Best Time to Overseed Lawn (Midwest, Northeast, South, West)

Best Time to Overseed Lawn (Midwest, Northeast, South, West)

When you look out into your yard to admire its lush, green lawn, the last thing you want to see is stringy weeds, brown patches or bald spots.

Luckily, overseeding is an effective remedy for those pesky lawn issues. Learn when and why it’s important to overseed your lawn based on where you live.




Why and When to Overseed the Lawn

Overseeding is as simple as it sounds. You plant new grass seed in your lawn’s troubled spots. But its benefits go much deeper. You should consider overseeding because:

  1. It thickens turf, which discourages weed growth.
  2. It repairs burned or bare spots of grass brought on by summer’s heat.
  3. It improves the overall strength and vigor of the lawn.
  4. It’s the best way to create a uniform-looking lawn without having to do a full renovation.

When to Overseed Your Lawn

The trick to proper overseeding is knowing your grass type. The two main kinds of turf—warm season and cool season grasses—are on different seeding schedules. Below are the most common grass types in each region of the U.S.

Best Time to Overseed Lawns in the Northeast

  • Turf Type: Cool season grasses
  • When to Overseed: Overseed in late summer or early fall to give seeds about a month to develop before the region’s first frost.

Best Time to Overseed Lawns in the Midwest

  • Turf Type: Cool season grasses
  • When to Overseed: Plan to overseed in mid-August to mid-September.

Best Time to Overseed Lawns in the South

  • Turf Type: Warm season grasses
  • When to Overseed: Overseed in the South during mid-spring or early summer. That's when soil temperatures are warm enough for the seeds to develop.

Best Time to Overseed Lawns in the West

  • Turf Type: Both! In the Pacific Northwest, there are cool season grasses while in the Southwest there are warm season grasses.
  • When to Overseed: Overseed cool season grasses about six weeks before winter hits, and revamp your warm season grass in early spring. 

Before You Overseed…

Aerate! By poking tiny holes in the soil, or aerating, you help more air, water and nutrients reach grass roots. Then, when you plant your new grass seed, they’ll have a better chance of sprouting and growing strong roots.

Skip the rental equipment and headache! Get a free quote to aerate and overseed your lawn.

  • the Tree Doctor December 6, 2018 >Hi Andrew, It would be best to incorporate organic matter (compost) by tilling it into the soil prior to seeding. It this is not possible, apply a thin layer after aerifying, of no more than ¼ inch of compost before seeding. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you, Andrew.
  • Andrew Beard November 29, 2018 >In addition to airaition should compost be applied to existing turf just before adding seed?
  • The Tree Doctor October 1, 2018 >Hi James, It depends on what is expected weather-wise for the remainder of the season. Here is a link to a Michigan State article on the subject written a few years ago. It may provide some guidance. Contacting your local extension office may provide some updated information on current conditions. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you, James.
  • James Goodall October 1, 2018 >The nights are down to the 40degree level. Can I still overseed my lawn? I line in the Traverse City, Michigan area.
  • The Tree Doctor August 28, 2018 >Hi George, I forwarded this to your local Davey Tree office. They will reach out to you as soon as they can to set up a free consultation. You can contact them directly at (703) 297-3002 as well. Here if you need anything else, George.
  • George Frgnon August 25, 2018 >Would like to receive an estimate for aeration and overseeing this fall. Thank you 1340 Lancia Dr in McZlean
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