How to Overseed your Lawn – Tips from Pennington for Seeding

One of the surest ways to maintain a
thick healthy lawn is to reseed routinely. At least once maybe even twice
a year depending on the type of turf you’re growing. And for over 30 years,
long before I became a TV gardener, I’ve used Pennington grassy because I get
consistent results. But you can’t just toss the seed out and hope for the best. So here are the steps you need to take to ensure success. First, mow the lawn
cutting it at least one not slower than usual. You don’t actually need to scalp
it but you should cut it low enough that sunlight can reach the soil surface. Next,
tidy up a bit removing as much debris as possible. Whether sticks leaves or thatch,
a leaf rake will get most of the stuff but if you’ve got a thick layer of
thatch you might want to use a steel garden rake or even a special thatch
rake like this baby. If you’ve got visible bare spots loosen them up a bit
using a steel garden rake so the seed doesn’t wash right off the soil surface
when you water or when it rains. There are several ways to sow seed. In a really small lawn you might be able to get away with simply broadcasting the seed by
hand as though you’re feeding chickens, or you get out for one of these little
handheld broadcast spreaders they work really well, but for larger
lawns one like mine, I prefer a broadcast spreader because it enables me to cover
a whole lot of ground in as little as time as possible. After filling the
hopper with seed I adjust the setting to make sure I’m applying the seed at the
recommended rate. Keep in mind that not all spreaders are alike so it’s a good
idea to check the label on the seed package for the proper setting for
whatever spreader you’re using, and realize too that the application rate
for seeding and new lawn is twice that of the application rate for reseeding
and established lawn. The goal in seeding or reseeding is to
get even coverage and I think the best way to do that is to work back and forth
in one direction, say north and south, then again working east and west, but in
the process make sure you don’t get any seed where you don’t want it, such as
flowerbeds or veggie gardens. Somes preaders have a gizmo on one side like this one that prevents seed from being broadcast out that side and these come
in mighty handy. If the spreader you’re using
doesn’t have one then just pay close attention to where that seed is going.
Trust me folks, the time it takes to do this properly is a fraction of what it
takes to dig all the grass out of your nearby beds. Besides, even if you don’t
get the seed right up to the edge of borders or established beds you can
always go back and sprinkle some seed by hand along those areas which is
exactly what I do. Once you’ve got your seed spread evenly you can go ahead and apply a starter fertilizer or you can wait a few weeks until the grass is up
and growing. That’s up to you. Whatever you do however don’t apply a
pre-emergent herbicide whether labeled as a crabgrass preventer or a
combination weed and feed product because they’ll prevent your grass seed
from germinating as well. Besides the most important consideration at this
point is watering and basically you want the seed and the top 1/2 inch or so of
soil to remain moist until the seed germinates which means you’ll need to
water every day for at least a week or two unless of course it rains. Once your
grass is up and growing you’ll want to change your watering schedule and begin
mowing and I’ve covered both topics in a separate video called caring for your
new lawn which is available now here at

25 comments on “How to Overseed your Lawn – Tips from Pennington for Seeding”

  1. Corey01851 says:

    Hah one like mine…schmuck

  2. nunya business says:

    to reseed a lawn do you have to apply dirt on top?

  3. Mike D says:

    crabgrass pre-emergent that you can use when you overseed is sold under the trade name Tupersan common name (usually in 4-point font on the left side of the bag) is siduron 

    The Following is how you should overseed for PA:.

