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The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding a Lawn (2023)

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Home > Lawn > The Best Grass Seed for Overseeding a Lawn (2023)

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The best grass seed for overseeding will blend with your current grass, green things up, and make it look like you have a new lawn in no time. Sometimes the grass seed you use for overseeding will be the same as what you have, and other times it can work as a filler. In our guide featuring the best grass seed for overseeding a lawn, we provide:

  • How to choose an excellent grass seed for overseeding
  • Which grass seed is the best for overseeding
  • Why is it so important to overseed a lawn

How to Choose the Best Grass Seed for Overseeding

The best grass for overseeding would not be hard to figure out; however, you have to ensure it will work with your existing lawn. In addition, you must ensure you are using warm season grasses in warmer climates and cool season grasses in colder climates.

  • Types of Grass Seed: Grass seeds like Kentucky Bluegrass or Perennial Ryegrass can be an excellent option for overseeding, but it’s best to know the existing grass you have and start from there.
  • Consider Your Climate and Sun Exposure: Some grass seed grows better in the shade while others can be more sun tolerant; try to consider if you have bare spots if it could be related to this issue.
  • Size of the Lawn: Have a general idea as to the square footage of your yard so you can apply the proper amount of seed.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Typically, overseeding is a bit easier to manage and watch than installing new seed; however, maintenance requirements of the new grass seed should still be considered.
  • Availability: Depending on your location and the products supplied to your area, you could also be limited in what seed is available, St.Augustine is not typically sold as a seed, and you will have to overseed with a different type of grass.

Top 8 Best Grass Seed for Overseeding

Before choosing a grass seed for overseeding, you must ensure that you fill in with the proper mixture for your lawn. Future maintenance, upkeep, and overall grass look will be significantly impacted by the product you put down. Here are our top 8 favorite products for overseeding in 2023.

1. Scott’s Turf Builder Thick’R Lawn: Best Overall

The Scott’s Turf Builder Thick’R Lawn was explicitly designed with overseeding in mind. Many homeowners do not work on their overseeding project until they notice bare spots on the turf. Scott’s Thick R’Lawn will help you fill those bare spots in and strengthen the turf around it.

This is a unique product because it also contains fertilizer and a soil improver. With the fertilizer combined, you will notice that the existing lawn should get a bit greener and healthier as well. Something to watch out for with this product is the fact that you must apply fertilizer at the right time of the year.

This is a product to use in the fall and spring and never when temperatures of the soil and air are more than 85 degrees. Overall you will be happy with germination rates and the ability to have a green lawn again.

Product Highlights

  • 3 in-1 Solution
  • Soil enhancer and seed mixture
  • Sun and Shade

Pros and Cons of Scott's Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn


  • A mix of fertilizer and seed as well as a soil improver
  • Good all-in-one solution for lawns with bare spots
  • Simple application with a spreader
  • Better root development


  • A seed is a mixture, not a specific type
  • Must apply at the proper time because of the fertilizer component

2. Scott’s Turf Builder Fall Mix: Best For Fall Application

Don’t be surprised to see many Scott’s Turf Builder products on the best grass seed for overseeding list. Scott’s makes everything from starter fertilizer to weed killer and everything in between, and they fully understand the importance of overseeding. The Scott’s Turf Builder Fall Mix is a perfect option for a fall strengthening of the turf before heading into the winter season.

This seed is designed for full sun with just a bit of shade, and it helps to fill in after a rough summer season. The 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating that Scott’s applies to many of its grass seed mixtures helps you stay on top of early watering needs with this seed.

In addition, the seed comes with essential nutrients and disease prevention surrounding it, so you have a better chance of thick grass and bright green color.

Product Highlights

  • Equipped with the 4-in-1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating
  • Specifically designed for an early fall application
  • Full sun exposure

Pros and Cons of Scott's Turf Builder Fall Mix


  • A perfect product to combine with fall aerating protocol
  • Can help improve the look of a lawn after the summer season
  • Quick growing seed establishes before the cold weather sets in


  • Not designed for southern lawn care

3. Pennington Smart Seed Bermuda Grass Mix: Best For Bermuda Lawns

Pennington is another strong name in grass seed products, and the Pennington Smart Seed Bermuda Grass Mix is no exception. If you have a Bermudagrass lawn in place, filling in with tall fescue or fine fescue may not give you the look you need. Instead, reseeding with Bermudagrass ensures a bit more continuity in the turf and a better chance of establishment.

