Skip to Content

How To Overseed Lawn Without Aerating (8 Illustrated Steps)

Sharing is caring!

Overseeding involves planting the grass seeds without removing any existing grass. It is an everyday activity on the lawn. Its main reason is to make the lawn grow lush and dense to eliminate weeds. Typically, overseeding ensures that pests are renovated in all exposed areas.

Similarly, aerating makes it possible to close air and water and eliminate all unwanted gases like carbon (IV) oxide in clay soils. Ultimately, its primary function is to loosen the soil and thus improve the circulation of water, air, and other nutrients.

Many people believe that with overseeding the lawns, aerating is essential. Of course, there are also ways to oversee the soil without aerating it. In this article, you will study how to do it.

How to overseed lawn without aerating
via Flickr

How to Overseed Lawn Without Aerating

1. Choose the correct type of lawn

It all starts with choosing a suitable lawn. Consider the location, the weather, and how you want your lawn to look and feel. Also, you can use the same grass you have if you need a uniform look. Make sure you do the research carefully. Typically, if you choose the wrong lawn, the other steps don’t matter.

Tall Festuca has become the most common grass species in the United States, particularly in the Midwestern and Northern states. It looks great and is durable lawn grass.

2. Know the right time to overseed

It is essential to know the best time to overseed grass. Each area has a specific time if you want the best result. Although this is overseeding, please don’t waste time choosing an incorrect month and allowing the seeds to be eaten by birds or blown away before they germinate.

Never plant the grass seeds after adding a pre-emergence fertilizer like a crabgrass preventer. Typically, this preventer prevents the germination of broadleaf weeds and the seeds of new grass.

Since the preventer is usually applied in early spring, it is best to overseed the lawn in the fall so that new seeds can germinate well before using these products.

3. Cut grass to less than 2 inches

If you are overseeding without aerating, cut the grass first. Mow it lower than usual. The general rule is to cut the grass less than 2 inches if possible, 1 to 1/2 inches.

A short mowing before overseeding prevents established grass and weeds from competing with the new seedlings. Also, it allows sunlight to penetrate the soil to provide the necessary warmth for germination.

Cut grass to less than 2 inches How to overseed lawn without aerating

Depending on your lawn, you may need to cut grass much lower. This applies to tall and dense grasses, like weeds that form a dense crown.

The aim of mowing the lawn low is to ensure the grass seed comes into contact with the ground. Plus, mowing low ensures it gets enough sunlight to grow immediately after germination.

Some types of grasses, such as Bermuda, need full sun all day for ideal growth. So, don’t be afraid to cut the grass right before overseeding, though be watchful not to scrape the grass.

4. Rake to loosen the soil and remove thatch

Germination may be poor on the lawn with a thick thatch layer. For this reason, it is imperative to power rake rather than aerating before overseeding.

Rake the grass vigorously to remove a tight layer of stems, rhizomes, and roots built upon the surface. Dethatching the grass is better for overseeding than aerating the grass too often.

For the seed germination environment to be excellent, it is necessary to expose the soil when overseeding without aeration.

Removing the thatch after a hard raking will help loosen the topsoil, making it ideal for germinating grass seeds. Soil with a loose top also absorbs water effortlessly to keep the seeds moist for germination.

Rake to loosen the soil and remove thatch How to overseed lawn without aerating
via Pxfuel

5. Scatter grass seeds

Another thing you need to do is to scatter the grass seeds according to the previously prepared lawn. Application rates vary depending on the grass you’re overseeding.

For instance, if SodSoludions Ryegrass seed has been there before, plan to use it again this season. You can use a broadcast spreader or drop spreader to overseed because both will cover you well. However, the amount of seed you sow will depend on the thin or thick of the turf.

If you want the lawn to thicken faster, you can spread more seeds in a new yard. Else, you need to follow the recommendations on the label, particularly for overseeding, even if you do it without aeration.

7. Carefully rake the overseeded area

After planting the grass seeds, gently rake the soil to allow the seeds to settle. This will keep the birds from eating and washing them when you start to water the area.

Be cautious not to exaggerate this step, or you may crowd the seeds in one particular location and other lawn seedless. It is recommended to rake in all directions.

8. Fertilize overseeding area

It becomes the best thing to fertilize with a suitable phosphorus fertilizer to support root development during germination. Most starter fertilizers have the formulations of 10-10-10 N-P-K.

Avoid using feed and weed fertilizers when growing grass seeds, as some pre-emergent herbicides in these products can prevent root development or germination of new grass seeds.

Usually, overseeding will require you to apply one pound of nitrogen every 1,000 square feet, even without aeration. Always check the label for fertilizer and follow the instructions for use.

9. Water the grass

Lightly water the seeds to prevent them from eroding in the overseeding area. Make the soil moist but not very wet, and keep it that way, especially if you’re laying down the compost before overseeding.

Essentially, some compost can be very hot for newly sprouted plants, so it’s important to water it well. Water twice a day to keep the moisture high for better germination.

Avoid splashing water when watering as it can damage the area, which is overseeded. It is preferable to use the oscillating sprinkler to sprinkle water without eroding the ground evenly.

It may take 2 to 3 weeks for all the grass seeds to germinate. Make sure you have good soil moisture during this time to get the best germination rate for the grass you are planting.

How Long Does It Take Before You Mow The Overseeded Lawn?

After you have overseeded your lawn, wait before you start to mow to prevent any stress caused on newly sprouted. This is because if you water your grass a lot, cutting it very soon before the roots have settled can easily tear up new grass.

Mowing the lawn when it is wet from heavy watering can also lead to lawn diseases like brown patches or fungus and prevent the growth of the overseeded lawn.

When to cut after overseeding depends on the type of lawn. If it is perennial ryegrass, it is best to mow after 10 to 14 days, as this type of grass grows much faster than many species.


We all desire our lawn to be always healthy, but unfortunately that is not practical. We must overseed them from time to time to improve the health.

Typically, aerating takes time and can sometimes leave your lawn looking ugly after some weeks. Fortunately, you can overseed your lawn without aerating. We believe this guide will help you overseed your lawn effectively without aerating it.