How Much Does Overseeding a Lawn Cost?

Common Range: $0.08 – $0.16 Cents Per Square Foot, Installed

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Cost of Landscaper Reseed a Lawn

The average cost to have a landscape professional reseed your lawn is around $.12, or 12 cents per square foot for the most popular seed varieties. That’s around $600 for a 5000 square foot yard. If you buy the seed and a spreader and do it yourself, cost will cost $.06 to $.08 cents per square foot, but the type of grass seed significantly affects cost (see below). Choosing a grass variety that suits your climate and fits your purposes for the yard is essential to success and discussed later.

When you hire a landscaper to do the job, they’ll generally mow the lawn to it’s shortest sustainable height first. In some cases, they may even aerate the yard before sowing in the new grass seed. Next, they’ll clean away any sticks or leaves that may still be on the surface of your lawn before using a spreader to spread the lawn seed onto your existing lawn. In most cases, this is also a good time to spread a starter fertilizer onto the yard as it promotes fast growth and root structure for the new seed. Once completed, they’ll clean everything up with a blower or broom and may even water in the seed before leaving.

Terminology tip: Overseed and reseed are synonymous terms.

Average Costs

Average Do It Yourself cost
$.08 Cents / Square Foot
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$.16 Cents / Square Foot
Typical Cost Average
$.12 – .18 Cents / Square Foot

beautiful grass and lawn with flowers in background

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Overview of Lawn Overseeding

Periodic overseeding is a good maintenance practice even for healthy lawns. It is also essential when:

  • The existing turf is in fair condition but needs thickening to make it the lush lawn you want.
  • You’re committed to an ecofriendly lawn, and you’d rather crowd out weeds with healthy grass than kill weeds with chemical treatments.
  • The previous summer was particularly harsh, and the lawn suffered from heat and/or lack of water. Many homeowners try overseeding a damaged lawn to see if it can be rejuvenated. And if it can’t, tearing it out and starting with fresh sod installation is an option. Or you might want to forget grass planting and mowing hassles altogether by installing artificial grass.

Pros recommend aerating your lawn before you overseed it to ensure the healthiest result. If there’s thick thatch, then the lawn should be dethatched too. Bare and thin spots, once seeded, should be covered with a thin layer of organic mulch to retain water for the seed to sprout and grow.

Seed is spread over the turf in the seeding rate listed on the seed bag. The rate varies from about 200 to 500 square feet per pound of seed – that seems like a wide range, but that’s what you’ll find as you research seed options. When you keep the reseeded lawn watered, the seed should sink into the existing turf, germinate and begin to grow.

Tips: Be sure to use the seeding rate for overseeding the lawn rather than the rate for starting a lawn, which requires more seed.

And Scotts recommends fall overseeding in cool climates – do it while the soil is still warm and the cooler air won’t dry out the soil and seed if you don’t have an automatic lawn sprinkler system installed. In warmer climates, spring and summer are the best times because warm-climate grass seed varieties need the heat to germinate.

Let’s apply the pricing above to common lot sizes and see what the costs come out to when you hire a landscaper to reseed your lawn. Cost per square foot drops a little as lot size increases.

  • 1,000 square feet (small lot): $130 – $250
  • 10,900 square feet (1/4 acre): $1,350 – $2,700
  • 21,750 square feet (1/2 acre): $2,750 – $5,000
  • 43,500 square feet (1 acre): $5,200 – $9,600

Keep in mind that there are a few super-premium seed varieties like zoysiagrass and centipede grass that will push your costs above those listed. See the grass seed price list below.

Cost Factors for Overseeding

beautiful grass and lawn with flowers in background

Your total lawn reseeding cost depends on a few key factors related to the seed you use and the labor involved.

  • Seed Variety – Grass seed prices are listed below. The most expensive varieties cost as much as three times more than the most affordable.
  • Overseeding Rate – Thinner lawns need a higher seeding rate of around 200-300 square feet per pound of seed. If your lawn is healthy, and you are reseeding it to maintain its health, a seed rate of 400-500 square feet is common. Check the bag for specifics.
  • Seed Quality – You’ll find significant price differences even within a variety such as Kentucky bluegrass or Zoysia from the same seller, and part of the difference is seed quality determined by guaranteed germination rates and hardiness.
  • How Much Seed you Buy – A 50lb bag costs a lot less per pound than a 20lb bag, for example. And pricing is available from some sellers for large orders.
  • DIY or Landscaper – Overseeding the lawn isn’t a difficult job and can be a successful project when you choose a seed suited to your climate, prepare the lawn properly and spread the seed at the proper rate. If you’re concerned about getting those details correct to ensure good results, hiring a landscape professional makes sense.
  • Lawn Size – Yes, you’ll spend more for a larger lawn, but cost per square foot might drop a little as the lawn size increases.
  • Aerating the Lawn – This is an optional step and an additional cost if you include it in the project. Your options are to have the landscape company that overseeds the lawn aerate it, rent a power aerator and do it yourself or buy a non-powered spike aerator for the work.
  • Other Lawn Prep and Materials – The cost of mulch and spreading it on bare spots can increase total job cost.
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Cost of Grass Seed and Supplies

