What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn
What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn
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.
After Aeration And Overseeding
Now, its time for lawn care! You wont see the results for about three weeks, but the waiting period is critical. Its important to water your lawn every day for the first week. Try to do it early in the morning. Before fertilizing the lawn, make sure to wait three weeks. Do not use any weed control products for this three-week period as well. The grass needs an opportunity to grow, and extreme products can destroy the new grass before it has a chance to take hold. Finally, do not mow for 2-3 weeks. To give your grass the best chance to grow tall and healthy, its important to give it unrestricted growing time for several weeks after aeration and overseeding.
Need assistance with lawn care? Our expert team at SecureLawn can handle aeration, seasonal maintenance, overseeding, turf care, and more. Reach out if youd like to discuss our packages and talk with our technicians about your specific needs.
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Seed And Fertiliser Spreader
Spreading grass seed and fertiliser is pretty easy to do by hand if you only have a small lawn.
That said, its much more accurate with a spreader and if you have a big lawn, its really the only way to do it.
You can buy small, handheld spreaders for small areas or wheeled, broadcast spreaders for larger lawns.
S Used For Overseeding Lawns And Soil Preparation
Any method you choose to evenly distribute seed will work. The task of overseeding lawns doesn’t require expensive equipment. Smaller areas can be done by using your hands if you do not have access to a fertilizer spreader. If overseeding lawns by hand, you should first divide the amount of seed you want to spread in half. Then carefully spread half of the seed by broadcasting it over the entire area. Choose a single direction to walk while spreading the seed. Then spread the other half of the seed at a right angle to the first direction you walked in. By broadcasting the seed in two different directions you have a greater chance of getting complete coverage.
Small hand-held rotary spreaders can also be used for small areas. They are generally inexpensive and are more precise than spreading by hand.
For larger areas, it is better to use a drop or rotary spreader. This is the same type of spreader that is used to spread lawn fertilizer. Drop spreaders, like the name sounds, drop seed directly below the spreader. The width of drop will never be wider than the spreader itself. Drop spreaders are more accurate when working around flower gardens or ponds, etc, but are not well suited for very large areas. Care must be taken to ensure you are walking in straight lines. Any swerve may result in a missed area. Overseeding lawns with a drop spreader is more work if the area is large.
Preparing the Grass and Soil for Overseeding
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When To Overseed Warm
Warm-season grasses grow most actively in the heat of late spring and summer, and they thrive in the southern half of the country. Common warm-season grasses include Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass.
If youre overseeding your warm-season lawn with warm-season grass seeds, plant them in late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature is between 70 and 90 degrees.
But theres another option for overseeding warm-season grass. Many homeowners choose to add cool-season ryegrass to their lawns in fall so their lawn remains green throughout winter. If youre planting ryegrass seeds, overseed in fall, when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees.
In the extreme South, you should use annual ryegrass for winter color. It will die out in June when the temperatures start to rise.
If you live in a milder climate in the middle of the country, you can plant perennial ryegrass, which will survive and go dormant during summer and green up again next fall. That way, you dont have to keep overseeding every fall. Dont bother planting perennial ryegrass in the extreme South, though it will die in the heat just the same as the annual variety.
How Does Overseeding Help Your Lawn
Overseeding has many benefits for lawn health, greenery, and longevity.
Keeps your lawn abundant: Overseeding is a fantastic way to prevent or treat thin or bare patches in a yard by keeping the grass thick and robust. When ugly, thin patches appear, overseeding can restart the growing process right away.
Keeps weeds at bay: By adding grass seed to an existing lawn, it remains thick and hardy. Seeding helps keep weeds from taking root and taking over a lawn because there is limited space for weeds to grow. Thick and healthy grass protects lawns from other vulnerabilities as well, such as insect infestation or soil erosion.
Keeps your lawn colorful: Adding different varieties of grass seed to your yard can extend the lawns color through the season sometimes even by months. By choosing hardier seeds in colder climates, lawns will stay green and look beautiful for longer.
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Mow The Lawn Lower Than 2 Inches
The first thing to do when overseeding without aerating is to mow the grass. Cut the grass lower than you usually do. The rule of thumb here is to mow lower than 2 inches, preferably as low as 1-1/2 inches.
- Mowing short before overseeding prevents weeds and established grass from competing with new seedlings.
- It also allows sunlight to reach the soil for the much needed warmth for germination.
- Mowing also prevents grass seed wastage .
Pro tip: For this type of mowing, ensure that you use a grass catcher to bag the clippings. You dont want to mulch the lawn because it will prevent grass seed from being in contact with soil for proper germination.
Depending on the turfgrass you have, you may want to cut the grass much lower than that. This is true for dense and tall grasses such as Bermuda grass which can form a very dense canopy.
The reason for mowing low is to make sure as much of the grass seed as possible gets into contact with soil. In addition, mowing low makes sure the grass gets enough sunlight for growth soon after germination.
Some grass types such as Bermuda grass require full sunlight all day for optimal growth. Therefore, do not be afraid to mow low just before overseeding, but be careful not to scalp the lawn.
What Is Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration is something we’ve covered in great detail in our liquid aeration versus mechanical aeration guide. However, to recap, aeration is a necessary task that helps to keep your grass healthy, thick, and luscious green.
It’s the process of allowing more air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil beneath your grass. By aerating your lawn, you can eliminate the issues that plague healthy backyards such as soil compaction and troublesome thatch that forms a barrier to moisture, nutrient contribution, and air circulation, effectively suffocating your grass.
With aeration covered, let’s take a look at overseeding.
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How Do I Prepare My Lawn For Reseeding
Mow Low. Before overseeding your thin lawn, cut your grass shorter than normal 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 it can root more easily after germinating.