This product is designed for southern lawns with plenty of sun. You will notice that there is a bit of fertilizer in the product, so again be careful with application rate timing as well as the amount per square foot.

The mix is specifically formulated to establish quickly and keep weeds from growing in those bare spots in your turf.

Product Highlights

Pros and Cons of Pennington Smart Seed Bermuda Grass Mix


  • A great solution for sunny areas where other grass won’t grow
  • A perfect option to match your current turf type
  • Fast established strengthens the coverage and effectiveness of the product


  • Need to install in an area with more than 8 hours of sun
  • Be careful with late summer application because of the fertilizer in the product

4. Jonathan Green Touch Up Tri Rye: Best For Cool Season

The Jonathan Green Touch Up Tri Rye is our favorite option for cool season grass; however, this can also be a solution for warm season grown in the spring and late fall. This is a 100% perennial ryegrass blend with three different ryegrass varieties.

One of the things that homeowners love about annual ryegrass is that it is low maintenance and will sprout in 7 to 10 days. If you are tired of looking at bare spots in your turf, ryegrass seed is one of your fastest solutions.

Whether you have cool season grass that needs overseeding or warm season grass that needs a fall touch-up, the Jonathan Green product can lead to a very healthy lawn.

Product Highlights

  • Dark green in color
  • Can grow in full sun to moderate shade
  • 3 Seed complication for better chances of sprouting

Pros and Cons of Jonathan Green Touch Up Tri Rye


  • Works in cool season areas in late spring or early fall
  • It can also be a warm season fall overseeding solution
  • Sun and shade tolerant grass seed mixture


  • In warmer areas and transition zones, the lawn seed will not last more than a few months

5. Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade: Best For Shade Application

Shady lawns can be difficult to take care of as there are issues with sunlight and soil temperatures. The good news is that just as there are seeds built for drought tolerance and full sun, there are options for shade as well. The Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade grass seed will have a mix of both Tall Fescue and Fine Fescue to work in a shady area.

The Pennington Smart Seed only needs about 3 hours of sunlight, if it has up to six, that is fine as well. In addition, the seed is engineered to be disease and traffic-resistant. Not only will you have a nice green lawn, but it will be useable as well!

Product Highlights

  • Requires 2 to 6 hours of sunlight to grow
  • Tolerant to shade conditions and more moist soil
  • Results should be seen in 8 to 16 days

Pros and Cons of Pennington Smart Seed Dense Shade


  • Fescue Grass seed can blend in with several different types of lawns
  • Seed mix of both Tall Fescue and Fine Fescue for a better look
  • Contains fertilizer to increase the effectiveness
  • Saves water when compared to other seed blends


  • Will need several bags for a large lawn

6. Scott’s Turf Builder Sun and Shade Mix: Best For Extreme Conditions

The Scott’s Turf Builder Sun and Shade Mix for extreme conditions is designed for homeowners dealing with extreme sun and dense shade. If your property has a lot of landscaping around it, chances are you have areas of full exposure and spots where the trees and other bushes almost fully block your lawn.

With Scott’s Turf Builder, you will be able to repair bare and thin spots without having to worry about purchasing several different types of seeds. This is another product that contains the 4-in-1 WaterSmrt PLUS coating. The coated seeds get a quick start and will be a little more tolerant to diseases and fungus that can start with new grass.

Product Highlights

  • Can handle extreme drought
  • Also tolerates full shade
  • A good option for northern lawns

Scott's Turf Builder Sun and Shade Mix


  • Seeds stay moist longer than competitors
  • Tolerant to frequent mowing after the establishment
  • It helps keep out weed seeds and disease


  • Another solution that won’t work for Southern Lawns

7. Scott’s Turf Builder Quick Fix Mix: Best Value

Unfortunately, money can become a problem when trying to maintain lush green grass throughout your property. Sometimes by the time you purchase herbicides, fertilizer, and seed, it can be hundreds of dollars. We like this Scott’s Turf Builder Quick Fix Mix as a solution.

This product quickly repairs any bare spots you may have on your lawn, and it pops up in about 4 to 7 days. If you are worried about weeds creeping in or erosion control issues, the Quick Fix Mix helps give you a fast solution. The grass seed is guaranteed to be weed free, but you must make sure that you water it well as it is not drought tolerant.

