Aerate Your Lawn Before You Overseed
If you are trying to bring your lawn back to life and want a fuller and healthier turf, you probably already know about overseeding.
Still, many people dont realize that aerating the lawn prior to overseeding is a win-win. I recommend it to nearly every homeowner hoping to improve their yards appearance!
- Step 1: Provide enough water to the soil as this makes aeration easier. Rain can do the job for you. If not, water the lawn a day before you plan to aerate your yard.
- Step 2: Get to know your aeration machine and its limitations. Some will only cover portions of the lawn so you may need to pass over the same area several times.
- Step 3: Sometimes you will encounter soil plugs as you are passing the aeration machine. While it is easy to ignore these, dont. Instead, break up these clumps of soil to ensure aeration can be more uniform.
You cannot aerate your lawn properly without machinery, especially an existing large patch of turf. There are three different types of aeration machines available:
If you plan to overseed following aeration, I recommend that you mow your lawn pretty short prior to beginning these renovations. This will prevent your existing grass from growing too tall too quickly .
So Which Grass Seed Should You Choose
Grass seed generally comes in four categories
I recently wrote a whole grass seed buyers guide. It takes the guesswork out of which grass seed to buy because I tell you which is the best for each circumstance.
It tells you, if your lawn sits under a lot of shade, choose this grass seed. If you want a good looking lawn thatll cope with the kids playing on it, choose this one.
You Dont Choose The Right Equipment
Weve all seen the do-it-yourselfers walking across their lawn in cleats, poking holes in the soil. Instead of investing in an aeration machine, they think aerating is just about creating holes but actually, the concentrated force of stepping with a spiked shoe further compacts your soil. Even spike aerators, which use a solid tine or fork to poke holes, can cause additional compaction in the areas around the holes.
For best results, use a plug aerator, which removes a core, or plug, of grass and soil from your lawn. Look for an aerating tool or machine that removes soil plugs approximately two to three inches deep and roughly half to three quarters of an inch in diameter, about two to three inches apart.
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How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs Overseeding
Next time youre out walking in the countryside, take a close look at the grass verges and the meadows around you. Youll probably see that although its healthy, the grass looks nothing like a lawn.
There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, the species are either wild grasses that have established themselves. Or they are agricultural grasses, bred for their nutrient content rather than their good looks.
Secondly, the grass plants are actually spaced quite far apart. This makes the sward loose and open.quite unlike a lawn.
Lawn care jobs such as aeration, scarification, feeding, overseeding and weed control are all about manipulating the growth habits of individual plants so that they form deeper root systems, sit closer together in the soil and recover quicker from wear and tear.
If your lawn has obvious bare patches perhaps under trees, by childrens play equipment or where you walk most often. Then it will definitely benefit from overseeding. Other signs that your green carpet is in need of more plants are uneven colour, a thin, pale sward and weak growth.
What Type Of Grass Seed Is Best
Your choice of grass is generally determined by your areas climate. Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bentgrass and the Fine Fescues, are used primarily in western, northern and eastern areas of the United States. They tolerate moderate summertime temperatures but will also survive severe cold associated with northern winter conditions.
Warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass and Bahiagrass, are used in the south, southeast, and southwest United States. Theyll withstand extreme heat, but are unable to tolerate sustained temperatures well below freezing. Tall Fescues are used extensively in the midsouth and west regions and with the advent of new turf-type Tall Fescues, their use is expanding into other geographic areas as well. For detailed recommendations, contact your lawn care professional or county extension agent.
Do you need to start over?Proper overseeding can renovate a lawn if it has at least 50% or more healthy turf. However, if your lawn has less than 50% healthy turf, it may be better to kill out the old turf, weeds, etc., and reseed the entire lawn.
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How To Reseed Or Overseed A Lawn In 6 Easy Steps
Your lawn may look healthier at certain times of year than others. Some grass goes dormant during the winter or summer, and some lawns may battle insects, fungus, or high usage, which thins them or creates barren areas. To deal with these situations, some homeowners may consider overseeding or reseeding their lawn. Learning how to overseed a lawn or reseed a lawn isnt difficult, but it does require some planning and research. Heres a simple step-by-step guide to help you.
When To Overseed Cool
Cool-season grasses grow in the northern part of the United States. Their most active growth periods are spring and fall, and they dont usually grow much in summer. Some of the most common cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescues.
Plant cool-season grass seeds in late summer or early fall, at least 45 days before the first expected frost in your area. The soil temperature should be between 50 and 65 degrees when you overseed. Check soil temperature with a soil thermometer.
