What is lawn aeration and overseeding?
Overseeding is a simple process that involves covering your lawn in grass seed. Lawn aeration is the name for a process that essentially makes it easier for the soil underneath your lawn to breathe.
Why do you need lawn aeration for your soil to breathe? Well, your lawn over time experiences two things that restrict the soil:
What is Thatch?
Thatch is a collection of living and dead materials, including roots, stems, shoots, stolons, crowns, and rhizomes that gather at the base of your grass blades just above the soil.
When this layer of plant matter becomes an inch thick or greater, it holds water which suffocates the soil. It also becomes a safe house for organisms and insects that can destroy your lawn.
What is Compaction?
Soil compaction occurs from activity that happens on your lawn over time, including foot traffic, animals, and any objects that are set on or moved across your yard.
What is core aeration?
Core aeration uses a special machine (lawn aerator) designed to pull plugs of soil and thatch from your lawn.
It is best to perform aeration and seeding together. Once you remove thatch and reduce soil compaction with aeration, overseeding the lawn will give grass seeds a prime opportunity to access the nutrients they need to develop a healthy root system and grow into thick green grass.
Why are aerating and seeding beneficial?
Lawn aeration controls thatch build-up and makes soil less compact. By doing this, aeration creates space for water, oxygen, and nutrients to access the soil and nourish your lawn’s root system.
Seeding prevents the natural thinning process that occurs from lawn usage and the maturing of grass. Overseeding ensures your grass stays lush with a strong and youthful root system.
What happens if you do not do lawn aeration and overseeding?
If you do not aerate your lawn, your yard will start to collect a build-up of thatch. Getting rid of thatch will help to regulate your lawn’s temperature and moisture levels.
However, as soon as your lawn collects more than an inch of thatch, you are in for a world of trouble. Thick layers of thatch make your lawn’s root system more vulnerable to drying out in the heat and dying.
Additionally, during rainy periods thatch holds on to excessive amounts of water and becomes heavy on your lawn, cutting off the oxygen supply to your yard root system.
What is the best time for aeration and overseeding?
The best time for aeration and overseeding depends on the type of grass on your lawn and the region you live in. The climate where you live influences whether your warm-season grass or cool-season grass will thrive on your lawn.
Aeration and overseeding for cool-season grasses
Late summer and early fall are the best times typically for aeration and seeding of cool-season grasses. Fall aeration and overseeding for this type of grass are ideal because there is more moisture in the ground, less weed growth, and fewer active diseases targeting grass seedlings.
The climate during these months makes it easier for cool-season grass seed to germinate and grow a strong root system.
Aeration for warm-season grasses
Spring and early summer are the best times to aerate warm-season grasses. However, spring aeration is most effective because this is the time that warm-season grass is growing rapidly. The aeration process significantly impacts this growth because it helps the grass return from dormancy.
How to prepare your lawn for aeration and overseeding
There are five simple steps you must take to prepare your lawn for aeration and overseeding:
Clean up your lawnRemove branches, twigs, trash, and any other objects that will be in the way of the aerator machine.
Water your lawnIf the weather is dry out, several days before your plans for aeration and seeding, water your lawn.
Mow your lawnThe recommended height that is effective for aeration and seeding is one and one-half inches.
Rake your lawnBy raking your lawn, you will remove leaves and dead grass and make the topsoil looser and, therefore, easier for the grass seed to access.
Flag hidden objects: These objects can be anything from outdoor lights and sprinkler heads to valve box covers. The last thing you want is to run over these during the aeration process crushing them and potentially hurting the machine in the process.
Why lawn aeration, seeding, and fertilizing are a triple threat
Aeration creates the perfect access points for seeding and fertilization to get into the soil and your lawn’s root system to have the most impact. Aeration provides the exposure seeds need to thrive in soil.
Likewise, aeration gives fertilizer the ability to provide nutrients directly to your grass roots. To make the most out of your aeration, overseeding, and fertilization efforts, make sure you do the following:
- First, aerate and then overseed your lawn.
- Within the two days, after you’ve aerated and overseeded your lawn, you should water your lawn and apply fertilizer. The fertilizer you use needs to be customized for your grass type and climate. It also should not contain weed control.
- Stay off your grass. Reduce foot traffic as much as possible for the next month to allow your grass seed to germinate.
- Mow your lawn once after the grass reaches four inches. Do not water your lawn for one day before mowing. Set your mower to the level that is the absolute highest. If you go any shorter, you will hurt the progress your new grass seeds are making.
- Do not mow your lawn for the remainder of the first month. Mowing your lawn before this timeframe will interfere with the grass seed’s ability to establish itself and create new growth for your lawn.
- Water your lawn every day within the first two weeks of aeration and overseeding. Always be sure to water your lawn in the mornings.
- During weeks three and four, water your lawn three to four times a week.
- After week four, you may go back to your regular lawn mowing schedule and water your lawn twice a week.
Why Choose Green Rx Inc.
Aeration and seeding services in St. Charles
Green Rx Inc is a family-owned and locally-operated business specializing in providing high-quality aeration and seeding services to residential and commercial customers in St. Charles, Missouri, and the surrounding areas.
If you are looking to get the lush, green lawn of your dreams, look no further than Green Rx Inc.
If you have cool-season grass, spring or fall are the best times to aerate and overseed your lawn. However, outside of these seasons, it is too late to aerate your cool-season grass lawn, and it is better to wait for one of the upcoming opportunities at the appropriate time of year.
If you have warm-season grass, late spring and early summer are the best times to aerate. However, if you’ve missed these windows of opportunity, you will need to wait until the following year.
The cost of aeration and overseeding can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the size of your property. Call Green Rx today at (636) 441-1414 for a free estimate.
You don’t necessarily have to aerate before overseeding. However, you will significantly improve the results from your seeding efforts if you do.
Aeration makes it easier for grass seed to access the water, nutrients, and oxygen they need to germinate. Meaning that the germination of your seeds will be more successful, giving you grass that grows quicker and thicker.