Can you seed over dead sod is a question the answer to which a lot of you are curious to find out? We have contacted all the sod experts we know and collected their wisdom in this article.

Seed Over Dead Sod To Revive It Successfully

Keep reading this article, and you will find out how to over seed dead sod in just a few simple steps and some other great tips coming up ahead. 

Can You Seed Over Dead Sod?

💥 Yes, you can seed over dead sod in a process called overseeding. Instead of going through the trouble of uprooting the entirety of the dead sod, you can utilize it to regrow new grass instead. When you seed a dead lawn grows new grass in three to four weeks time. 

How To Seed Over Dead Sod?

To see over dead sod you must get the best seeds, test the soil, mow the dead grass, and fertilize it the soil, and after you have placed the seed you must water them five to six times a day. 

– Adjustments of Reseeding

So you have decided it’s time to revive dead sod by reseeding it. There are some essentials you will need to carry out this mission, and you must adjust it before the process.

First you must invest in the best-quality seeds you can find of the grass type your sod was made of. It helps if the seeds are pre-coated with fertilizer and insecticides. New seeds should resist drought, disease, and other adverse conditions.

As your remove your lawnmower and refill its fuel tank it is important because you need it before reseeding the lawn of sod. The old dead grass leaves must be cut down as low as possible for your mower.

Adjustments Reseeding of Sod Grass

However, note that if you cannot find seeds coated with fertilizer, then a slow-release fertilizer for the soil will be needed.

It is essential to provide dead sod soil with adequate nutrition.  Don’t forget that a seed spreader will be needed, even to distribute seeds on sod. Some people prefer sowing by hand, but this would leave a lot of spots empty.

Sowing new seeds over old sod is incomplete without a hand roller. Otherwise, your seeds will stay on the surface and not even come in contact with the soil. 

– Reseeding Dead Sod Process

Reseeding dead sod is not as simple as reseeding normal turf. We don’t mean to scare you off, though. 

First, take a little sample of the soil to perform a soil test. This will tell you whether your soil has any deficiencies that need to be improved. You will also find out if the soil pH is slightly alkaline, as liked by most grass species. 

Your new grass seeds will only be able to reach the soil if you cut off existing dead grass short. First, mow only the top one-third of the blades to prevent the mower from uprooting healthy grass blades of the soil. Then mow the grass as short as one inch on the second attempt.

Next, you must remove the previous dead grass and thatch from the sod. Pick a rake first and loosen tp the top layers of the soil. 

Reseeding Sod Process

Thatch is a big blockage that prevents seeds from reaching the soil. Detaching will help further loosen up the soil and provide the new seeds with quick access to nutrients.

If your old sod experienced heavy foot traffic, the soil underneath would need aeration. You can easily borrow an aerator to introduce air deep within the soil layers. A seed starter fertilizer needs to be added immediately before sowing. You can do this while raking or dethatching, so the fertilizer seeps deeply. 

Finally, use a seed spreader to sow new seeds all over the extensively prepared sod evenly. Divide the lawn into straight lines and go over them one by one holding the spreader steady in hand.

Now, since you are seeding over sod, you will have to use a roller to roll over it one to two times. This is important; otherwise, the seeds will not come in contact with the soil and will be spread off by birds and the gust of the wind.


– Watering Requirements

Until the seeds germinate, the soil will have to be kept moist. This will take about three to four weeks, and you will have to be constantly on guard during this time. The seeds will dry out quickly if the weather is hot, the day is windy, or the sun is too bright.

About six to seven daily watering will be required to keep the seeds from drying. Using a sprinkler is much better than using a hose or watering by hand. You need to use only a small volume of water per session to avoid overwatering.

Sod only needs to be watered once per week at most. Three days before reseeding, you must water it to a depth of about six to eight inches. After reseeding, multiple watering will be required each day for at least three to four weeks until the seeds germinate. 

Watering Requirements for Sod

If you have only reseeded one particular spot of the lawn, then only that part needs to be watered that much. Six to seven watering per day on the rest of the grass is just a recipe for disaster and rot. 

Even after the grass seeds germinate and develop leaves, you will have to carry on this routine for one week. After this, the newly sprouted grass will have to be watered once per seven days, just like the rest of the grass. 

Keep a vigilant eye on any rainfall five days after seeding the sod. However, do not seed if any heavy rain, wind, or storm is expected. The seeds will blow up randomly, and you will have a very uneven sod afterward.

– Temperature Needs

The best time to reseed sod that is dead is during early spring or late fall, so that it would grow well. This is the ideal time both temperature-wise and because this is when most grass types are going through peak growth. 

During spring or autumn, the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate but not so hot to promote fertile weed growth all throughout the period.

You can also reseed during summer, but you will have to water the seeds a lot more, work under scorching high temperatures, and deal with excessive weed growth.

Proper Temperature to Revive Dead Sod

The next best time to reseed grass is during mid-spring. Again, you will see very little competence from weeds, and the seeds will germinate much faster.

Even cool-season grass varieties do not germinate or grow during the winter period. You can lay the seeds down, but they will germinate once the soil temperatures rise during early spring. Moreover, watering or fertilizing the soil during winter will also cause overwatering and fungal infections.

Depending on the type of grass your sod is made of, you can either reseed it during spring or winter.

Cool-season grasses germinate during the spring-summer period, while the warmer-growing grasses germinate in winter. You must be aware of the grass type you are growing and only seed it during its preferred season.

– Fertilizing Needs

A lawn overseeding over dead sod will take more lawn care and maintenance than regular grass. You will have to wash one inch of the weekly soil, watering thoroughly. 

If you have prepared the soil well beforehand, you will not need to take off the weeds that are growing in the sod much for a while. Sod reseeded in autumn is to be de-seeded late the upcoming spring. Weeds in sod reseeded in spring can be removed in the next autumn

Fertilizer for Dead Sod

Applying fertilizer to the soil along with seeds helps them germinate and grow much more successfully. It is better to buy pre-coated seeds that come covered with fertilizer.

Otherwise, you will have to fertilize your soil yourself before seed sowing. Opt for a slow-release one over a rapid active fertilizer to prevent causing chemical burns to newly sprouted grass blades. 

Always aerate the deadened sod before adding new seeds to it, even if you have fertilized it. This will open up breathing space in the soil that has the proper nutrients to help the growth and allow the new roots to thrive freely. It improves drainage and helps with the provision of nutrients to the seeds. 


Before ending this article, we would like to summarize its contents.

  • When your old sod grass dies, you can mow it very short and then sow fresh seeds over it.
  • The soil will need to be raked, dethatched, and aerated first and then rolled over after sowing.
  • Grass reseeded over dead sod is much more maintenance than average grass. 
  • Apply a seed starter fertilizer before seeding, and then water them six to seven times daily.

Seeding over a sod that has died isn’t that difficult, right? Ensure the timing is right, and you can take all essential steps during the initial soil prep. In only a few weeks, fresh grass grows in place of dead sod. 

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