LawnSite Member
what is the best way to get the best results from over seeding an established lawn? Can you just spread the seed by spreader then water..will the seed take or do you have to loosen the soil first...if the soil must be loosened how is this done, a rake...how does an overseeding machine work?


LawnSite Senior Member
Northern NJ

The best results from overseeding can be obtained from using a core aerator prior to seeding, a slice seeder, or by dethatching .

A core aerator pulls plugs of soil and thatch to the surface providing the seed with soil contact needed for germination.
Slice seeding cuts vertical grooves and deposits the seed in and around the grooves (kind of like a crop field).
Dethatching power rakes the turf roughing up the soil in many areas enough for the seed/soil contact.

The seed/soil contact is the most important thing to watch for (the seed should be up to 1/8 inch deep). If necessary, some area may need a skim of topsoil (I mix 1/3 peat) which can be raked out with a steel rake. If you finish off with a starter fertilizer and water lightly 2-3 times daily, you should see some new green.
Good luck !