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Overseeding is the process of spreading seed over an existing lawn to rejuvenate the grass, fill in thin areas and incorporate low maintenance seed mixes that require less water and fertilizer.


  • Rejuvenates lawn.
  • Thickens grass.
  • Crowds out weeds.


  • You can overseed at any time during the growing season.
  • Best time is mid-August through mid-September.
  • Next best time is in May, after spring cleaning your lawn.

Best methods

  • Overseeding is the ideal next step after aerating and topdressing your lawn.
  • For best results, spread 1/4 to 1/2 the normal seeding rate recommended on the bag.
  • Lightly water to ensure seed to soil contact.
  • Keep soil lightly watered for the next three weeks.
  • Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy.

Don’t seed in the shade

  • Grass needs 6 hours of daily sunlight to thrive.
  • Don’t waste time and money trying to get grass to grow in the wrong place.
  • Try shade tolerant native groundcovers that require little or no maintenance.

Use a low maintenance mix

  • Mixes mainly comprised of fescues and perennial ryegrasses are best suited to tough Maine summers and winters. Most varieties of shady mixes contain a good blend of these grasses.
  • An ideal low-maintenance mix will contain roughly 60-70% fescues and 30-40% ryegrasses with at least two varieties of each species.
  • Look for “endophyte enhanced” for natural insect resistance.

Many of our partner stores stock low maintenance seed mixes. Look for some of the following:

  • YardScaping or BayScaping Mix
  • TuffTurf Mix
  • Cottage Mix
  • Shady Mix

Tip: Adding 5% white clover to your seed mix will provide a source of nitrogen to naturally fertilize your lawn!

Credit: Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District.
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