What is Aeration and Overseeding, and How is it Done?
Aeration and Overseeding
What do I need to do to prepare my lawn for aeration?
There are three things you need to prepare your lawn:
- If you have any type of irrigation or sprinkler system, you need to mark it by using stake or lawn paint to make it visible, so that they do not get destroyed.
- If you have an invisible dog fence please use stakes, flags, or lawn paint to highlight where the fence is buried. If you are unable to locate your invisible fence you can call the company that installed it. They should be able to assist you in finding it so that you can mark it.
- Any hidden obstacle that needs to be marked out (drains, underground wires, etc.) please mark them as well.
The aerator is designed to puncture and press deeply into the soil. It will break and destroy anything in its path, so please prepare your lawn.
What is Aeration, and how can it benefit your lawn?
Aeration is the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere. Mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn will help to improve natural soil aeration. This is commonly called “Core-Aeration” in the lawn service industry. You may have also heard of it referred to as soil cultivation, coring, spiking, or slicing. Core Aeration allows air, water and fertilizer to better reach the root zone. This stimulates root growth to create healthier, stronger turfgrass plants.
Core Aeration is sometimes combined with Overseeding. Overseeding after summer’s heat subsides and before the first winter freeze, allows you to repair seasonal wear and tear, and gives your turf an 8-9 month jump start of rot growth. The longer and stronger your grass roots are, the less water your lawn will require in the future. Your lawn will be more resistant to disease and weeds, as well. This means that your lawn will emerge healthier and greener in the Spring.
When is the best time of year for me to Aerate and Overseed?
In our cool season climate, Aeration would be beneficial to perform in Spring or Fall, at least once per year. Overseeding, on the other hand, would be best performed in the Fall. This is the optimal time for root growth in turfgrass. The stronger the root system is, the healthier and better looking your lawn will be. Remember, a thick, dense lawn is the best form of weed control.
What to do after Aeration and Overseeding
To have a thriving, healthy and better-looking lawn after Aeration and Overseeding, there are certain practices and tips that will help you get the best results possible!
- Water the Aerated and Overseeded lawn immediately and continue to water it frequently for approximately 28 days. Your lawn should be well saturated, almost to the point of puddling. You should water your lawn every day until you see germination occurring.
- Remove all fallen leaves immediately. Leaves left on the lawn will potentially suffocate and kill the germinating grass.
- Leave plugs (dirt clumps) where they are. The plugs occur naturally after you aerate and overseed your lawn. These plugs will slowly erode and sink back into the soil. Water, mowing, and foot traffic will help them disintegrate.
- After 28 days, water less frequently. The new seedlings should be at least two inches tall. Watering should be cut back to three times a week.
- Lastly, be patient. Do not allow your soil to dry out. If the soil dries out, the seedlings dry out and will potentially die.