Slit Seeding To Overseed
Slit seeding is the best method for overseeding a lawn. It ensures that seeds get into the soil to aid in germination.
A slit seeder has concave disk blades that open up the soil, and a series of tubes which align with those disks and allow your seed to drop into the shallow cuts made in your lawn.
In this method, fewer seeds are needed, as they are directly put into the soil. It ensures seed-to-soil contact and provides excellent, even coverage.
When using an overseeder I recommend that you spread half of your seed in a North-South pattern across your lawn, then spread the other half traveling East-West. This cross-hatch pattern across your entire lawn ensures that you get a beautiful, even result.
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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.
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.
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Carry Out Some Prep Work
Rather than just jumping in and overseeding straight away. Taking a few steps beforehand can make your overseeding much more successful.
Hand pulling any really large and obvious weeds is probably a no-brainer but worth mentioning all the same. You want to create conditions that will maximize the chances of the grass seed being more successful than the weeds. So, give it a fighting chance by removing what weeds you can first.
Giving your lawn a good watering a couple of days before overseeding is also good practice. If you water too much immediately after overseeding you may just drown the seeds.
Mowing your lawn really short before overseeding also gives the new seeds a good chance of success without being shaded out by existing grass. But be sure to remove the grass clippings. While leaving a fine sprinkling of grass clippings is a good practice most of the time , you dont want any grass clippings on your lawn before overseeding.
Removing thatch is important for similar reasons. New seeds wont have much of a chance if they have to fight through thatch first. If youre new to dethatching, I have a how-to guide here.
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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Why Is Overseeding Important
There are various benefits of overseeding your lawn. Some of them are:
- Overseeding helps to revive worn-out lawns. It is an easy way to bring a lawn back to a healthy state lush, thick, and green, without reseeding, buying sod, or starting the lawn all over again from scratch.
- Spreading seed on an established lawn can make it more resilient to insects, drought, diseases, and other tough conditions which may be causing your lawn to struggle.
- Overseeding is a natural and cost-effective way of reducing the need for pesticides, water, and fertilizer.
- Overseeding enhances the color and consistency of your lawns appearance. It can also prevent weeds from growing by helping to thicken your lawns canopy and preventing light from hitting the soil.
Above all, overseeding a lawn makes it healthy and rejuvenates it. A renovated and healthy lawn looks thicker and retains an attractive green color.
For me, overseeding is definitely worth it and its one of the easiest projects any homeowner can take to improve the appearance of their yard.
You just need to do it at the right time of year, and make sure you prep properly. Lets discuss that now.
Change A Lawns Appearance Or Tolerance
Overseeding allows you to gradually change the appearance of your lawn or increase its tolerance in different ways.
For example, lets say you have an ornamental lawn that doesnt cope very well with the kids and pets running around on it. Overseeding with a mix of harder wearing grass types will create the best of both worlds a good looking lawn thatll cope with the stresses your family puts on it.
On the other hand, you might have shady areas on your lawn where the grass is patchy and sparse. Overseeding with a grass blend that grows well in shady areas will improve both the look and tolerance of your lawn in those areas.
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Can I Just Throw Grass Seed On My Lawn
Yes, you can just throw grass seeds on your lawn to fix bare patches. As long as you can ensure an even spread when scattering seeds by hand, you will be fine.
However, you will have better results if you do some preparation first, such as mowing, aerating, and spreading a thin layer compost over your lawn. Doing these steps will give your seeds the best chance of growing.
For Overseeding Preparation Is Key
When you begin to overseed your lawn, you have to prepare the area. To prepare your lawn for overseeding:
- Mow your lawn shorter than you normally would.
- Remove all of the clippings .
- Loosen the turf with a rake.
Mow your lawn shorter than usual to improve the percentage of seed that contacts the soil.
Youll also want to delay mowing your new grass after overseeding. Mowing your lawn close will buy you some extra time before you have to mow. Mowing too early can rip your new grass out because it wont have strong enough roots.
For normal mowing I recommend mowing 1/3 of the grass length. When overseeding, get closer to 2/3 of the grass length cut and raked.
After mowing and bagging your clippings,, rake over the area to remove all excess clippings and debris and to begin to turn over the soil, so it is ready to receive the new seed.
Raking is a good way to loosen the soil in your lawn so your grass seed has good contact. Without good soil contact, your seed wont germinate and grow.
I go over my lawn with an iron rake to loosen the turf.
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Choose The Right Grass Seed
Did you know that there are many different species of grass that can make up a lawn seed mix? The species you choose will play a large role in how successful your overseeding project is.
Different lawn species are suited to different climates, different amounts of water, and different amounts of direct sun.
You can also exercise some preferences depending on whether you want thin or thick blades of grass, hard-wearing for lots of foot traffic or less hard-wearing but more aesthetically pleasing, and low maintenance that doesnt need mowing as often, or faster-growing that does require regular mowing.
In saying that, if you already have some grass seed left over, then by all means use it. There is no sense in letting it go to waste. Chances are it will still be fine to use as well. If youre not sure, Ive explained how to work out if grass seed is bad in this article.
How To Overseed Or Reseed Your Lawn In 10 Easy Steps
In order to avoid a lawn that looks like a barren desert, you need to know how to reseed your lawn. By following these simple steps, you can create a beautiful and healthy lawn that will last for years.
Seeding a lawn is the process of planting new grass seed in an area where the grass is thin or missing. There are two ways to do this: overseeding and reseeding. Overseeding is the best way to fill in small patches of thin or balding grass. Reseeding is done when you want to replace your lawns grass completely.
Overseeding is the technique of seeding an existing lawn. It is often done in the fall when the weather is cool and the days are shorter. The new seed will germinate and grow slowly over the winter so that by the time spring arrives, your lawn will be thicker and fuller.
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