Over-seeding lawns means to put down new lawn seed on top of an existing lawn. This is done for the purpose of re-seeding an existing Cool Season lawn to help thicken it up and repair damage. But it is also done with Warm Season Lawns which are over-seeded for with a Cool Season grass for Winter.
Most Warm Season grasses will become semi-dormant in the Winter, slowing in growth and losing their dark green colour and vitality. Often in lawn areas of partial shade which may have previously kept a warm season lawn alive, the lawn may die off due to the shifting of the sun and the lower daylight hours of Winter.
Shaded areas are perfect for over-seeding lawns with a Cool Season grass type, as are all Warm Season lawns which become a little worse for wear over Winter. Over seeded grass will green up and grow very well in the cooler weather and shade, keeping the lawn green throughout the entire Winter.
Once the warmer weather returns - the Cool Season grass dies off and the Warm Season grass once again dominates.
The best type of grass to use for over-seeding lawns for Winter is almost always Perennial Ryegrass, it establishes very quickly, tolerates the cold, tolerates shade, and will die off very quickly when warmer weather returns.
Regardless of whether you own a Cool Season or Warm Season lawn, the preparation and re-seeding of the lawn will be the same.
Over-seeding should be done in Autumn which allows the lawn to quickly establish before the Winter cold arrives.
Start by putting down some good quality topsoil or sandy loam on top of the turf, a thin layer is all that's needed to keep the seeds wet. So apply it thinly and rake it into the lawn.
We can then apply the seed at ratios recommended on the product packaging.
The lawn and seed will then need to be very lightly top dressed again.
The lawn and new lawn seed is then watered well.
Regular watering will need to be kept up over the next few weeks until the new grass seed has germinated and become established. We can't let the soil dry out, other wise the new seed may die.
Watering can be reduced to normal levels once the new lawn is established, at which time, the lawn can also receive a light application of Winter Fertiliser.