Over Sowing Your Lawn

Repairing Your Lawn - Over Sow
An over sow follows the same procedures as starting from scratch but with a smaller quantity.  If you have at least 50% of good lawn left after you have scarified then you can either over sow the whole lawn or sow bare patches.

When to over sow a lawn

Just like sowing from scratch the best time for an over sow is mid-spring or from late summer to mid-autumn; there is less competition from weeds, and the soil is warm, and damp from rain. Perfect for seeds to germinate.

Soil preparation

  • Prepare the lawn by scarifying it to remove old dead grass and any moss.
  • Removing large stones and weeds.
  • Fork over the lawn to improve aeration and drainage. 
  • Two or three days before the seed is to be sown, lightly rake in a granular fertiliser.
  • It may be advantageous to test your soil to check that the pH, N, P, and  K levels are optimal for seed germination.  This can be carried out with simple soil testing kits: SOIL TEST KIT
  • Before you spread your seed mow the lawn as short as possible.

How to sow seeds - full lawn over sow

  • Use canes to mark out the area to be sown into square metres.
  • A good rule of thumb is to spread seed at 25g per square metre. Weigh out the seed to cover each square metre into a container and mark the level on the outside to act as a guide.
  • Split each 25g in half and scatter seed in one direction diagonally across a square and then spread the rest in the opposite direction.
  • After sowing, use the roller, twice to make sure the seed is embedded into the soil. 
  • Gently water the area.
How to sow seeds - over sow patching
Follow the same guide for full lawn over sow soil preparation.  This gets rid of all dead material and reduces competion by weeds. If sowing small patches then just hand sprinkle the seed, if its bigger patches then you can use a seed spreader if you have one.  Once the seed is down stomp it into the ground either with a roller or under foot.  You want the seed firmly on the soil.  Gently water the whole of the lawn.



  • Protect the newly sown seed from birds by stretching fruit netting over the top.
  • It is also worth cordoning off the area with string and canes to prevent people from walking across the soil.
  • Seedlings are susceptible to drought, so keep them watered during dry spells. Test your soil regularly by pushing your fingers into it.
  • Carefully weed the area by hand, removing any weeds before they flower. As the grass continues to grow, it will stifle weed growth.
  • When the new lawn is 5cm (2in) high, cut with a rotary mower to 2.5cm (1in). Carefully rake up the clippings. Do this for the next four cuts.

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