How to Over-seed Bare Spots in a Lawn

Restoring grass to bare spots on your lawn caused by piles of leaves or objects remaining on the grass too long can best be accomplished by overseeding--as opposed to bare spots caused by insects and diseased grass that require a cure before restoration. Here are a few steps to ensure the best results for your efforts.

  1. Start by raking away the leaves, dead grass or thatch to expose bare soil wherever the turf has completely died. Grass seeds need to be in contact with earth before they will grow.
  2. Add a seeding soil to the raked spots to ensure a good germinating and growing medium. Shovel it onto the bare spots and then distribute the soil with a leaf rake until it 1/2- to 1-inch thick.
  3. Research the Web for assistance in choosing the correct type of grass seed for your project.
  4. Use a hand-held spreader for small spots, because they are easy to control.
  5. Check the back of the grass seed package for directions for overseeding versus planting a new lawn. Manufacturers will provide data indicating how much area the package of seed will cover and whether or not you should go over the lawn twice. Set the dial or gauge on the spreader to open the gate to the correct setting for the desired coverage. Load the hopper with seed and start broadcasting.
  6. Add fertilizer specifically formulated to stimulate root growth and make the new grass grow thicker and faster. Rake lightly to put the seed in direct contact with the soil.
  7. Apply more soil on top. Spreading it out until it is about 1/4-inch thick.
  8. Give the newly-seed area a good watering with a sprinkler and continue watering daily until the new grass is established.