Overseeding Essentials

In our article, How to Overseed Your Lawn, we cover the following steps for a thicker, healthier lawn accomplished by overseeding. In this buying guide, we'll cover all the material and equipment you'll need to do it.

Step 1: Dethatch (Optional)

Beginner: a simple rake will require some man power, but get acceptable results. If you have the option, go for a metal rake over a plastic one.

Intermediary: a thatch rake, like this one from Dack on Amazon will significantly reduce the amount of sweat you'd put in versus using a regular rake.

Pro: an electric or gasoline Dethatcher/Scarifier is what the pros use. The range on these are wide and will go up into the thousands, but for starters, you could look as something, like this from Greenworks.

Step 2: Aerate (Optional)

Unless you are going to be aerating very often, it likely doesn't make sense to buy one. Here is a link to rent out an aerator from Home Depot with their various rates. You might find better rates at a local rental business, but worst case you've always got Home Depot!

Step 3: Scalp the Lawn

Assuming you already have a lawn mower, you're all set here!

Step 4: Remove Debris

Again, a simple rake will help you here. If you are not yet invested in any of the battery technologies that all the major tool brands have rolled out, we are pretty good fans of the Milwaukee line. You can get their Handheld Blower at any Home Depot.

Step 5: Add Topsoil (Optional)

Aside from the obvious (soil), we love a good lawn leveling rake. We've purchased and reviewed this one from Dremmt on Amazon and can't complain. In terms of size, you might not quite need the 45 inches, especially if you're slim on storage space. All in all, you may not need a lawn leveling rake at all. It's pretty easy to use a regular rake or rig something up with some scrap wood or metal and achieve similar results.

If you are going to be buying topsoil, just a note to make sure that it is screened (or double or triple screened). You don't want to be putting down any soil that's full of rocks and junk.

Step 6: Spread the Seed

Whatever you do, do everything you can to get a grass seed without fillers. Most of the grass seed products at Home Depot and Lowes are full of crap. The bags you're buying there can sometimes be even less that 50% grass seed. They claim the other ingredients help fertilize and grow the seed, but we'd recommend going with a pure seed product. Any product, like grass seed, has a label on it that will tell you what percentage of each ingredient make up the bag. Just be sure to check that out. If you have a Site One around you, you might have better luck finding what we're talking about here over one of the big box stores. Their website may not show prices and even say their products are only for pros, but if you give them a call, they're more than likely going to give you a price and let you purchase.

Step 7: Cover with a Compost (Optional)

If you don't have too large an area, you can look for this peat moss product at Home Depot. If you have a large area, you are likely better off calling your local landscape supplier and having them deliver and dump some peat moss or mushroom manure in bulk. Not sure how much you need? We've got you covered with this Overseeding calculator.

Step 8: Fertilize (Optional)

Covering the seed in a compost is going to provide a lot of good food content, but any basic lawn starter fertilizer, like this one from Home Depot, isn't going to hurt adding to the mix.

Step 9: Water!

A basic garden hose sprayer will get the job done if you're willing to stand there. If you've got a decent area, we like these moveable sprinkler heads that attach right to the end of your garden hose. You can move it around as needed and for less than $20 you can't beat it.

Dremmt Lawn Leveling Rake (45 inch)

Dremmt claims that leveling your lawn will never be easier than with their Lawn Leveling Rake. Designed with convenience and ease of use in mind, they say their rake is the perfect solution for homeowners and professionals alike.


  • Curved handle.
  • Sturdy and durable.
  • Stainless steel.


  • Heavy.
  • Currently unavailable.


Don't let the overfeeding process intimidate you. You can easily hire out various steps of this process, such as aerating, if you don't feel comfortable operating an aerator. Additionally, a lot of these steps can be performed manually rather than with one of the pieces of equipment show here. For example, instead of investing in a compost spreader, don't be afraid to get out there and sling some compost by hand; the results are going to be materially the same.

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