Expert Advice

Topdressing & Overseeding

Give your lawn a makeover

Top Dressing with your overseeding is a great way to maximize the health of your soil – and the beauty of your lawn. It adds valuable organic matter to the soil base which improves soil fertility and root structure. It’s also an opportunity to even out any bumps or dips in the lawn. A beautifully vibrant, dense, even lawn is the result.

Top dressing and overseeding your lawn is really easy. All you have to do is go to your local garden store and purchase some high quality grass seed and weed soil or compost. Avoid using Triple Mix as the manure component of the soil is usually high in weed seeds. Here are the key points you need to know:

Seed variety

We recommend using a seed variety that is at least 50% Kentucky Blue Grass and the other portion a mix of perennial turf type ryegrasses and reserving fine fescues for shaded areas mixes only. It will say what type of seed it is on the bag.

The old saying you get what you pay for holds true for grass seed. So look for quality seed at your local garden centre or sod producer or give our office a call and we can either supply you with the seed or help with the application.

If topdressing first, purchase a quality soil or compost that is free of weeds. Make sure you get enough to spread no more than a 1/2” layer over your entire lawn. Using straight manures is not recommended and may potentially burn the fragile germinating seedlings.

How much seed

We recommend putting down 2lbs per 1000 square feet of grass. (For an average lawn of 2500 square feet, we recommend 5 lbs). If you are only doing small spots, one or two handfuls per square foot should suffice. Scarify (rough up) the top layer of soil in the bare areas if you are not topdressing.

Spread the seed out over the soil, focusing on areas that appear to be thin or bare. Do not cover the seed with soil. Lightly tamp down the seed into the soil to make sure the seed is in firm contact with the soil.


Keep the seed moist for 2-3 weeks. This may require watering 2-3 times a day. If you do not keep the seed moist it will not germinate. Bluegrass takes longer than ryegrass to germinate, so be sure to continue watering until the grass appears to be thickening.

Having a quality lawn involves providing a good soil, plenty of the right nutrients and quality lawn maintenance. This means that following sound lawn mowing and watering techniques are an integral part of having a beautiful, healthy lawn.