Overseeding: Part of Your Fall Cleanup

Fall is the perfect time for overseeding your lawn. Late August and early September typically bring with them increased amounts of precipitation and cooler nights. These are ideal conditions for grass seed germination and establishment.

Ingredients to Repair and Replenish

  • Nutrient rich soil
  • High quality grass seed
  • Seed starter fertilizer
  • Water (preferably rainfall)

Tools Needed

  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer spreader
  • A sprinkler and hose
  • A leaf rake
  • Wheelbarrow/Bucket

Overseeding Soil BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil Starting Seeds Big Yellow Bag Dirt

BigYellowBag Premium Overseeding Products

Now to collect all of the required materials. As previously mentioned, the first ingredient in the recipe for a successful overseeding is high quality soil. BigYellowBag provides a simple, convenient way to get high quality bulk soil delivered right to your door. BigYellowBag soils are loaded with nutrients, and beneficial bacteria that help break down those nutrients to make them available for your grass to use. Measure the area you plan to overseed and contact your local BigYellowBag supplier to find out how much soil you will need. (Available in HUGE 1 yd3 bags, ~765 Litres)

repair your lawn

The second ingredient is quality grass seed. Depending on your location, different grass cultivars (grass seed types) may be available due to their compatibility with your climate. Choose the grass type that looks the best and will perform best for your yard conditions. Make sure that you trust the supplier you purchase the seed from. Remember that all grasses require some water, sunlight, and nutrients in order to thrive.

Seed starter fertilizer, while it’s not essential to success, sure does help out. The nutrient boost that fertilizer provides to the new turf significantly helps it germinate. Seed starter fertilizers will often have a high middle number, which represents the percentage of phosphorous. Phosphorous is the nutrient responsible for promoting root growth in grass, and root establishment is a key factor in a successful overseeding.

The Key to Overseeding

The last ingredient for a successful overseeding is water. Grass seed requires consistent moisture for 7-10 days in order to germinate properly. Before overseeding, consider the amount of rain in the forecast and the amount of available water for irrigation. Generally, September can bring the proper weather for overseeding.

Getting Down To Work

Now that you have all the necessary materials, it’s time to get down to work. Prior to spreading your overseeding mixture, it’s a good idea to mow the entire area short and rake out any debris that could impede your seed and soil mixture from getting down to your grass. (Keep reading for a time saving tip!)

repair your lawn

Mix your soil and your seed at a ratio of about 40:1 in a bucket or a wheelbarrow. Roughly spread this mixture across a small section at a depth of about ¼ – ½ inches (6-13 mm). Rake it across your lawn, spreading it out so that the mixture is worked into the thatch layer of your grass. Make sure that most of the blades of your existing grass are sticking up. Roughly spread more of your mixture as it is required. Cover the entire area evenly with your mixture.

repair your lawn

If you’re looking to save a little time, instead of raking before you spread your mixture, you can spread a thick amount along an edge of the area and as you rake the mixture across your yard, you will also be raking up any debris present.

Once finished spreading the overseeding mixture, you can then evenly spread your seed starter fertilizer across the area using a fertilizer spreader (Fertilizer can be spread manually, but for consistency we recommend using a spreader)

repair your lawn


It’s time for water. Remember, seed requires consistent moisture for proper germination. The seed can stay in the ground without any rain or water for a long period of time. Once the first rain or watering happens, it is important to keep the area consistently moist for 7-10 days. Different from laying sod, seed just requires the surface to be moist during the germination and early growth time. Watering lightly 2-3 times a day produces the best results. See the image below for a comprehensive watering schedule for the 4 weeks following seeding.


Note: Even though watering the area produces the best results, September can provide the best weather conditions to naturally allow seed to germinate and grow.

Overseeding Green Lawn BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil

Overseeding is Essential!

Your seed should start to germinate (with consistent moisture) within 7-10 days after the first watering/rainfall. By the time the first frost comes, you should see your lawn being noticeably thicker from all of the new seed. Whether you’ve overseeded to fix holes, or to maintain, your new thick lawn will be healthy and ready to head into winter dormancy to come out of spring with a vibrant green up!

Cameron Shimoda

Garden and Soil Enthusiast