Spring Aerating And Overseeding In Eastern Pennsylvania

How important is aeration for your property? The difference in vibrant, healthy grass could sometimes be whether or not you are letting your turf breathe.

What is Aeration and Overseeding?

Aeration is a procedure that uses a machine to remove plugs or soil and then places them on top of the soil surface. By eliminating these plugs, you have all the oxygen to fill in the holes relieving compaction. It is during this time that you should overseed your lawn with beneficial blends of turfgrass. By using newer strands of seed, your lawn will have higher resistance to disease, more exceptional ability to withstand drought, and in most situations, a much healthier and vibrant appearance. Low fertility, in combination with the extreme constant heat of the summer, potential diseases and compaction affect the ability of turf grass to thicken your lawn. All of these stresses will make a lot of sparse areas; some may be small and some big. The overseeding process thickens the lawn by placing new seed, and ultimately new grass plants, into these bare areas.

Spring or Fall Aeration: Which is better?

Traditional thinking has been that fall is the best season to aerate cool season turf, while spring is the season of choice for contractors working warm season turf. In reality, aeration can be beneficial when performed in either season, and that’s the key to integrating it into your service for your customers. Aeration is best performed just before or during periods of high growth, but not immediately preceding or during periods of stress to the lawn, whether from heat or drought. The type of grasses that make up your garden will determine the best time of year to aerate.

In the spring, wait until you’ve mowed the lawn a few times before aerating. This will ensure the grass is growing fast enough to recover and take advantage of the increased pore space and air exchange at the root zone that aeration creates. You can reduce the potential for weed competition and increase the hardiness of the grasses by applying fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed killer following aeration. But don’t use a weed killer if you plan to overseed following aeration, as it will prevent germination of the seed you put down. As for frequency, aeration should be performed at least once per year on most lawns, while twice annually is best for lawns with compacted soil or soil with high clay content.

What To Do Before or After Aeration

Once your lawn is aerated, there are many tips you can follow to encourage the best results for your lawn. These include:

  • Watering after aeration is always a good idea, aeration should never be performed when turf is wet, or the dirt contains enough moisture to be muddy.
  • As mentioned earlier, the application of fertilizer and weed killer is beneficial shortly following aeration, but be sure to skip the weed killer if you’re going to overseed following aeration.
  • Overseeding following aeration makes sense because seeds can take advantage of the disturbed surface to create better seed-to-soil contact.
  • Better seed-to-soil contact means better conditions for successful germination.

For more information on Green Machine Lawn Care‘s Spring Aeration and Overseeding service contact us today!