If you’ve started observing bald patches and thinning grass on your lawn, it might be time to reseed or overseed your lawn. But you don’t want to waste your money on these tasks, so you have to know their prices.
The national average for reseeding a lawn is $275, but the average price for these services ranges between $125 – $670. This estimates to about $3 -$9 per pound of seeds on lawns from 5,500 sq ft right up to 1-acre blocks.
The two largest factors in overseeding cost are the seed type and the size of your lawn. Labor prices vary depending on city and company.
The seed type you choose for your lawn plays a crucial role in determining how much your total seeding costs will be.
Here’s a table showing the different popular grass choices in America, their best conditions, and how much they cost.
|Type of grass||Conditions suited to||Cost|
|Zoysia||Tropical grass. |
Best for areas with soil temperatures between 25 – 32 degrees Celsius.
Best for southern tier states and parts of California.
|Buffalo Grass||All season grasses.|
Perfect for all states in the country.
|Bermuda||Warm-season grass. |
Best for Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, N. Arkansas and NC.
|Fescue Grass||Spring or Autumn grass. |
Best in areas with temperatures between 15 – 25 degrees Celsius. Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Northern parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia and Texas.
|Kikuyu Grass||Warm-season grass. |
Best for areas with soil temperatures between 25 – 32 degrees Celsius.
|Couch Grass||Warm-season grass. |
Best for areas with soil temperatures between 25 – 32 degrees Celsius. Perfect for all states
|Kentucky Bluegrass||Cool-season grass.|
Best in areas with temperatures between 15 – 25 degrees Celsius.
What affects the costs of reseeding and overseeding?
The size of your lawn – The bigger the lawn, the more square feet require reseeding or overseeding, and so, the more the costs. Most landscapers will also charge more for a bigger lawn.
The condition of your lawn – Generally, overseeding is much cheaper than reseeding because it involves less work. However, these costs are never fixed because some lawns are usually in poorer conditions than others. You pay more depending on the state of the loan.
The types of grass you use – Different grasses are priced differently and require varying maintenance costs. The more expensive your grass is, the higher the total costs will be. For instance, a homeowner with Kikuyu grass will pay less than one with the Zoysia grass for the same service.
Labor and equipment costs – The more work has to be done on your lawn, the higher the costs you’ll incur. If the landscapers have to use rental equipment on your lawn, they’ll charge you more. However, with some DIY rental equipment, you can drastically lower the costs.
DIY lawn seed cost by brand
Besides the above-mentioned factors, the brands of the different grass seeds also determine the cost. Among the most reputable grass seed brands includes Scotts Turf Builder, Jonathan Green, and Pennington products.
Here’s how these and other brands price their seeds in the American market.
|Scott’s Turf Builder Sun & Shade Mix||3 lb||$13.96|
|Pennington 1 Step Sun & Shade Mix||5 lb||$17.48|
|Jonathan Green 10765 Fall Magic Grass Seed Mix||3 lb||$17.97|
|Scotts EZ Seed Sun & Shade Dog Spot Repair||2.4 lb||$13.99|
|Pennington Annual Ryegrass Grass Seed||20 lb||$31.98|
|Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade||20 lb||$129.90|
|X-Seed Ultra-Premium Quick and Thick Lawn Seed Mixture||20 lb||$60.00|
|Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed||2 lb||$6.08|
|Scotts 30158 Turf Builder Thick'R Lawn Sun and Shade||40 lb||$49.98|
|Bahrenburg water saver mixture with Turf-Type Tall Fescue||5 lb||$19.99|
Cost to reseed per 1/2 acre
1/2 an acre is 21,000 square feet of area that needs to be covered with seeds. Below is the price for supplies of different grass seeds.