You can overseed cool-season grasses in spring instead, since they also grow actively in spring, but fall is better because there are fewer weeds for the new grass to compete with for water and soil nutrients.
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What Should Be Done After Overseeding To Ensure Good Seed Germination
After seeding, keep the seedbed moist with frequent, light applications of water. Its often necessary to water once or twice a day. Continue to mow the lawn at a height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Mow the lawn frequently to reduce the competition from the established turfgrass. Gradually increase the mowing height when beginning to mow the new seedlings.
How Do I Overseed An Existing Lawn
To reduce the competition from the established turfgrass, mow the lawn at a height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Successful overseeding requires good seed-to-soil contact. Core aerators, vertical mowers and slit seeders can be used to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
Core aerators are machines with hollow metal tubes or tines. They remove plugs of soil when run over the lawn. To prepare the site, go over the lawn three or four times with a core aerator. When finished, there should be 20 to 40 holes per square foot. Apply the seed with a drop seeder. Afterward, drag the area with a piece of chain link fence or drag mat to break up the soil cores and mix the seed into the soil.
Its also possible to prepare the site with a vertical mower. When run over the lawn, the knife-like blades of the vertical mower slice through the thatch and penetrate into the upper one-fourth to one-half inch of soil. One or two passes should be sufficient. Afterwards, remove any dislodged debris from the lawn. Sow grass seed over the lawn with a drop seeder. Work the seed into the soil by again going over the site with the vertical mower.
In addition, lawns can be overseeded with a slit seeder. It makes small grooves in the soil and deposits the seed directly into the slits.
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Correct Existing Lawn Problems
For troubles beyond normal thinning, test your soil and make corrections before overseeding. Follow test recommendations for using soil amendments and repairing bare lawn spots. If needed, take time to dethatch and core aerate compacted lawns so air, moisture and seed can get to the soil. Pennington One Step Complete products combine premium seed with a stabilized-release fertilizer and wood mulch to simplify lawn repairs.
Things You Need To Know About Overseeding Your Lawn
In this post, were taking an in-depth look at overseeding your lawn and answering some of the most frequently asked questions about overseeding.
Visitors to the Premier Lawns YouTube channel often ask questions about various aspects of lawn care. In todays blogpost, Im going to focus on the five most important things you should know about overseeding your lawn.
- What is overseeding and why should it be part of your lawn care regime?
- How to tell if your lawn needs overseeding
- The best time of year to overseed your lawn
- Which type of grass is best for overseeding
- How to get the best results from overseeding
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Professional Lawn Care Help
After you overseed your lawn, your grass will be thicker and healthier. If you want to keep it that way, you have to put in the work to maintain it consistently.
Proper lawn maintenance includes cutting the grass every one or two weeks during its growing season. Mowing the lawn on a regular schedule encourages the grass to grow in a dense mat.
Dont have time for all that mowing? Dont sweat it weekly service from LawnStarters local lawn care pros is only a click away.
Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock
When To Overseed A Lawn
First of all, you should avoid overseeding during the hottest and coldest months of the year, so that excludes summers and winters. The best time to overseed in the UK would be spring March, April and early May, or early autumn late August to September. During these months, the weather is not too hot, not too cold, there is a high chance of rain and, as we mentioned a few times already, seeds need moisture in order to germinate. If you live outside of the UK, you should consider the climate conditions in your area and plan the reseeding process accordingly.
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Can I Overseed Without Aerating First
Aeration is a super important step in the processdon’t skip it!
Lawn soil thats been sitting awhile can firm up quite a bit. Also, each time you mow, a layer of dead grasscalled thatchbuilds up between the soil and live grass blades. So overseeding a lawn as-is means youll be dropping seeds overtop dead grass and packed soil. Nine times out of ten, those seeds wont sprout. Thats where aeration comes in handyit loosens up the soil, removes thatch and helps air and water flow in so seeds have the perfect growing environment.
If you cant get your hands on an aerator, the next best option is to rake your lawn with a metal rake to remove mild thatch and loosen soil. For heavy thatch use a dethatcher.
Dethatch So Your Lawn Can Breathe Easy
If your grass is looking weak and pale, its more than likely heavy thatch has built up over your soil, leaving it gasping for air.
Some thatch is okay but more than an inch can cause problems for your lawn by trapping water and keeping oxygen and nutrients from reaching the roots.
Thatch can also be a breeding ground for insects and disease-causing organisms.
The only way to remove excessive thatch is by vigorous raking with a good, stiff rake and plenty of elbow grease!
You may have to use muscles you dont often use, so here are a few tips to save your hands, arms, shoulders, and back:
- Keep switching your hands so you dont focus all the pressure on one area and cause a painful blister
- Use proper body position and keep your legs slightly bent, your weight centered and your back straight.
