How to re-seed a lawn, how to top-dress a lawn

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When to seed and why to top-dress your lawn can be confusing

What are the 3 reasons for carrying out these lawn maintenance tasks?

Over-seeding or re-seeding an existing lawn helps to combat bald patches
Top-dressing helps with lawn condition and creates a good seedbed
New grass seed becomes new grass plants which bring a poor lawn back to life

Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it?

But perhaps you’re thinking;

When should I top-dress my lawn?

How do I re-seed a lawn?

When should I sow lawn grass seed?

Why isn’t my lawn seed germinating?

How often should I water grass seed?

When should I re-seed or over-seed my lawn?

Successful lawn re-seeding follows these basic rules

  • Soil conditions must be right for grass seed to germinate – warm and wet
  • Early or late in the growing season is the best time to over-seed or re-seed a lawn
  • New grass plants need the right nutrition to thrive
  • Seed needs moisture once you have sown it. If it dries it dies!
patchy grass

Patch seeding will fill in bare lawn areas

Top-dressing is usually done at the same time of year as seeding

Here’s the good news

Most poor condition lawns can be renovated with top-dressing followed by re-seeding or over-seeding!

So why is your lawn seed not germinating?

3 reasons your lawn seed is not germinating:

  • Soil temperature it too low for germination
  • The soil has been allowed to dry out
  • Lawn seed has died

Follow this guide to re-seeding or over-seeding a lawn

  • Prepare the soil so the seed can germinate
  • Choose the right lawn seed for your lawn
    top dressing

    If it dries it dies – keep new seed moist


  • Buy seed from a good lawn seed supplier
  • Sow lawn seed at the right time of year
  • Use the right amount, too much is bad too!
  • Water and feed newly germinated lawn seed

The truth of the matter is

Most lawns don’t need re-turfing, just the right care and attention to improve what’s already there

It’s easier and cheaper to ask a lawn care professional to improve your existing lawn than it is to re-turf!