The average prices of the major lawn grass seeds (per square foot) range from:
- Zoysia at $0.10
- Buffalo grass at $0.60
- Kikuyu grass at $0.60
- Bermuda at $0.43
- Fescue grass at $0.60
- Couch grass at $0.70
- Kentucky bluegrass at $0.10
So the above translated into a 1/2 acre of seed would cost the following for materials only. A professional would charge to spread them:
- Zoysia at $2,100
- Buffalo grass at $12,600
- Kikuyu grass at $12,600
- Bermuda at $9,030
- Fescue grass at $12,600
- Couch grass at $14,700
- Kentucky bluegrass at $2,100
On average, reseeding a 1/2 an acre will cost you $6,200 on average
Cost to reseed per 1 acre
To calculate your cost per acre, we’ll use the same prices for the different grass prices per square foot.
Since 1 acre = 43,650 square feet, here’s how much you’ll spend:
- Zoysia at $4,200
- Buffalo grass at $25,200
- Kikuyu grass at $25,200
- Bermuda at $18,060
- Fescue grass at $25,200
- Couch grass at $29,400
- Kentucky bluegrass at $4,200
On average, reseeding an acre will cost you $18,000.
Again, this doesn’t account for the labor costs and other expenses.
How to choose the right Lawn seed
There being numerous types of grass and seed brands out there, you need to take extra caution when choosing your lawn seeds.
Remember, each grass is suitable for different parts of America, and only a few can survive in all areas. So, before choosing your seed, consider:
Your location and climate
Lawn grasses are subdivided into two types: Cold season grasses and warm-season grasses. The cold season grasses grow best under 25 degrees Celsius like the Kentucky Bluegrass and the Ryegrass.
The warm-season grass refers to the grasses that do well within 25 – 32 degrees Celsius. This includes the Kikuyu grass, buffalo, and couch grass.
With this in mind, assess your area’s climate and choose a grass seed that’s suitable for it. For instance, residents in warm states like Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska should opt for warm-season grass, while those in Montana, the majority of North America, can go for cold season grasses.
Your soil conditions
If you previously tried to seed your lawn, but you weren’t successful, the problem could be in your soil and not the grass. Therefore, conduct a soil test to determine your soil’s PH. Most grasses do well in PH closer to 7.
If your soil is off in PH, go for a grass seed that grows well within that soil PH.
Wear and Tear
If your kids or dog love running around the lawn, you have to reconsider the type of grass seeds you can choose. Go for grasses that can self-repair and fill in the bare spots left by your kids. Kentucky bluegrass is one such option.
Shading in your area
Shading is one of the key factors that affect the growth of grass. Each grass type tolerates a specific amount of shading, with most of them requiring about six hours in direct sunlight to flourish.
Therefore, depending on the shade intensity at your lawn, choose a lawn that is tolerant. You can also choose a blend of grass seeds with varying intensities of shade tolerance. This way, when one grass type doesn’t thrive, the others can replace it.
The terrain of your lawn
If your lawn is a bit sloppy, you have to choose grasses with fast-growing roots like the perennial ryegrass. This is because slopes are more susceptible to erosion, and so, the longer your seeds take to sprout, the easier they are to be carried away.
Alternatively, you can opt to lay sod or turf instead of planting seeds. Sodding provides instant results allowing you to have a complete lawn within a day.
But if it’s too expensive, go for a grass blend with a high ryegrass ratio.
Difference between reseeding and overseeding
While most people assume reseeding and overseeding to be the same thing, they are actually different processes.
Overseeding refers to the process of planting seeds over your existing turfs without removing the turf. This helps to thicken your turf and fills any bare spots on your lawn.
Homeowners also turn to overseeding when they want to keep their lawns green through all seasons.
On the other hand, reseeding refers to the process of ripping out your turf, removing all existing grass and weeds, then planting new seeds. This is done in cases of dead grass, extremely dirty patches, or excess weeds.
Reseeding also involved more activities than overseeding. You might have to do soil testing and remediation, among other amendment procedures that promote the new seed.