- Avoid twisting your back by moving from your hips and moving your feet.
- Use short strokes so youre not constantly reaching and putting stress on your shoulders.
- Pick up thatch by crouching down with your knees rather than bending from the waist.
Its a good idea to incorporate dethatching as a regular part of your late-summer/fall cleanup.
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Why Is It Important To Rake In The Seed After Overseeding The Lawn
Raking in the seed gives the seed a better chance of germinating successfully. By raking in the grass seed, you reduce the seed’s exposure to direct sunlight and provide it cover to retain moisture. This allows the grass seed to germinate without getting too hot or too dry.
At the end of the day, aeration and overseeding are excellent ways to green up your lawn. By decompacting your soil, allowing nutrients to reach deeper, and planting new grass. Your lawn will be thicker, fuller, and greener in no time!
For more great lawn care and landscaping, tips check out our lawn care blog. In the meantime be sure to share this infographic with your friends and family, so you can make your neighborhood a little bit greener.
Aid Recovery After Invasive Treatments
Lawnsmiths who are in the pursuit of perfection also top-dress their lawns. This added topsoil makes for the perfect bed in which to spread grass seed.
These treatments can be done as part of a lawns annual care regime or as part of a full lawn restoration project. However, scarifying and aerating are pretty invasive and are likely to leave your lawn looking a bit worse for wear afterwards.
Overseeding with new grass seed will help the lawn to recover from these treatments as quickly as possible.
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Choose A Diversified Seed Mix
Having a balanced mixture of fescue types , bluegrass types and perennial ryegrass limits the amount of permanent damage insects, disease and drought stress can inflict throughout the warmer season. For example, one type of grass may be highly affected by drought stress, while another many not. Including different types of seed in your mix minimizes the amount of stress that your lawn is susceptible to from one particular stressor. Think of this as having a diversified investment in your lawn!
The Benefits Of Overseeding
Many older lawns were established with common type turf grasses not suited for the needs of todays homeowner. Theyre often more disease and insect prone, requiring more fertilizer and water.
Overseeding newer turfgrass varieties into an older lawn can help it better withstand insects, disease, drought, shady conditions and heavy traffic. The investment in overseeding pays off by reducing the amount of fertilizer, water and pesticides required. Most importantly, a renovated lawn stays greener and looks thicker and healthier!
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Revive Your Lawn By Overseeding
Is your lawn looking thin and brown? Well, Scotts can help you get back to the thick, lush, green lawn you’ve always wanted and all you need to do is overseed. If you put down a layer of seed over your lawn in the spring or fall, the thin areas will thicken up, and your lawn will start to look terrific again.
How To Maintain Your Lawn After Overseeding
Grass seed takes seven to 21 days to germinate.
- Youll need to keep your lawn moist during this time to trigger germination. If you have an irrigation system, this is easy to do. Otherwise, youll need to set out a sprinkler or water smaller areas by hand.
- Once you see seed popping up, dont stop watering. These little seedlings need to be nurtured during their first eight weeks of existence. Without a mature root system they can dry out quickly and die.
- Applying a starter fertilizer at the time of overseeding is not necessary. If you normally fertilizer your lawn, there are enough nutrients in the soil to get the new seed growing. Applying fertilizer to your lawn after overseeding can create unnecessary competition from existing grass, making it difficult for new seedlings to get established.
With the help of a few basic tools, a nearby rental store and a free weekend, you can restore your lawns original health and beauty. Fall is a great time for other lawn care projects, too. Aerating and fertilizing are perfect companions to overseeding, as long as they happen a week or two before you overseed.
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S To Aerating And Overseeding Your Lawn This Fall
Look, not only is aeration and overseeding an easy process, it can be fun too.
But you have to do it right, or you will be wasting your time.
To ensure you are doing things right, follow these 5 simple steps to aerate and overseed the right way.
When is the best time to Aerate?
You can aerate in the early spring or late fall. Most people get it done in the fall so that the grass seed can overwinter in the lawn.
In my experience, the best time to aerate and overseed is right after the last cutting of the lawn for the season. But if you miss the fall, early spring is good too.
Custom Lawn Cares Aeration Services
Custom Lawn Care has the largest fleet of Professional Core Aeration equipment in the state. Several different types of equipment allow us to handle any size lawn in an efficient and professional manner. For the best of turf health, consider a core aeration as the perfect service to combine with your plan to overseed your lawn! Contact Custom Personalized Lawn Care TODAY to book your fall core aeration!
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