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Overseed for a Healthy, Lush Lawn

Overseeding creates a thick, healthy lawn, which is the best defense against weeds.

Hand-held broadcast spreader
Bow rake

Step 1: Prepare

Rake leaves and remove weeds with a weeding tool. Loosen soil with a thatching rake. Spread about a 1/4-inch layer of lawn soil evenly over lawn with a bow rake.

Tools checklist:

Broadcast spreader

Step 2: Overseed

Spread grass seed over entire lawn. Spread starter fertilizer using a spreader. Water lawn daily until grass seed becomes well established.

Tools checklist:

Garden hose

Step 3: Maintain

Water new lawn regularly and fertilize every six to eight weeks. Consider installing a timer to ensure watering is automatic and accurate. Remove any weeds that may appear with a weeding tool or eco-friendly herbicide and repair bare patches with grass seed using a broadcast spreader designed for small areas.  Check for insect populations as needed (see additional tips below).

Tools checklist:

Lawn mower


  • To allow your lawn to develop to its full potential, it needs a healthy supply of nutrients. Only begin to fertilize once grass starts turning green.
  • A corn gluten fertilizer can prevent weeds if used early, but do not apply grass seed at the same time or the grass seed will not germinate.
  • Fertilize every eight weeks for a thick, green lawn. As a rule of thumb, fertilize in early spring, and over mid-May, July and September.
  • Lawns require about one inch of water per week to encourage roots to grow. You may not need to water if there has been rain. 
  • Mow high and regularly. Short grass means short roots, so raise mower blades to three inches to help roots grow more deeply.
  • Aerate your lawn with a specialty aeration tool to allow soil to break down and breathe.
  • Pull weeds out from the roots using a specialized weeding tool and lay a weed block under pathways or patios to prevent weeds from emerging.
  • To get rid of insects, try spraying insecticidal soap (which is safe on plants) directly onto insect populations. You can also place insect bait and traps around your lawn and garden to keep pests away.

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