In both cases, you’ll have to use some fertilizer to improve the turf thickness on your lawn. You’ll also have to know the right blend of seeds to use: whether warm-season grass with cool-season grass or vice versa.
When should your reseed or overseed?
Knowing when to overseed and when to reseed your lawn is very important for maintaining a green and healthy lawn.
To determine if its time, here are some of the signs you should look for:
Your grass looks thin
Thin grass is usually the first red flag you should watch out for on your lawn. This usually happens just after summer or winter. If you notice this, a little overseeding can help boost the grass growth. If the condition is worse, reseeding is the appropriate reaction.
Brown patches on your yard
Brown patches on your lawn is usually an indicator that your grass isn’t getting enough nutrients. This could be a result of a pet using the spot as a bathroom, weeds competing with the grass, or your sprinklers failing to hit that zone.
Overseeding is usually a quick fix for this.
You've not overseeded in a long time
Many landscapers recommend reseeding or, at least, overseeding your lawn once in 3-4 years. So, if you’re almost hitting your fifth year and you’re yet to overseed your lawn, it might be time to do so.
Overseeding will revive the lawn’s germination prowess, ensuring that the lawn doesn’t lose its beautiful green look.
Laying sod vs. reseeding
Choosing between laying sod or reseeding is a hard decision. Both of them produce beautiful lawns, but the processes involved are different.
Laying sod, or ‘sodding’ is more of an ‘instant lawn’ solution. In this process, homeowners take slabs of grass grown on a sod farm and transplant it to your lawn. This means that you’ll have a fully green lawn in a matter of hours, rather than waiting for seeds to sprout.
It’s a fast way to get your lawn back after a series of brown patches and thinning grass.
In contrast, reseeding involves removing your existing lawn turf and planting new seeds altogether. It takes time to see results, and you may have to wait for about 2 weeks or more (depending on seed type) for the seeds to sprout.
Which one is better?
There’s no better choice between laying sod and reseeding. It all depends on your goals, time, and financial state. Keep in mind:
While sodding is a fast-results alternative, it’s about 10times more expensive than reseeding. This is because you’ll incur heavy labor costs, seeds costs, and other equipment costs.
You, therefore, save a fortune opting for reseeding overlaying sod. However, if you have the budget, sodding is still a good option.
Secondly, reseeding demands more intensive care than laying sod. Seeds need regular watering, weeding, and protection from birds. If you don’t have the time to complete all these tasks, sodding may be the better option.
You can also sod your lawn at any time of the year, and it’ll still grow well. Reseeding, on the other hand, has to be down in the right season, preferably spring or fall.
In terms of quality, reseeding tends to provide better long-term quality compared to sodding. This is because seeds develop a stronger root system than sod roots. The deeper roots allow the grass to access more water tables, improving their drought resistance and nutrients uptake.
Lastly, laying sod works perfectly in rugged landscapes. They can be planted onto the sloppy areas and areas with loose soil and still work for your lawn. Seeds planted in such an area will only be dragged away by winds during erosion.
Cost of Lawn replacement with sod
On average, you can expect to pay about $500 for the sod replacement if your lawn measures about 500 square feet. However, this price fluctuates depending on the type of turf you opt for and the condition of your soil.
Additionally, the labor and maintenance costs may add up to about $2.60 – $3.40 per square feet. If your lawn is curved, you will also need to spend more on the sods, as some of it will be lost when shaping the corners.
Be sure not to overestimate or underestimate the size of your yard. If you overestimate, you’ll lose money; if you underestimate, you’ll have an incomplete lawn.
Cost to remove and replace the old lawn
If you’ve decided it’s time to replace that old sod lawn, get prepared to spend some cash on the replacement. For the complete service, you’ll have to pay for the lawn removal, ground preparation, cost of the sod, and labor costs to lay the sod.
The price of a new lawn can range anywhere from $9 to $14/sq ft based on the national average. However, each type of grass will vary in cost.
