Homeowner How-to: Aerating and Overseeding
Author: Shawn Thomas Determine the Need for Lawn Aeration If you have noticed that your turf grass isn’t looking its best or that water has difficulty penetrating through the soil surface, it may be time to aerate your lawn. Clay soils and lawns that bear heavy foot and vehicle traffic are especially notorious for needing aeration as they become compacted over time. Using a shovel, dig a small section of grass about six inches deep and examine. If the grass roots don’t extend further than two inches deep into the soil, your lawn would benefit from aeration. Note: Don’t aerate a lawn that has been seeded or sodded within one year of planting. Your aerator should not be used when lawn conditions are too wet or too dry. To determine condition, dig a small amount of your soil (about three inches deep): If the soil appears powdery and brittle it is too dry. Wait until a later date, as the tines will not penetrate properly. If the soil appears damp, roll a small amount into a ball in the palm of your hand. If it forms a ball, then it is too wet; the soil should fall apart when rolled in the palm of your hand. Wait a day or two for the soil to dry. If the soil is too wet, the tines will not operate effectively and your tractor could lose traction, causing lawn damage. What is Overseeding? Overseeding is simply when you put seed down on top of already existing turf. Many times, when planting new seed you will need to break up or aerate existing turf and soil to create a new place for the seed to take root. Although the term overseeding may sound negative, the effects of overseeding your lawn can be extremely positive if done correctly. The Benefits of Overseeding Overseeding can help improve the look and overall quality of your lawn, helping your grass to appear greener, fuller, healthier, and more vibrant. Lawns that simply look old and tired or those that have been attacked by bugs or disease are perfect for overseeding. The process of overseeding can help protect your lawn against bug infestation and disease, deal with shade, heavy traffic compaction, or extreme drought. Overseeding is the perfect option if you are looking to strengthen and protect your lawn in order to keep it looking just right. How to Overseed The first step to overseeding is to ensure your lawn is right for it. Make sure you have corrected any issues that may prevent new seed from taking root including: Soil Compaction, Poor Air Circulation, Poor Fertility and Poor Light Quality. Have aerating and overseeding questions? Post them in the comments section below!