Overseeding is a great way to thicken up an existing lawn, especially if the lawn is worn through heavy footfall or pets. Overseeding will iron out any small blemishes and get your lawn back in tiptop condition. Find out how to overseed your lawn with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.

Winter is a great time to overseed your lawn; although the seed will take longer to germinate, you’re less likely to walk on the lawn and disturb the seed. In addition, regular rainfall will ensure that the seed germinates and grows healthily. However, don’t attempt to overseed your lawn if the temperature is below 7 or 8 degrees celcius as this will inhibit the growth of the seed.

Step 1. Choose the best grass seed

Grass seed isn’t all the same – an inferior quality seed will mainly consist of rye grass and produce a very tough result – not a good look for your garden. It could result in dull grass that’s susceptible to disease, and a weak root system. That’s why it always pays to choose a high quality grass seed to get the very best results, after all even a good quality grass seed is relatively cheap to buy.

A good all-round seed mix, which would be suitable for many applications, would be made up of perennial rye grass (for its fast recovery qualities) and strong creeping red fescue (which provides tolerance to hot summer temperatures and helps to keep the grass thick and strong). Better quality seed mixes would also include chewings fescue (this adds a fine texture and keeps the grass free from disease), and slender creeping red fescue (this makes the grass hardwearing and helps to establish strong roots).

Step 2. Mow the lawn

Mow the lawn to a depth of around 25-30mm with the grass box attached to collect the clippings.

Step 3. De-thatch the lawn

Use a spring tined rake to remove dead plant material, known as thatch, in the lawn. This will allow the seed to reach the soil, and help to break up the surface of the soil which will enable the seed to embed into it more easily.

Step 5. Sow the grass seed

Ideally, grass seed should be applied after heavy rainfall to give the seed the best chance of germinating quickly. Apply the grass seed evenly across the entire lawn, following the manufacturers instructions. Grass seed can also be mixed with good quality topdressing and applied: the topdressing will provide plenty of valuable nutrients and give the seed a growth boost.

Step 5. Water the lawn if necessary

If it hasn’t rained within two to three days of applying the seed, water the lawn.

Tip: Feed your lawn with an appropriate lawn fertiliser approximately 4-6 weeks before you overseed it, for the very best results.