Using The Aeration Machine Incorrectly
Even if you choose the correct aeration machine, you may still not be able to operate it properly.
Your whole aeration and overseeding adventure will be over rather quickly unless you get familiar with the equipment you want to use.
The most common type of aeration machine is a walk-behind, which may seem simple enough. However, because they are heavy to push you could end up missing some parts of the turf, or ripping apart your lawn when turning the machine.
Pay attention when picking up the equipment and ask questions of the pro youre renting it from. Watch some online videos beforehand, and take the first pass with the machine over a part of your lawn that is the least visible from the street in case you make a mistake.
Overseeder Vs Broadcast Spreader
The main drawback of spreading/broadcasting seeds a broadcast spreader literary spreads seed in all directions- is that it doesnt ensure maximum soil-to-seed contact since a great deal of the seed will stay on top of thatch.
For this reason, youre more likely to realize reduced germination compared to when an overseeder is used.
Not even aerating the lawn first will guarantee good germination rates sure, prior aeration may improve germination but attaining the same rates as overseeding is a long shot.
Besides, an overseeder tends to take less seed than a broadcast spreader again because most of the seeds gets directly into the soil where theyre likely to germinate.
That said, broadcast spreaders are less expensive and simpler to use.
Rejuvenate Your Lawn With Overseeding
Winter weather, aging grass, pets, and pests can take a toll on your lawn, leaving it thin, bare, and full of weeds.;
Getting into the habit of regularly overseeding your lawn can keep it looking like a thick, green carpet.
Here are a few tips to follow when overseeding your lawn:
- Overseed your lawn in the fall to reduce or eliminate competition from weedy grasses such as crabgrass, foxtails, and creeping charlie
- Start by cutting your lawn 23 inches high and removing the grass clippings so the grass seed has easy access to the; soil and roots more easily after germinating
- Rake up the bald patches to break up the soil and remove dead grass and debris, helping the grass seed to germinate
- If youre not using an overseeding product, rake in a thin layer of enriched soil over your lawn to help the seed settle in
- Keep newly overseeded lawns moist with frequent, light waterings twice a day for the first four days.;
Overseeding your lawn does more than just keep it looking green and lush. It keeps grass strong and healthy which helps with erosion reduces risk from pests and disease, and minimizes the need for dangerous chemicals.
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Why Overseed In The Fall
It’s fine to overseed in spring, although many people wait too long and end up seeding in the summer when it’s much more difficult to get new grass to grow. However, if you’re in the habit of applying a;crabgrass prevention herbicide, you can forget about spring seeding. Most pre-emergent herbicides inhibit all;seed germination;for up to 12 weeksand that puts you right in the middle of summer. Instead, it’s best to overseed right after aerating the lawn, which is ideally done in the fall.;
How To Overseed Your Lawn In Spring
Overseeding creates a thick, healthy lawn, which is the best defence against weeds. Keeping your lawn lush and thick provides natural protection from weeds and other annoyances, by allowing very little sunlight to permeate the grass, stopping growth underneath.
Step 1Step 1Cut and Rake
Before over-seeding your lawn, cut your grass at the lowest mower setting and bag the clippings. After mowing, rake the lawn to help loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass and debris. This will give the grass seed easy access to the soil so the roots can easily take hold after beginning to sprout.
Step 2Step 2Enrich Soil
Add a quarter-inch layer of enriched soil over your lawn to protect and help settle the seed. Don’t put so much down that you kill your existing grass; less than a quarter of an inch is plenty. Scotts® Turf Builder®;LawnSoil works well for this purpose.
Step 3Step 3Add Grass Seed
Which type of grass seed you choose depends on your needs. Make sure to determine how much sun or shade your lawn gets before selecting your seed. Then just fill up your spreader, adjust the setting according to the label directions and apply.
Step 4Step 4Feed
To give your new grass seedlings the essential nutrients they need for fast growth, apply Scotts®;Turf Builder®Starter®;Food for New Grass after you’ve spread the grass seed.
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Add A Light Soil Layer
Another way to help your newly added seed to settle into your lawn is introducing another layer of dirt to the top of the grass. This very thin layer should include an enriched soil that nourishes your existing soil and provides a positive growing environment for new seed.
You can find soil that is made specifically for this purpose, which includes extra fertilizer and other ingredients to make it easier for grass to grow.
Just be sure that the new soil doesnt blanket the existing grass enough to cause damage thats the opposite of our goal.
How To Use Aeration And Overseeding Together
While both aeration and overseeding are separate techniques to improve your lawn, they can be used together to create a rich, vibrant lawn.
Overseeding immediately after core aeration allows excellent soil contact for your new grass seed as it falls into the holes you made in your turf.
This improves germination rate, and you simultaneously strengthen existing grass plants while thickening your lawn with healthy new seedlings.
Its the perfect combination, and these projects can be completed together in a day.
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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.
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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Do I Need To Overseed My Lawn
The first step is deciding if your lawn needs overseeding.
Overseeding existing grass is recommended if one or more of the following conditions are met:
- You notice bare patches.
- You notice areas of grass where your lawn isnt as thick or as lush as it should be.
- Your grass is looking slightly brown, or at least not as green as it used to be.
- Your grass gets damaged by foot traffic easily. This could mean that it looks worse after being walked on for even a short amount of time.
- You havent overseeded in the previous three years.
Clean Up And Bag Clippings
While it can be incredibly beneficial to leave lawn clippings on your lawn to harness the nitrate produced, we want to be sure we clean it up before overseeding. This is because the existing grass clippings and any thatch that is on your lawn is preventing seeds from reaching the soil.
After mowing, clean up the clippings and anything else on top of your grass. The clippings can be saved for later or used on a piece of lawn that isnt being overseeded.
