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Should You Over-Seed Your Lawn?

Thinking about over-seeding your lawn this fall? There are a few things to consider before you go out and buy that grass seed.

While over-seeding with the same species of grass (in order to fill in bare spots or a thinning lawn) can be beneficial; over-seeding your warm season grass with a cool season species for winter color can end up causing you big problems. Realize that establishing a cool-season lawn every winter means you’ll be watering and mowing the lawn all winter too. From a water conservation standpoint, is this really necessary? We’re all under watering restrictions here in North Texas, so that is important to consider before making the decision to over-seed.

Over-seeding your warm season grass, such as St. Augustine or Bermuda, with cool season grasses like rye or fescue, typically delays next spring’s green up and weakens the lawn. When your warm season grasses are coming out of dormancy next spring, they’ll have to compete with well the well-established cool season grass you over-seeded. If you do this year after year, you’ll be putting your permanent lawn into decline and probably have to do a good bit of repair. While Bermuda grass can tolerate this to a degree, you’ll find that St. Augustine will not. We never recommend over-seed St. Augustine with cool season grasses. 

While we don’t typically recommend winter over-seeding in general, there are a few good reasons why it might need to be done:

  1. If you have large bare areas or perhaps a home site where you need to provide erosion and water runoff control before you establish a permanent lawn or landscape.
  2. You have very shady areas that won’t support most lawns. If that’s the case, we can over-seed areas with Fescue. Fescue will remain green fall through spring, but typically goes into a dormancy during the hot summer months. 
  3. Perhaps there is going to be a special event during the winter months and the area needs to look its best. 

If you must over-seed, do so with Perennial Ryegrass. While this is the most expensive option, it’s also the grass with the finest blade (less competition) and fewer clumping and spring seeding problems.



Soils Alive is an active member of the Agronomy Society of America (ASA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA).

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Soils Alive, Inc. has been a member and accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2004. You can find our listing here. We are presently an A+ rated business.

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Soils Alive is a member of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association(TNLA). TNLA is Texas' largest and most prominent green industry advocacy and governance group, and was set up to promote the landscape, nursery and horticulture industry in Texas. 

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Garland, TX 75041
Ph: 972.272.9211

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