To achieve and maintain a beautiful lawn, there are some basic lawn care techniques and practices that we’ll be going over. However, when it comes to a thick, healthy lawn, aeration and overseeding are most likely to provide you with the most noticeable results next spring and summer.
What is Aeration?
Aeration is a process that perforates the soil with small holes to allow water, air, nutrients, and grass seed to penetrate. Aeration helps relieve soil compaction and improves root development in your lawn.
Core Aeration vs. Spike Aeration
The two most popular ways to aerate are with a spike aerator or plug aeration. Custom Spray uses plug/core aeration because a spike aerator is known to compact the soil around the spike. Spikes poke holes into the ground and don’t remove any of the soil.
A core aerator will pull 2-3” plugs of soil out of your lawn, leaving small ½” – ¾” diameter holes, approximately 4-6” apart. Pulling these core plugs out of your lawn allows your lawn to breathe freely and allows for better root development of healthy grass. It also gives new grass seeds direct access to the soil for germination.
What Do I Do With The Plugs?
After we aerate your lawn there will be plugs all over. You don’t need to do anything with them. The plugs will break down by your mower or dissolve in the rain. They will eventually return to the soil, giving your lawn a clean, uniform appearance.
What is Overseeding?
Overseeding your lawn is something we do in tandem with aeration. Overseeding is an organic lawn care technique that involves spreading a high-quality mix of grass seed to your existing lawn. We overseed with a variety of Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Rye that grow well in both full sun and shaded areas.
When Should You Aerate and Overseed?
The best time in Northeast Ohio to aerate and overseed your lawn is in late summer to early fall. This gives your new grass seeds some time to germinate and get established before temperatures drop too low and growth ceases. Once the spring comes, the young grass will have some time to develop without competition from summer weeds.
Overseeding in the fall is the best because the soil temperatures are still warm which is necessary for seed germination. Colder air and warmer soil temperatures are ideal for new grass growth.
Do I Need Lawn Aeration and Overseeding?
This is one of the most common questions we get from customers trying to determine whether or not they should call us for aeration. You should call us for lawn aeration if:
- Your lawn gets heavy usage – Children, pets, and anything else that could compact the soil.
- If your lawn feels spongy – Usually the spongy feeling is an excessive thatch problem. If your thatch layer is greater than a ½” then aeration would be recommended.
- New Construction – with newly constructed homes, the soil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Soil layering – If your lawn was sod over existing soil, then you have a finer texture over the existing coarse soil which can disrupt drainage.
- Bare or Dry spots – If you notice any bare spots or cracking of the soil.
If after you’ve read the above, and still wonder whether or not you need Aeration and Overseeding… No worries, it’s still going to improve your lawn. It’s one of the most productive things you can do to relieve compaction, reduce thatch and introduce new seed cultivars to your existing turf.
Aeration and Overseeding are good for your lawn care program and can greatly improve the appearance of your lawn and the condition of your soil. Fall Aeration and over-seeding are more effective and do not interfere with spring crabgrass pre-emergent treatments.
Irrigation and Dog Fences
Because aeration pulls plugs out of your soil, it’s important to let us know where your underground irrigation and dog fences are so we don’t do any damage to them. If you have either of these, the homeowner must mark the placement of the heads and/or wires so we don’t get near them. White plastic forks work well or flags. If you need flags, let your lawn technician know in advance.