How to Plant Grass Seed and Overseed like a PRO

How to Plant Grass Seed and Overseed like a PRO

Do you want to save yourself thousands of dollars and have a gorgeous, green lawn that looks like a pro installed it? Well, you can bite the bullet and have sod installed or you can seed it yourself. My company installs at least one lawn a week and I tell each one of my customers they have an option. They can hire me to install sod for them and their lot will instantly look like this, or I can sit down at their kitchen table and in five minutes teach them how to over-seed their lawn and make it look like a pro did it. Guess what, that's what you’re going to learn today. I'm going to show you what I show each and every one of my customers, how that they can cheat, save thousands of dollars and do the job themselves. So let's get started. All right here we go. This whiteboard is your lawn and this pepper is your seed. Now I’m going to show you the pattern, this is the most critical element. A lot of people think, “The more seed, the better” or “you really want to get a big pile of seed and that's going to give you a lush, green lawn". Nothing could be further from the truth. When you have a pattern like this, this is what happens. The seeds compete against each other and they kill each other off. That's the last thing you want. In this case what you want, and there are no fancy tools, let's get this straight. When I over-seed my lawns, I do it with these tools right here. I prefer not to use a broadcast spreader.

Broadcast Spreader of Hands?

I prefer to use good old fingers and looking at my pattern and making sure that I have it and to do it right the first time. So here's your seed. You're not going to get it right the first time, it may be a little bit difficult to see, so we will zoom in. You don't have to see it the first time you do the seeding, but you spread the seed down and then if you have gaps in your coverage, right here I have a little bit of a gap, then I go back through it and then I fill in those little gaps. What you want is an even distribution with a little bit of space in between. Then you lightly rake that into the subsoil and you water it and then you have patience. It's as simple as that. As promised, here's a close up of that pattern. Here I am messing it up. It's too heavy in one spot, that's going to kill your grass; this is all seed, remember. Spreading it out, it's just like if I was raking it in the lawn. There you go, as simple as that, an even distribution with space in between, it doesn't get any easier guys and gals. No reason to hire a pro to do something you can do with your own fingers. As the grass germinates and comes up, then you come back later and you'll reseed again.

What Kind of Seed Should I Use?

Now, the question you should ask me is, “what kind of seed do I use?” Simple, go to Menards, go to Lowes, go to Home Depot, it's all the same, they all have quality seeds. If you have a yard anything like mine, if you look in the background beyond the deck, you'll see that there are areas of sun and there are areas of shade. Your standard landscaper's mix is going to cover it; but if you don't have any trees in your yard, get a sunny mix or if you have a highly shaded area that never sees the sun, get a shade mixture. Here's a tip for you, if you go with sod, if you lay sod, you still have to over seed. Yes, you do. Why, because all sod is grown in direct sunlight. There are no trees on a sod farm. They don't grow sod underneath trees, plain and simple. So that's a sunny mixture.


Most people's yards have one or two trees in it and what happens is, when you put that sod it's accustomed to being in direct sunlight, in shade it's going to die. Now it's not going to die in thirty days, sixty days, not even to die that summer. But in three, four, five years, that sods going to die. So what you do is, you over-seed the sod with the shade mixture and what that does is that allows the shade mixture to grow in as the sun mixture dies off, keeping your lawn lush green and looking beautiful under any circumstances.

Most Critical Component?

So what's the second most critical component to seeding the lawn? That's your base material. That is making sure that you have a good layer of black dirt down. A lot of times you hear the quote, “you've got to put four inches of base material down.” That's hogwash. You never layer the soil into no four inch layer. Where this is your subsoil, this is clay or sand, and you just slap four inches of black dirt down. Because if this was clay, what would happen is that grass would be too rich. That black dirt would be too rich for it and root systems would go down and hit that clay layer and then get stuck. So what you really want to do is, you want to mix black dirt into the upper layer of soil whether that's clay, whether that's a sand, or whatever, it doesn't make a difference. You want to incorporate it in. That gives your seed a deeper base for it to germinate. It's just easier to work with.


So the two critical elements are, even distribution of the seed and having a good layer of subsoil for it to grow in. It’s as simple as that. Don't over-seed too heavily. When I say too heavily, remember to avoid “that”. When you get “that”, you're going to have a dead spot in your lawn. Instead, if you do get “that”, break your seeds out. Spread evenly across the board, with a nice distribution a nice pattern in between. It’s just like I had a rake and I was going over my yard. That's the key, that's how all the pros do it. You can do it too, save yourself thousands of dollars on sodding a yard. Or, give me a call, I’ll go and sod your yard for you. Have a good one. God bless. Love you guys.


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