Similar to the benefits seen after re-potting a weary root-bound house plant, aeration and overseeding keeps your lawn young and actively growing.
Core aeration creates small holes in the ground by removing plugs of thatch and soil and depositing them onto the surface of the lawn. As the soil plugs decompose over time, they release beneficial nutrients back into the lawn that help control thatch buildup. The holes also open up turfgrass roots to easier access to water, air, and nutrients, resulting in a stronger, healthier turf.
The benefits of core aeration are indisputable, so here are some tips to help prepare for aeration & overseeding.
Decide Who Will Aerate
First, determine whether core aeration and overseeding is something you would like to do yourself, or if you prefer to hire a local lawn care service to do it for you. Aeration can be physically challenging and requires proper planning.
Choose the Proper Grass Seed
Know what type of grass is already in your lawn. This will help determine the best time to aerate and seed. The fall is the best time for cool-season grasses and the spring is best for warm-season grasses.
Have Seed and Fertilizer Ready
It’s best to spread grass seed and fertilizer right after a lawn has been aerated due to the holes it creates. Make sure grass seed and fertilizer are on-hand the same day aeration is planned.
Reserve an Aerator in Advance
Aerators and spreaders can be rented locally. It’s best to call and reserve equipment in advance to ensure it will be available when needed.
Water the Lawn
Water the lawn two days before aerating in order to soften the ground for easy core removal.
Clear the lawn of any debris such as leaves, sticks, or rocks prior to aerating to avoid breaking aerator spikes.
Wear Proper Safety Gear
When working with power equipment, it is a good idea to wear proper safety equipment.
Aerate, Seed, then Fertilize
For best results, aerate the lawn and then spread seed and fertilizer afterwards. Going in this order allows the seed and fertilizer to fall into the aeration holes and make full contact with the soil.
Finish by Watering the Lawn
The final step is to water the lawn for roughly 15 minutes to set the seed and fertilizer in place.