How To Reseed A Lawn That Is Mostly Weeds?

How do you reseed a lawn that is mostly weeds? You cut the weeds as low as you possibly can and remove the clippings (and seed heads) as best as you can. Then after spraying a non-selective herbicide on the weedy lawn you immediately overseed with a desirable grass type and water it regularly until the old lawn disappears and the new lawn comes in. For greater chances of success apply a thin layer of compost or topsoil over the seed to improve seed-to-soil contact.

When dealing with a lawn overrun by weeds, reseeding becomes an essential step to regain a healthy and lush turf. Here’s a more detailed explanation of the process:

Weed Removal

Begin by identifying and removing the existing weeds. Manual removal is effective for small areas, while herbicides can be used for larger infestations. Follow the herbicide manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines carefully.

Soil Preparation

Once the weeds are eradicated, prepare the soil for reseeding. Rake the lawn thoroughly to remove debris and loosen the top layer of soil. This step promotes good seed-to-soil contact, allowing the grass seed to establish successfully.

Selecting Grass Seed

Choose a grass seed variety that is well-suited for your climate, soil type, and light conditions. Consider using a mixture or blend of grass seed that includes both cool-season and warm-season grasses to ensure resilience throughout the year.


Apply the grass seed evenly, following the recommended seeding rate on the seed packaging. This is typically around 4 to 6 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet for overseeding. Using a broadcast spreader helps achieve uniform coverage.

Soil Amendment

Consider applying a thin layer of compost or topsoil over the newly seeded area. This improves seed-to-soil contact and provides a favorable environment for germination and establishment. Typically, a depth of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch is sufficient.

Watering and Maintenance

After reseeding, water the area regularly to keep the soil consistently moist. This aids in seed germination and helps the new grass seedlings establish roots. Watering frequency may vary depending on weather conditions, but typically, light and frequent watering is recommended until the grass is established.

Weed Control and Maintenance

As the new grass begins to grow, it’s important to monitor for weeds and address them promptly. Regular mowing at the appropriate height and following proper lawn care practices, such as fertilization and aeration, will promote healthy grass growth and reduce weed competition.

Remember that achieving a weed-free lawn may require ongoing efforts. It’s important to maintain a consistent lawn care routine, including regular mowing, fertilization, and weed control, to keep the lawn healthy and prevent weed encroachment.

Remember, reseeding a lawn that is mostly weeds to begin with involves the careful removal of those weeds, thorough soil preparation, selecting suitable grass seed, proper overseeding techniques, consistent watering, and following a maintenance plan. With patience and adherence to these steps, you can transform a weedy lawn into a healthy and vibrant one.

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What Could Go Wrong

The concepts explained above provide a general overview of the process of reseeding a lawn overrun by weeds. However, it may not work out well for a few reasons:

Incomplete Weed Removal: Simply removing existing weeds manually or using herbicides may not address the underlying issue of weed growth. If the weed problem is extensive, there may be weed seeds or roots left in the soil, leading to continued weed infestation even after reseeding.

Insufficient Soil Preparation: Raking and loosening the soil alone may not be enough to create an optimal environment for new grass seed. Proper soil testing and amendment may be necessary to ensure the soil is nutrient-rich, well-draining, and free of any remaining weed seeds or competing vegetation.

Lack of Personalization: The statement does not provide specific recommendations for selecting the appropriate grass seed variety based on factors such as climate, light conditions, and soil type. Choosing the wrong grass seed can result in poor growth, weak establishment, and increased vulnerability to weed competition.

Make sure to see my guide to choosing the right grass type here for more help on that.

To ensure a successful lawn reseeding process, it is advisable to seek additional information and guidance from reliable sources, such as local extension services, lawn care professionals, or reputable online resources. Understanding the specific needs of the lawn, implementing thorough weed control measures, and following comprehensive soil preparation and maintenance practices will greatly improve the chances of achieving a healthy, weed-free lawn.

Make sure to see my complete guide to growing grass here if you want to have the best chances of overcoming these challenges and obstacles.


This is Brian, the man behind the larger Turf Mechanic brand. Articles on this website are designed for fast and easy consumption and they are intended to quickly answer every lawn related question that I can find the time to answer.

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