Here are itemized costs for the most common seed varieties and other materials and tools needed to overseed a lawn. Grass seed prices are based on 25lb and 50lb bags.

Recommended seeding rates are 200 to 500 square feet per pound depending on the variety, current thickness of your lawn and how quickly you want visible results.

  • $1.50 – $6.50 per Pound | Perennial Ryegrass Seed
  • $4.25 – $7.00 per Pound | Fescue Seed
  • $4.85 – $8.00 per Pound | Bahia Seed
  • $5.50 – $7.50 per Pound | Kentucky Bluegrass Seed
  • $5.25 – $7.50 per Pound | Bermuda or Bermudagrass Seed
  • $6.00 – $7.75 per Pound | Northern Sunny Mix
  • $14.00 – $20.00 per Pound | Bentgrass Seed
  • $20.00 – $40.00 per Pound | Zoysia or Zoysiagrass Seed
  • $30.00 – $45.00 per Pound | Centipede Seed
  • N/A | St. Augustine Seed – This variety is sold in plugs and sod, rarely in bulk seed to homeowners because it is very difficult to grow.

If you’re doing the reseeding, rather than hiring a landscaper, you might be interested in these prices.

  • $40 – $70 per Day | Powered Aerator Rental
  • $60 – $115 | Non-powered Push Spike Aerator
  • $18 – $30 per Cubic Yard or $3 to $6 per Bag | Mulch for Bare Spots

The seed prices listed above are up to date, and like everything else, prices have gone up significantly the last couple of years.

That’s why our price range of 12 to 25 cents per square foot for seed plus labor is higher than the 10 to 20 cents listed by Angi, formerly Angie’s List, as its current price and the range of 9 to 18 cents per square foot given on Home Advisor.

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

man mowing the grass to lower height

 

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | You don’t need a permit for lawn reseeding.

Labor and Installation Time

Labor charges differ from about 3 cents on the low side to 7 cents per square foot at most, or $.03 to $.07.

That works out to $325 to $750 per quarter acre for the labor.

Cost factors related to labor include:

  • Lawn Prep – When leaves and other debris must be removed prior to overseeding, cost is higher.
  • Aerating – This might be a separate cost or included in the estimate. Though aerating first is optional, most turf pros recommend it.
  • Travel Costs – If you choose a company to reseed your lawn that is distant from you, cost will increase.

Overseeding a lawn is quick work. For a quarter acre, the schedule might look something like this:

  • Up to 1 Hour | Rake or blow leaves, if necessary
  • Up to 30 minutes | Aerate, if that’s part of the job
  • Up to 30 Minutes | Water the lawn until well soaked (on large lawns, one crew member will work ahead of the person doing the reseeding, especially in warm/sunny weather, to ensure the ground is wet when the seed is spread
  • Up to 15 Minutes | Spread the grass seed
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We’ve found the projects listed below to be commonly related to having your lawn overseeded.

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DIY or Hire a Pro

If you enjoy yard work and pay attention to details, this is definitely one of the outdoor projects you can tackle yourself.

There are a few keys to successful lawn overseeding – preparing the lawn, choosing appropriate seed for your climate, choosing the best seeding rate and then regular watering to encourage the seed to germinate, root and grow.

Climate and seeding rate information is available from grass seed sellers. Most will be able to help with info on prepping the lawn and getting seed to grow.

Our page Overseeding Your Lawn – A How-To Guide for Homeowners is a great place to begin your research. It will also help you decide whether to DIY or hire a landscaper.

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Reviewed and Edited by Steve Hansen of Costimates

Last Updated: Monday, March 14, 2022

steve hansen of costimates-sm Steve Hansen is the Lead Editor of Costimates. (Learn more) An avid home improvement professional with more than 35 years experience in both DIY projects, as well as working as a construction foreman in residential new home building, upfits, repairs and remodeling.

"Like most homeowners, I became frustrated with the lack of quality information available on specific home improvement repairs and renovations. In 2015, Costimates was formed to help homeowners learn as much as possible about various projects and their costs so they could make better financial decisions."