Product Highlights

  • Quickly sprouts a new lawn
  • Mix of several seed types
  • Course bladed texture

Pros and Cons of Scott's Turf Builder Quick Fix Mix


  • Fairly priced and easy-to-install solution
  • Can repair bare spots in a short time frame
  • Good for erosion control issues


  • No specific seed blend could stand out from your current turf

8. Scott’s Turf Builder Southern Gold Mix: Best For Southern Lawns

You may have noticed that very few of the grass seeds on our list are a good solution for southern lawns. It can be a bit harder to find a solution for a southern lawn, but it is certainly possible. The Scott’s Turf Builder Southern Gold Mix is the best solution for tall fescue lawns that struggle with heat and drought conditions.

The Southern Gold Mix features the 4-in-1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating so it will absorb quite a bit of water and become an excellent solution for your warm season grass. Always be sure to apply Southern Gold Mix at the recommended time so that the success of the grass is much higher.

Product Highlights

  • Tolerant to heat and drought
  • Works in high-traffic areas
  • Medium Course bladed texture

Pros and Cons of Scott's Turf Builder Southern Gold Mix


  • Can handle harsh conditions seen in southern lawns
  • Will absorb water well
  • Good solution for tall fescue lawns


  • May not work in the deep south in Florida or southern Georgia

Why Should You Overseed Your Lawn?

At times grass will become bare, and it leaves many areas in the lawn for weeds and invasive grass to grow through. When you overseed, you keep up the strength of your turf and make it impossible for things like crabgrass to make their way through the lawn.

In addition to proper weed control, it is also important to overseed when your grass is going into dormancy. For instance, with warm season grasses, there is a chance that the turf will turn brown and be unattractive. Adding an excellent season seed like perennial ryegrass can green things up as you get through the dormancy.

When to Overseed the Lawn

Typically speaking, overseeding is done in the early fall or mid-spring. The exact application timing should match up with your soil temperatures and with the recommendations on the seed packaging that you purchase.

Some seed products contain a small amount of fertilizer. If this is applied at the wrong time, there could be issues with burnout in your existing soil.

What is the Best Way to Overseed?

Learning how to overseed should not take you more than a few minutes. If you are smart about this process it should become part of your annual maintenance in your yard. Follow these steps for proper overseeding.

Step 1: Mow and Bag

The first step in the process is to mow the lawn and bag all the clippings. This process allows the new grass seed to penetrate the soil and to be exposed to more sunlight.

Step 2: Dethatch

The new grass seed is going to need water, air, and nutrients, and this is not possible if there is organic material blocking the way to the grass seed.

Step 3: Soil Test

Do a quick soil test to see if the soil is in the best possible condition for receiving the new seed. Add any amendments to the soil before you overseed to make sure you give your new seed the best possible chance of success.

Step 4: Use A Spreader

It’s challenging to get the proper application rate without using a spreader. Choose a spreader that has an adjustable distribution rate so you are able to get the proper coverage.

Step 5: Water Properly

New grass seed needs water, and you will likely have to water more frequently until you can see the health of the turf increase. Proper watering is a key feature in a healthy overseeding.

Can You Put Grass Seed on Top of Grass?

Grass seed can be put on top of new grass, as this is typically the process followed when overseeding. However, cutting the grass and raking it before applying the grass seed ensures a greater chance of success with the new grass seed.

Key Takeaways

Hopefully, you can now choose the best grass seed for overseeding with complete confidence. Ensuring that you have the turf ready to receive new seed and proper maintenance and watering will give you the best chance of success. Be patient with overseeding and always choose the right type. As you can see from our list, the Scott’s Turf Builder brand brings some great options to the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does grass seed need to be watered after overseeding?

Grass seed needs to be watered after overseeding. Be sure not to overwater and create fungus issues in your turf, but it is essential to give it enough water to help with new grass seed growth and root development.

How long does it take for grass seed to grow?

Grass seed has different growth rates depending on the type of grass that it is. On average, you can expect 5 to 15 days to see the first seeds germinate.

Where can you get grass seed for overseeding?

Grass seed for overseeding is sold on Amazon or in local garden stores.

Which is better: Ryegrass or Fescue?

Both ryegrass and fescue have some great features. The primary determination as to which is better is typically done by the location of your home, as well as the type of grass that you already have in place.

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