On the lower end, Kikuyu grass costs $0.90 per square foot, while the Zoysia can cost up to $1.40 per square foot. These differences in prices come in because of the grass’s drought tolerance, shade tolerance, maintenance requirements, among other features.
For your lawn replacement, you’ll have to install several turfs of your preferred grass. Therefore, assuming your lawn covers 500 square feet, the turfs will cost you between $45 – $70.
For the labor costs, if your landscaper has to remove your lawn soil and install a new one, you can expect to pay about $1.20 – $2.20 per square foot. However, if your lawn has good soil, then you may only need to add some topsoil. For this, your landscaper can charge you between $0.4 – $1.10 per square foot.
Other costs, such as soil supply and roll on installation, may also cost you an extra $1.20 – $1.90 per sq ft every 50mm.
In total, your total lawn replacement costs can amount to $3.30 – $6.60 per square foot. For a 500 square foot lawn, this will range anywhere from $1,650 to $3,300.
Note: These are only rough estimates of how much replacing a lawn may cost you. For the actual costs, ask for quotes from several landscapers.
Cost of lawn maintenance
If you’ve replaced or resown your yard with natural grass, you should also consider the maintenance costs in your budget. Reseeded lawns require a lot of attention during the first few years, and so you’ll incur some costs in watering and weeding.
You should also consider the cost you’ll spend on fertilizers and regular mowing. These services can cost anywhere from $50 – $150 or more depending on the size of your lawn.
Do I need to aerate before overseeding?
No. You don’t have to aerate your lawn before overseeding. However, most professionals recommend aerating your lawn because it opens up your soil, enabling the plant roots to access nutrients easily.
Aeration also leaves holes for your seeds, which helps improve their germination and protects them from growing faster.
However, aerating should be only when the lawn undergoes a high compaction period. Avoid doing this when soil is dry compact since the grass is stressed.
What is the best time to reseed a lawn?
Spring and Fall. Generally, seeds have a higher chance of growing when the weather is neither too cold nor too hot. That’s why these transitional months are perfect.
If you’re dealing with cold season grass, late fall and early spring is usually a great time for seeding. For warm-season grasses, late spring and early fall is the best time.
Seeding during these seasons provides your seeds with the best conditions for growth.
Can you put grass on top of the existing lawn?
Yes, it’s possible with the help of professional landscapers. The new grass planted will suffocate the existing grass by cutting its exposure to water and sunlight. This kills your existing grass and provides a lot of nutrients for the planted sod grass.
However, most experts state that this is a short-term fix for your lawn.
There’s a chance that your newly planted grass won’t root well in your lawn after some time, giving it the same old look you were avoiding.
How often should you reseed a lawn?
This depends on the type of grass you have on your lawn and the location you reside in. However, reseeding once every 3 – 4 years has proven to produce fairly good results.
Should you put topsoil overseeded grass?
No. Although adding topsoil seems to be a cheap and easy way to protect and grow your grass seeds, doing this will achieve more harm than good. Since the seeds are still too young, they won’t be able to break through the soil and sprout.
You’ll therefore be suffocating the seeds even before they could start growing.
Which is cheaper, seed, or sod?
Seeding is about 10-20 times cheaper than sodding for both installing and purchasing. This is because laying sod requires more labor costs, maintenance costs, and time.
Seeding may cost anywhere from 10 to 30 cents per square foot, while the cost of sodding may go as high as $1 per square foot. The prices for each of these processes, however, varies depending on the types of grass used.
Should I fertilize after seeding?
Yes, you can. Whether you do it before or after seeding, as long as your grass receives all the required nutrients, all is well. The only exception comes in when you’re balancing a soil nutrient deficiency.
However, most experts recommend fertilizing your grass before seeding as it gives it a better chance of delivering nutrients efficiently.
As a rule: Never seed and fertilize your grass at the same time. This causes an unequal distribution of seeds and fertilizers, resulting in a patchy lawn.