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Cool Vs Warm Season Grass
Here we focus on overseeding for cool season lawns. However, warm season bermuda lawns can be overseeded with bermuda grass in May or June to help remedy thin or patchy growth.
To learn more about grass types and recommended growing regions visit our Comparing Cool and Warm Season Grasses article here.;
Take Care Of Your New Seed
Fertilizing your new seed is essential for its growth. Fertilizer delivers essential nutrients that help it to germinate and grow into the healthy lawn that you want.
All-natural fertilizer is the best option for fertilizing your new seed, as phosphorous supports rapid root growth; however, there are restrictions on certain types of fertilizer, so be sure to check restrictions in your area.
My go-to method is to broadcast a thin layer of compost over my lawn after spreading the new seed.
Not only will this ensure good contact with your new lawn seed, it feeds your established grasses. Its pretty cheap to order a delivery and spread it with a wheelbarrow and shovel.
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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 Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn
There’s a secret behind achieving a beautiful, lush lawn. Landscape professionals know what it is, but many homeowners don’t. Overseedingas part of a comprehensive, proactive plankeeps lawns looking great. Whether you’re tending your first lawn or have years of experience, learning how to overseed your lawn can improve your results.
Overseeding is spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. Done right, it’s a straightforward process that gets results. As grasses mature, thinning is normalespecially if you enjoy your lawn and use it often. Overseeding keeps your lawn competitive and steeped in youth and vigor, without starting over from scratch.
The basics of overseeding are the same everywhere, but goals and timing vary based on geography and the type of grass grown. For success with overseeding your lawn, follow this basic guide:
Broadcast Seed With A Cyclone Or Drop
This second method of overseeding is also effective, if youre unable to use a slit-seeder. Aerate several times before broadcasting seed; aeration holes should be spaced not more than 2-3 inches apart. Use core-type aerating tines that remove soil plugs for better seed-to-soil contact. After overseeding, give the area a heavy watering right away to wash seed into the aeration holes and help break up the aeration cores on the surface.
One challenge with broadcast seeding is that much of the seed gets hung up in the thatch layer and does not get into the soil where it can germinate. Be sure to use grasses that have a creeping growth method to ensure even growth; grass types that do not spread will grow in the aeration holes only and give the turf a clump or spotted look. Remember broadcast seeding requires more grass seed and the germination rate is not as high as with slit-seeding.
Grasses That Benefit From Overseeding
The practice of overseeding lawns is really nothing more than spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. The golf industry has been doing it since the sport began and is an important step in maintaining quality turf. Knowing how to do it correctly is the key. There is no need to invest in expensive equipment, just what is needed to do it correctly.;
Not every grass type requires overseeding. The practice of overseeding lawns is primarily reserved for cool season bunch type grasses such as tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial and annual ryegrass and occasionally bluegrass. There are exceptions, but for most home lawns, grass types that spread by the production of “runners” are not generally overseeded unless it is damaged or diseased. This includes most warm season grass varieties. An exception is bermudagrass that is occasionally overseeded in the fall using a cool season variety.
Understanding Grass Growth
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.;
Choosing The Best Time To Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn
In most landscaping and gardening projects, timing is everything. And thats true for aeration and overseeding.
But theres not a one-size-fits-all best time to aerate and overseed your lawn. Where you live, and the type of grass you have in your yard will dictate when you should tackle these projects.
This is because you want to give the grass time to grow and strengthen before harsher weather conditions arrive, so you want to aerate and overseed your lawn just before your grass has the ideal growing conditions.
Those conditions largely depend on your geographic location and how seasonal changes affect your grass.
That said, here are the best times for aeration and overseeding most lawns:
When to Aerate and Overseed Warm-Season Grasses
If you live in a southern climate, your lawn is probably made up of warm-season grasses. For you, the best time to aerate is during the late spring, and youll want to overseed your lawn at the same time.
This is because warm-season grasses thrive and grow best during the heat of summer. By performing these lawn improvement projects in late spring your seedlings will be established just in time for their ideal growing conditions and they can thrive and develop deep roots throughout the heat of summer.
When to Aerate and Overseed Cool-Season Grasses
For you, early spring or early fall aeration and overseeding will deliver the best results, with early fall my recommendation.
How To Overseed Lawns
Preparation is an important part of the process. Rake and aerate the seedbed. Remove rocks and debris. Use the correct amount of seed in a seed spreader. Every species has a specific recommended seed rate.
Use a starter fertilizer to get the plants off to a healthy start. It is also a good idea to use a pre-emergent herbicide safe for young grass seedlings. Once you apply the seed, you may top dress lightly with soil; but in most cases, the aeration holes will catch the seed and they will grow there without top dressing.
Keep the area evenly moist until you see the seeds sprout. Then you can reduce irrigation gradually to match normally watering schedules. Wait to mow the grass until the area has filled in and the blades are at least an inch high.
Do You Need To Aerate Before Overseeding
It is not a must that you aerate your lawn before overseeding. However, since aeration loosens up compacted soil, improving the supply of oxygen, and provides nutrients and minerals to the new grass seed, it will improve germination and growth rates and help the grass grow thicker faster.
New grass will grow healthy and dense if the roots develop properly. It is important to make sure the soil is loose enough so that after germination, the roots can grow deeper for better water and nutrient access.
This is why aeration is important especially in lawns with soils that compact easily, such as clay soil. If you have this type of soil, it would be a great idea to aerate first before overseeding.
Whats The Difference Between Reseeding And Overseeding
Reseeding often requires you to dig up the grass and soil in problem areas and replace it with new turf, effectively starting over when grass cant be salvaged. Overseeding does not require a total restart. After a mow and some raking to open up the soil for seeding, your lawn should be ready for you to overseed without needing to get your hands too dirty.
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.