The Difference Between Interseeding &  Overseeding


Many people believe that lawn care only includes reducing foot traffic and making plenty of clean water and good fertilizer accessible to the grass in your lawn. However, in most cases, it’s not enough to maintain a lush, green look of your lawn. To preserve the beauty of your lawn and make sure the plant life in your property is in good shape, you need to learn techniques such as interseeding and overseeding. If that’s too much for you, you can simply hire a landscape professional by searching “landscape companies near me on Google.

However, you can take up the responsibility of maintaining the greenery of your lawn too. Now, let’s look at overseeding and interseeding in detail below:

What is Interseeding?

Interseeding is the process of seeding the same grass species into an existing lawn in order to aid the recovery of lost grass over the course of summer and make the lawn look denser. For instance, many people choose to intercede tall fescue into a lawn filled with tall fescue in the fall to improve the look and quality of their lawn that might have declined due to the stress period of summer.

Interseeding may include core aeration and the use of different cultivators to improve the exchange of soil and air, increase water filtration, relieve compaction, and improve seedbed and planting conditions. 

What is Overseeding?

Overseeding (A.K.A slit-seeding) is the process of temporarily planting a second type of seed directly into an existing turf or soil without disturbing it. Generally, a cool-season grass species is introduced in a lawn that includes a permanent grass species. Overseeding helps to make the lawn become more resistant to drought and diseases while ensuring it has a denser growth and better colors. Plus, it helps to improve traffic tolerance and add winter color. For instance, if you plant perennial ryegrass in a field with scutch grass to improve the greenery in the early spring, it would be a good overseeding practice.

It is important to note that for overseeding to be successful, the permanent grass species should be healthy prior to the process since the temporary species would compete with it for space, nutrients, light, and water. Other safe practices that you must follow to make the process a success include:

  • Post planning maintenance
  • Proper seed and seeding rate selection
  • Good timing overseeding and preparation
  • Effective spring transition
  • Proper soil fertility
  • Prevention of excessive thatch development
  • Relievement of solid compaction

The best time for Interseeding and Overseeding

Grasses grow best when the natural period of the seed’s active growth matches with the planting season and there is less competition from weeds. Typically, early to mid-September is considered the ideal time for overseeding or interseeding your lawn. This is because the seeds of cool-season grass species germinate best when the temperature of the soil is between 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit and a daytime air temperature of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the best results, it is crucial to start planting cool-season grasses in the early fall when the temperature of the soil is still warm as it helps to germinate sooner and grow quickly in the cooler temperature of the early fall. An easy way to adjust the timing is to plant cool season grasses at least 45 days prior to the estimated date of full frost.

The Benefits of Overseeding and Interseeding

If your lawn has suffered damage due to drought, bad weather, diseases, stress, pests and insects, overseeding and interseeding can help you bring it back to shape or even improve it. Here are a few benefits of overseeding and interseeding:

  1. It improves the overall appearance of your lawn – A lawn that is filled with rough patches of brown, balding sections doesn’t look inviting at all. Interseeding or overseeding can help you make your lawn look more luscious without too much effort or cost. You just need to cast your seeds in the spots that require replanting and make sure they receive enough care from then on.
  1. It reduces the risk of pests and diseases – Pests can wreak havoc on your lawn if not noticed early on and force you to use chemicals that can further damage it. A better solution is to plant seed varieties that are resistant to pests and diseases in the area, require less water, and are suitable for your climate.
  1. There is no need to worry about chemical damage – People who use chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides to maintain the beauty and health of their lawn have to constantly worry about selecting the correct chemicals and whether the products would damage their lawn too. Since you don’t need to use chemicals for overseeding, there is no need to worry about ruining your lawn with chemicals.
  1. It increases the density of your lawn – A verdant lawn that is filled with a thick carpet of beautiful and healthy grass is the ultimate goal of many homeowners. Fortunately, interseeding and overseeding can help you achieve that goal if you plant the seeds at the correct growing cycle and water them appropriately. A dense lawn immediately attracts attention and can earn you many compliments!

5.It reduces erosion – A lawn that features a thick carpet of grass is less at risk of soil loss and run-offs since grasses have compact, fibrous root systems that bind together very well. And such lawns are filled with nutrients which further help in the growth of the grass species on it. Thus, it acts as a virtuous cycle that helps to improve the overall health of the grass as well.


The above info can be a little confusing if you are learning about lawn maintenance for the first time. Thus, be sure to do thorough research and ensure that you understand all the details before starting any procedure to help maintain your lawn. If you have any confusion, make sure to consult a landscape professional by googling “landscape companies near me” online.

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