You don’t have to settle for a patchy lawn
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.
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. Spring offers more moisture and warmer air than fall, which is great for both grass and weed germination. That means your lawn will have to compete with those weeds for nutrients—competition you can avoid by reseeding in late summer or early fall.
When Should You Reseed Your Lawn?
Whether you have warm- or cool-season grass, try to reseed in the morning and whenever the ground is dry. Be sure not to reseed right before heavy rains; pooling or moving water will wipe away your soil (and your efforts) by disrupting germination. You can reseed after a storm, but you’ll have an easier time if you wait until the ground has dried. Avoid reseeding on windy days, too, as gusts could unevenly distribute the seeds.
Reseeding a lawn is a multi-step process. Follow the reseeding tips below to make it easier and to ensure you get the job done right.
Remove dead grass: Dead grass makes it harder for seeds to grow
Level compost: smooth out any bumps with your rake to ensure an even surface
Mix it up: Create and dampen your sand-and-seed mixture one day before sowing
Cover and water: Lightly water the compost; overwatering will wash away your seeds
Maintain moisture: Lightly water a couple of times per day until your seeds germinate
How to Reseed a Lawn
To successfully reseed your lawn, you will want these tools on hand:
Thatch or turf rake
Sprinkler or a hose
Preparing for Reseeding
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.
Choose the right grass for your region. Some grasses can’t thrive in areas that are too hot, too cool, or too dry.
After you finish reseeding your lawn, you still have a few tasks to follow to make sure it grows well.
Water: Be sure to maintain a regular watering schedule. After initially watering two to three times per day, stick to your regular watering schedule once you see growth.
Fertilize: Be sure to find out which fertilizer for grass is best for your lawn. In most cases, you’ll likely want a fertilizer with a high nitrogen and potassium percentage with a bit of phosphorus. Quick-release fertilizers are the best choice.
Wait to mow: Don’t mow until you see considerable growth.
Reseeding Mistakes to Avoid
For the best results, avoid these common reseeding mistakes.
Planting the wrong type of seed for your region
Skipping a soil test
Planting an improper amount of seeds; overdoing it is the most common mistake.
Planting during the wrong season
Using fertilizer too soon after reseeding
Mowing too soon
Applying weed treatments with seed
How Much Does It Cost to Reseed a Lawn?
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.