5 Tips for Overseeding Your Lawn this Fall

2020-09-03T18:58:30-05:00Lawn Care|
  • Green Lawn

August through September is the BEST time to over-seed a lawn.  Warm soil and cool temperatures at night make the perfect growing conditions. Here are 5 expert tips on doing it right!

Prep Work

Mow your existing grass to a height of 1 to 1.5 inches. Next vigorously rake or core aerate to loosen soil and rough up the surface. Yards with a heavier thatch layer or in very poor conditions may need a more aggressive option such as renting a verti-cut machine.

Buy the Best Lawn Seed

Select the BEST seed variety to get the right mix for your lawn. Opting for the bargain seed can lead to more problems down the road. Always choose for the very best seed available that had been tested in our growing conditions. We’re proud to say that our Earl May Lawn Seed has been tested in Midwest turf trials with excellent results! Over-seed at the rates listed for each mix.

Proper Lawn Food Application 

Use a hand spreader for small areas and a fertilizer spreader for larger ones.  To insure more uniform coverage , broadcast at half the rate in one direction first, then go back over the same area in the opposite direction.


Use a lawn starter fertilizer to strengthen the existing yard and to help new seedlings take root and fill in faster. Rake lightly one more time to ensure good seed to soil contact.


Keep the seed evenly moist to speed up germination. Sunny locations and dry weather will require you to water more frequently. Special lawn starter mulch is available to reduce how often you need to water.

What about brand new seeding on bare soil? Yep, you guessed it…Fall is the best time for this as well. Just be sure to work up the top 3 to 4 inches of soil and then follow steps 2-5 above.

Follow the steps above and you will see a new lawn spring to life in just a few weeks!

Learn more about seeding your lawn and other related tips on our Lawn Care page.

Have more questions?  Let us know or visit your local Earl May expert for more great tips!


  1. SMITHAS KK January 16, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Much obliged to you for the 7 great simple tips on grass mind in the fall. I hadn’t thought of proceeding to cut all through fall and up until winter. You’re correct however you need to ensure the grass gets a lot of daylight while remaining at a sound tallness to guarantee uniform care.

  2. Angela Williams September 17, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Deanna Anderson September 15, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Aerating a lawn is important – especially bluegrass lawns more than 5 or 6 years old. Best time is spring and/or fall when it is cool and there has been some rain to loosen the soil. Usually March and October. Aeration units can be rented at local rental stores.

    Earth Right is an alternative to mechanical aeration which has proven to be very effective. This is applied spring and fall and is very popular with customers that have used it.

  4. MB September 10, 2017 at 7:58 am

    What about aerating? Can you add any thoughts on that? How often, what time of year, etc?

  5. Richard Clayton May 13, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for awesome your over-seeding tips. It is very helpful for me to have a green and healthy lawn

  6. Precious Leyva May 2, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I didn’t know that prep work was required for seeding your lawn. It doesn’t seem like too much work, but my husband and I have discussed seeding our lawn. Knowing that we need to prep will give us some time to solidify our plans and figure out what we want.

  7. Love Garden April 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I find more solution for my lawm in new season. Could you give me some advice about fertilizer in order to help my lawn stronger?
    Many thanks for your articles!

  8. Kody Loveless August 11, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the tips. I knew that fertilizer would help the seeds grow. I had never thought about how it would affect the old grass. I like the idea of making the old grass stronger. I am sure that will help my lawn look nice and healthy.

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