Fertilize or Overseed First | All you need to know

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Fertilize or Overseed First

In this content, we will highlight many essential issues to you including the reasons for Fertilize or overseed first. A lawn can always add high value to your home. It creates a lot of benefits from the free spaces. Depending on soil condition, availability of sunlight, climate, etc, you have to apply necessary steps like aerating, seeding, fertilizing, and so on to grow grass in your lawn.

You can apply starter fertilizer simultaneously with overseeding, just before overseeding, and 2-4 days before or after overseeding but remember that the fertilizer must be a specialized lawn starter fertilizer.

It is essential to take care of the preparation for spreading grass seeds on the lawn for growth and development it. In most aspects, grass seeds are supposed to need starter fertilizer to increase their early growth of the seeds. So, we need to be careful to apply fertilizer to the seeds in this period.

What Is Overseeding or Reseeding?

Overseeding or reseeding means spreading seeds on the existing lawn where the grasses are very thin or the areas of the lawn are empty and grasses are not grown well.

Method of Overseeding or Reseeding

Managing a beautiful lawn, there is a secret behind it, that is known by the professionals, not by the lawn owners in most cases. Lawn Owners are not used to overseeding to make their lawn impressive as part of the lawn care plan. Only experienced persons can get the perfect result by reflecting their methods on that work.

The fundamental method is the same everywhere but depends on the geographical places and the varieties/type of grass(whether it is cool season grass or warm-season grass) and its growth systems. Soil compaction and soil temperatures are also deciding factors.

Fertilize or Overseed First?

Lawn owners spread seeds and fertilizer in different ways; some do the one first, and the other next, and some in the reverse direction. However, you can apply both items separately, or simultaneously. It does not matter which order you follow to spread seeds first or next.

The straight answer to Fertilize or Overseed First is that you can apply lawn starter fertilizer:

  1. Simultaneously with overseeding,
  2. Just before or after overseeding, and
  3. 2-4 days before or after overseeding

All the three options above let your seeds get proper foods and germinated.

But remember that the fertilizer must be a specialized lawn starter fertilizer. Normal fertilizers for adult grass or weed and feed-type products must be applied to the overseed areas a few weeks before or later. Let’s answer some of the queries to find out more on it:

What is the best fertilizer for new grass seed?

It is very important to apply any specialized lawn starter fertilizer for new grass seed to get what it needs for germination and growth. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass is the best possible starter fertilizer for new seeds on reseeding areas.

Can fertilizer and grass seed be put down at the same time?

Lawn starter fertilizer and grass seed during overseeding may be put down at the same time. It is good to go and spread them on necessary spots only.

Should I fertilize before overseeding?

There are no hard and fast rules or extra advantages and disadvantages of applying fertilizer before overseeding. You are good to apply fertilizers before or after overseeding.

Should fertilizer be applied after overseeding?

You may also plan to apply fertilizer after a certain time later from the overseeding on your lawn. You need to give attention to the seed germination and their growth so that you can apply starter fertilizer according to the grass type you like to grow.

Can Fertilizer Kill New Grass Seed?

Some weed and feed products may kill new grass seed as they contain herbicides that cause death to tender seeds.

But make sure that, before overseeding, you have to aerate your ground carefully.

Why Does Overseeding Need at Your Lawn?

When grasses become older after few years, mature grasses start to slow down their reproduction rate naturally. The grass’s blades naturally live 45-60 days. Moreover, young grass can produce tillers faster than the older. The “young grass” is a top-secret behind managing a healthy, green, and thick lawn, and the “patience of overseeding” is the easiest formula to keep the grass young on the lawn.

However, overseeding is needed for a lawn for many reasons which are as below:

01. It is an easy way to fill up the undecorated areas of the lawn.

02. Sometimes, grasses do not grow accordingly due to some factors like… weather, neighborhood dogs etc.

03.  It helps to improve the density of the grasses on the lawn, and also prevents weeds to grow from the grassroots.

04. It improves the color and appearance of the lawn.

What Is the Suitable Time of Overseeding on Your Lawn?

After preparing the areas of the lawn by mowing and raking, it is the right time to do the needful steps accordingly.

  • Mow the lawn shorter than usual.
  • Eliminate all the clippings from the lawn so that the lawn can get sunlight and water.
  • Use a rake to loosen the soil of the lawn, so that seeds can well contact with soil, and have a chance to increase the development of seeds.
  • Choose your seeds.
  • Check the overseeding rate of the grass seeds.
  • Use a spreader and spread seeds around the lawn according to the instruction given on the label.
  • Spread seeds with a logical process like… do it when air is quiet and avoid the windy day.
  • Be ensured to distribute seeds equally.

Apply Aerating

aerating

When you get started with your lawn, aerate first. Aerating helps the soil to become healthy. Air, water, and nutrients can surely enter into the earth profoundly and make it soft to help the roots to grow.

The Best Time to Aerate the Lawn

Spring and fall are the best time for aerating on the lawn. Aerate the soil with a core aerator if the ground is soft and moisturized. Avoid muddy or dry land to aerate it. Now spread seeds then fertilizer.

The Best Time to Seed and Fertilize


After 48 hours of aerating your soil, you will apply seeds and fertilizer then water on the ground. It is high time to get into soil fertilizer and water. In this time, use the starter fertilizer because it does not have any weed control, and this fertilizer is very suitable for this new grass growing environment. If you apply another fertilizer, your lawn will not germinate accurately. Let’s know how to reseed a patchy lawn.

Weed and Feed

weed and feed should not be used immediately before or after spreading seeds. They result from both herbicide and fertilizer, specially prepared to kill the plants when the new grass grows. It will prevent the germination of the grassroots as well as the young grass. You like to use this weed and feed, wait up to six to eight weeks until the unexpected plants/weeds are visible.

You can apply the above methods to get good results to grow grass on your lawn and enjoy your yard forever.

Is overseeding worth it?

Is overseeding worth it?

Before implementation, make sure that it is worthy of doing so. It may not cost you a lot financially. It takes so much patience and time from your daily life.

As reality shows overseeding works and it is worthy of the efforts you put on your lawn. With proper planning and care, you may find your yard is smiling. Lawn generally gets greener, smoother, thicker with proper implementation. If your lawn recovers well, your investment in overseeding will look reasonable.

FAQs on Fertilize or overseed first.

When should you overseed?

It is better to overseed at least 6-8 weeks before the freezing time in your area.

Does overseeding actually work?

Yes, it works most of the time. However, for expected results, you are to plan well and take care patiently. The timing on the basis of your area also matters a lot. Other factors like soil condition, weed competition, etc. need consideration.

Do you need to aerate before overseeding?

It is not mandatory to aerate beforehand but many have reported that it works.

Can I Overseed Without Aerating First? 

You can do it without aerating first but you should not ignore the importance of aeration.

Final Note

Your lawn may not come with expected results sometimes. Some spots may look bald, patchy, and blank. Beautiful, green, and thick grass is possible with proper measures. This article will answer your questions about whether to fertilize or overseed first to help you follow steps in order. It does not matter whether you fertilize or overseed first. All that matters is that you apply the starter fertilizers with or around new seeds.