressions on your lawn. It is also important to make sure you reseed with the right kind of seeds for your growing conditions.

What Tools Do I Need to Reseed a Lawn?

To successfully reseed your lawn, you will want these tools on hand:

  • Landscape rake

  • Thatch or turf rake

  • Seed spreader

  • Grass seed

  • Sprinkler or a hose

  • Sod roller

  • Tiller

How Much Does It Cost to Reseed a Lawn?

A guy reseeding the lawn using a reseeder
macniak/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

When it comes to dead and mostly brown or patchy lawn, reseeding is often the only way to restore your grass to its former glory. Reseeding a lawn costs an average of $0.10 to $0.20 per square foot to reseed a lawn, excluding labor costs. Labor costs can factor in significantly for reseeding and average between $250 to $350. This amount does not include the cost of removing the dead grass. 

Not sure what to do about your lawn? Find a local lawn care professional near you to get an experienced opinion.

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