Can I Just Throw Grass Seed on My Lawn? How To Overseed Your Lawn

If you’re someone who is wishing for green and healthy grass, then you may already know overseeding the lawn is part of the process. Still, you might be wondering how to overseed your lawn.

More specifically, can you just sprinkle grass seed on the existing lawn?

We hear this question a lot. Homeowners tell us that they typically just toss some grass seed down on bare spots to try and fill them in. But oftentimes they’re frustrated that this doesn't work like they expect it will. We’ll explain why you really can’t just sprinkle grass seed on an existing lawn and expect amazing results.Throwing grass seed down in your lawn

Can I Just Throw Grass Seed on my Lawn?

Whether you have some noticeable bare spots or you just want to thicken up your lawn as a whole, you might be thinking about sprinkling some grass seed around. We know that homeowners do this all of the time, but we’re not sure they always understand why they don’t get the results they expected.

The main reason is due to our clay-like soil here in the Memphis, TN area. When you just sprinkle grass seed on an existing lawn, it ends up just sitting atop of the soil and a lot of it may never germinate.

Then homeowners end up asking the question, why can’t I get my grass to grow?

In reality, the best practice is to have lawn aeration performed followed by overseeding the lawn.
Perform lawn aeration before overseeding
When aeration is performed first, it breaks up the clay soil, allowing your lawn to “breathe.” During an aeration service, small holes will be made by pulling out soil plugs (also called “cores”). This allows more oxygen, water, and nutrients to be able to penetrate down to the root zone where your existing lawn is already attempting to grow.
aeration core plugs
But when this service is followed by overseeding, then you’re also providing those new seeds the best chance at germination. That’s because you’re providing optimal seed-to-soil contact.

In other words, the seeds will fall into the holes that were created rather than just sitting atop the soil like they would if you were to just sprinkle grass seed on the existing lawn. This provides them with the best conditions to get started in their growth process. When the seed just sits atop of the soil, often it gets blown or moved before it even has a chance to try and grow.

The Grass Seed also Matters When Overseeding the Lawn

In addition to ensuring that the soil conditions are optimal with a lawn aeration service, you also want to make sure that you are putting down a high-quality grass seed if you’re expecting great results.

We find that most homeowners aren’t aware how dramatically grass seed can differ. To get the best results, you need the best seed.

The best grass seed for Tennessee is a blend. At Master Lawn, we are seeding with a premium blend that is 80 percent Tall Fescue and 20 percent Ryegrass to provide the best of what each of those grasses has to offer.
The best grass seed sprouting
You also want to make sure that you’re overseeding the lawn at the right time. By late summer, most lawns in Memphis TN and Northern MS are struggling due to the intense heat. Lawn aeration is best performed in the fall as the temperatures begin to drop a bit. The soil is still warm but the air temperature is cooler, providing better growing conditions for your new grass.

The grass will thrive through winter but really start to perform its best in the spring, growing quickly and steadily.

While some people ask about lawn aeration in the spring, the problem with this timing is that it starts to heat up too quickly. Ultimately, the summer sun can fry your brand-new and fragile grass. That’s why we recommend aeration and overseeding a lawn in the fall.

Choosing a Professional Lawn Aeration and Overseeding Service

Now that you have an idea how to get better results when overseeding a lawn, you might be looking for a professional lawn aeration service. We’ve written a blog article on DIY aeration and why it’s not the best idea. Most homeowners are disappointed with the subpar results they receive when attempting to aerate on their own.

That’s why choosing a pro is the best choice.
Professional technician aerating soil
At Master Lawn, we believe that aeration is one of the most important things that you can be doing for your lawn for the reasons that we’ve explained. It’s included in our Platinum program and can be added to our Gold or Silver lawn care programs as an add-on service.

When you choose professional aeration followed by overseeding with high-quality seed, you can get on your way to the amazing results you’ve been wishing for.

Ready to have a lawn that you love at your Memphis area home? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

Get A Free Quote

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

You May Also Like

These Stories on Lawn Care

Become the Master of Your Lawn & Landscape with Weekly Tips.