    n Renovation Program I
    (early to midspring or late summer to early fall)
    This program is suggested when the existing population of
    turfgrasses include 50 percent or more desirable species; there
    are few or no perennial grass weeds (bentgrass, nimblewill,
    quackgrass, tall fescue, etc.); and the thatch layer does not
    exceed ½ inch.
    1. Weed control
    As a general guide, if only easy-to-kill broadleaf weeds such
    as dandelion or plantain are present, 2,4-D may be applied
    and the seeding may be done in two weeks. A combination
    of 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba is suggested if the weed
    population contains many different weed species or hardto-
    kill weeds such as knotweed, clover, or ground ivy. A
    six-week waiting period before seeding will be required following
    the use of this herbicide combination. For other less
    common weeds, the appropriate herbicides should be applied
    according to the manufacturer’s directions. After waiting the
    prescribed period and assuming adequate weed control has
    been obtained, you are ready to proceed with the remaining
    renovation operations. These steps should be followed in
    sequence as one continuous operation.
    2. Mow
    Mow area closely (approximately ¾ inch) and remove all
    clippings, leaves, and other debris by sweeping or raking.
    3. Thatch
    Thatch is best removed with dethatching equipment with vertically
    rotating blades or aeration equipment. Remove thatch
    only during periods of cool weather and adequate moisture.
    Thatch should not be removed during periods of high temperatures
    or drought or during late fall when winter desiccation
    may occur. Maintaining a soil pH between 6.5 and 7.0
    will favor microbial activity and breakdown of thatch.
    4. Cultivation
    Mechanical aerating machines that remove plugs of soil from
    the turf area are used to alleviate soil compaction and to prepare
    a partial seedbed. Aeration should consist of a minimum
    of eight to ten times over the area. A partial seedbed may
    also be prepared by using a spiking machine or by severe
    hand raking. Results with these methods will not be as good
    as with aeration equipment.
    5. Lime
    Lime should be applied in accordance with a soil test. If the
    lime requirement exceeds 100 pounds per 1,000 square feet,
    apply 100 pounds per 1,000 square feet at the time of renovation
    and the remainder the following spring or fall.
    6. Fertilizer
    Fertilizer should be applied in accordance with a soil test.
    In lieu of a soil test, apply 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet
    or a 0–20–20 or equivalent fertilizer plus 25 to 30 pounds
    per 1,000 square feet of a turf-grade 10–5–5 or equivalent
    fertilizer having 35 percent or more of the total nitrogen as
    water-insoluble nitrogen.
    7. Drag
    Following cultivation (aeration, etc.) and lime and fertilizer
    application, drag the area with a large door mat or section
    of chain link fence to mechanically work lime and fertilizer
    into the cultivated soil.
    8. Seedbed preparation
    Repeat the cultivation operation to further prepare the seedbed
    for seeding. If an aerator is used, six to eight times over
    will again be necessary.
    9. Seeding
    A turf-type disk seeder is the best tool for seeding. This
    machine cuts the seed directly into the soil, ensuring the firm
    contact between seed and soil that is necessary for maximum
    germination. When no disk-type seeder is available, uniformly
    broadcast the seed over the area. The total seed quantity should
    be divided into two equal lots, sowing one lot in one direction
    and the second at right angles to the first. Good-quality seed
    of turfgrass species adpated to the environmental and use conditions
    should be used. In open, sunny areas, improved turftype
    cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or tall
    fescue can be used. If Kentucky bluegrass is chosen, use a blend
    of equal parts of two to five cultivars. Mixtures of turfgrass
    species are preferred in most lawn plantings. In sunny or partially
    shaded areas use a mixture of 50 to 60 percent Kentucky
    bluegrass, 30 to 40 percent fine fescues, and 10 to 20 percent
    perennial ryegrass. Heavily shaded areas having relatively dry
    soils may be seeded with 100 percent fine fescues. Heavily
    shaded areas with moderately wet soils may be seeded to rough
    bluegrass. See extension publications Turfgrass Seed and Seed
    Mixtures and Turfgrass Species for Pennsylvania for more information
    on seed and turfgrass species.
    10. Drag
    Following seeding, drag the area again to work the seed into
    the seedbed and to cover the seed with a light layer of soil.
    11. Roll
    Firm the seed into the soil by lightly rolling the area.
    12. Mulch
    Where there is little existing grass, a very light straw application
    of mulch may be applied to retain moisture and to promote
    germination. Care must be taken that the mulch is not
    heavy enough to smother or completely shut off light to the
    existing grass.
    13. Water
    The seeded area should be kept moist until the seed has
    germinated and the seedling plants have become well established.

    From PennState

  4. Michael K says:

    I love seeded with pennington seed last week and I have new grass growing nicely. I recommend weed and feed 3 weeks before so that way the new grass doesn't have to fight with the weeds. also I raked away most of the dead weeds and added lawn soil. the tall fescue is very green and looks good.

  5. Larry Barry says:

    is that the guy from weekend at bernies? the dead guy

  6. CC CC says:

    It's migiver

  7. CC CC says:

    Goooooo Bernie

  8. John Long says:

    Helpful grass tips by Dracula.

  9. Travis Harper says:

    Follow those instructions to the tee….and watch your lawn take flight..

  10. Wilhelm Shultz says:

    he put some fertilizer on that mustache

  11. D D says:

    U Overseeded ur stache

  12. GIJo says:

    I did this and half of my yard turned brown after 6 weeks. Everything was taken care of the same way. Except that half that browned was in the sun for a whoppin 5-7 hours…. imagine that!!! I will never buy this Pennington shit grass ever again. last year it all died… guess its the heat… but why you sale this shit down here on the gulf coast if the shit isn't going to grow here.. asshole Pennington. perhaps on each bag show where it can grow instead of fucking your customers out of money and not even responding to emails or twitter!

  13. sapher2020 says:

    Burt Reynolds?

  14. Serenityafterall says:

    I would love to do this but these tight pine cones won't allow me to and he has noooo water sprout outside , Geezzz ‼ There's nothing like a pretty lawn ❗

  15. Adan Arceo says:

    Very good tips sir,but how the seed its going to germinate if is not even touching the soil, just wandering.

  16. NHseacoast says:

    The way I do it is Aerate the lawn aka punch holes into the lawn itself first otherwise you just putting seed on top of your live grass.

  17. Be88nz deanzz says:

    His mustache looks healthier than his lawn

  18. RSS says:

    love the cartoon sound effects

  19. BreederUK says:

    Time to give that tache a mow. We're not still in the 70s.

  20. R Bear says:

    I've had good luck with Pennington seeds will most of the time I do. It just doesn't do well in the full sun. Most of my front yard is shade so the grass dose well the part that get full sun doesn't do well at all I end up with bear spots. I ended up buying seed for full sun. It work but its not a health looking as the Pennington. Would like seed for the full sun.

  21. Jeff Slaughter says:

    Paul I miss your show your the reason I became a Master Gardener

  22. Robert Smith says:

    Or you can let your lawn grow. When you let it grow it produces its own seed. You can see the seed at the top of the grass. Then cut your lawn. Rake it into the dirt. And water the lawn. Or you can spend money on seed that you don't need.

  23. Twister051 says:

    Question: So how long do you have to wait to overseed your lawn if you DID apply a pre-emergent weed-killer?

  24. The Southsea Picker says:

    He has the worst lawn I have seen EVER

  25. Harry S. says:

    I have a lot of experience in feeding chickens!

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