Overseeding Your Lawn

Gardening 101: Successfully Overseeding Your Lawn

Spring is here and you finally want to enjoy your beautifully green garden when you discover ugly ‘bald’ spots and thin lawn- sometimes the only solution is overseeding your lawn.

The reasons for a fading lawn are many, and you can certainly not expect your garden to be fresh, green and crisp forever. Often enough it may have been a rough winter with snow, frost and ice that causes your lawn to die and become brown. It can also be a lack of sun because it may grow in a particularly shady area, and sometimes the soil is simply not good enough. Lawn can be destroyed by too much water and a tight soil that hasn’t been loosened up enough can also be the cause for a bad lawn.

You will find that lawn can sometimes be thin or gone in particular areas which can be caused by tents, sporting equipment, fire, urine or moles. At other times it is pest and vermin eating through your beloved plants and lawn. Knowing the cause is important because overseeding your lawn can help to restore it for a while, but pest will return and your cat may continue urinating in the same spot. So before you can start with the lawn, you must first take care of the cause if this is something you are in control of- certainly not cold winters or shade.

If the soil becomes an issue, you must mown the lawn and loosen it up, use manure or compost to nourish and fertilise the earth. This is crucial because while lawn is easy to grow, it needs a healthy backbone to remain green and beautiful. It is not unusual that bricks, stones and rocks are obstructing a healthy growth and a thorough dig may help to get rid of these things. If you cannot do that because it may destroy other plants you can use a thin stick and see whether there are little rocks, and you can then top this area up with fresh soil. Overseeding your lawn becomes much easier that way, and you simply add seeds to the fresh soil. If you find that bald spots appear because you are overusing your garden, constantly moving heavy things around or simply challenging it by building many new things, you may have to give your lawn a rest for a while.

Overseeding your lawn is fairly simple and you can buy special seeds in professional gardening stores that are particularly good to ‘fix’ an existing but unhealthy lawn. Depending on whether it is your entire lawn or just a few spots you need to loosen up the soil and add fertiliser, manure or compost. The seeds can then be sprinkled into the loosened soil; 20-30g of seeds is usually enough for 1sqm lawn.

Especially during the first 7 days it is crucial to keep the soil moist and you may add more seeds if the growing lawn is not thick enough. It is also very important not to step on the area that is recovering for at least 2 months and the last lot of seeds should be planted before the cold period in late autumn kicks in. If your lawn is overall very thin you can just sprinkle seeds all over it and let the lawn grow thicker.

Lawn may not grow as a result of lacking sun light and there is not much you can do to fix this issue. One solution is to use artificial lighting, but the easier option is probably planting something else that may grow in shady areas. There are a range of flowers and plants that are able to survive in shady or semi-shady places and you may choose to purchase one and avoid the headache of saving your lawn.