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View Full Version : selling aeration AND overseeding in the spring


djlunchbox
02-25-2011, 03:58 PM
are any of you doing this (cool season grasses) in the spring. I can see aeration, but i have some customers interested in overseeding in the spring. the way i see it, even if i aerate in a few weeks up here and overseed, then when i do the first mow, i'll just ruin the seed. the obvious answer is wait until fall, but there are some people that are asking about it. what do you guys do in the spring. slit seed? topdress after overseed with compost?

RigglePLC
02-26-2011, 11:12 AM
Ruin the seed by mowing it? If its tall enough to mow--should be no problem.
If its still short--getting squashed by a heavy tire--well my opinion is that there would be almost zero damage. Accept a little extra profit. Seeding is easier than aerating. Its a good time to improve the lawn with more modern cultivars of grass seed. Darker color, drought hardy, more disease resistant. You have to convince the customer to spend a little more to go with better quality seed, of course. Naturally, in an overseed situation it is hard to determine what percent of the new seed actually took hold. And if its a shade situation there is a good chance it will become weak and thin during late summer when day length is short, temps are high and tree leaves are at their maximum.

A more important question is: What about crabgrass control? It could very well block the germination of new seed. You are forced to use Tupersan, do the crabgrass control late in the season, or treat with a post emergent. But maybe you do not apply pesticides, so you do not do the crabgrass control for this customer.

JFGauvreau
02-26-2011, 11:38 AM
Some of my clients I do a full lawn aeration on the property, then I pass with my dethatcher, then once all the thatch is picked up, I fertilized and overseed at the same time. It's a BIG boosting package for a lawn in the spring. Usually in spring it's always damp, so the seeds take no time to germinate. You cut the grass a bit shorter than usually before doing that, that way the customer can stay away from his lawn extra longer.

The only bad thing I can see if your mowing your lawn that has fresh seeds, is the seeds might fly away or get displace.

GreenI.A.
02-26-2011, 11:48 AM
Some of my clients I do a full lawn aeration on the property, then I pass with my dethatcher, then once all the thatch is picked up, I fertilized and overseed at the same time. It's a BIG boosting package for a lawn in the spring. Usually in spring it's always damp, so the seeds take no time to germinate. You cut the grass a bit shorter than usually before doing that, that way the customer can stay away from his lawn extra longer.

The only bad thing I can see if your mowing your lawn that has fresh seeds, is the seeds might fly away or get displace.

When you dethatch and rake up the thatch are you also picking up the aeration plugs? If you are going to both aerate and dethatch then I would de-thatch first and rake. Then aerate so that you do not disturb all the plugs

JFGauvreau
02-26-2011, 11:55 AM
A lot of people here do not like seeing little earth cores on their lawn, even though it is very good for your lawn as it acts as a top dressing.

So I do the aeration first, then I pass with my de-thatcher, the de-thatcher does it job as lifting up the thatch and + it helps to brake up the plugs. Once everything is done you are left with almost no more plugs, they are already all broken up.

Smallaxe
02-28-2011, 01:19 PM
Aeration in the spring still seems out of place to me... The freeze/thaw cycle after being frozen all winter, does so much to loosen the soil and have lots of air and structure for the first few mowings of springtime.

Grass seed only needs contact with soil and plenty of moisture to grow. I always seed by hand, tossing it on areas that are bare or noticably thin as soon as the snow is gone. We now have access to decent compost, so lately I've gone over the seeding with a pickup load of compost as cover, and that really helps a lot... :)

djlunchbox
02-28-2011, 03:10 PM
thanks for the replies guys.

what i was trying to describe is this situation:

we'd run a power rake on smaller yards, and a jrco dethatcher on the larger yards. (we only have a 22 inch wide power rake at the moment)
vac up the thatch
do our core aeration
then some sort of overseeding.

i like the other method that was mentioned above, using the power rake to break up the cores....

i'm just going on my experience with this, but up here it usually takes a minimum of one month to see a nice growth from the new seed. Now being that its spring and not fall, the lawns are going to grow super fast. Which means more mowing. I was worried about the mower lifting up the new weed after a few weeks, and smashing the new growth that had taken root.

I'm thinking that i will explain the process to my customers, tell them if they choose spring overseeding , that their lawns will be a bit "shaggy" for a month or so until its safe to mow. most of my customers will be having spot treatments anyhow.


i'll also push the customers who want an entire lawn overseeding to wait until fall

we don't have our licence for pest control this year, so we will be subbing that out (it pains me to do it) we will do the fert ourselves if it's cost effective.

GreenI.A.
02-28-2011, 08:30 PM
One of the big benefits of alowing the plugs to sit on the surface is that they encourage beneficial bacteria growth and micro-organisms. I do not know it this is reduced by breaking down the plugs machanicall y with a power rake.

I have always been under the training that fall is the best time. Pre-emergents do enough to the roots so why aerate and stress the roots out any further? But I did get my Turf Magazine in and the cover article was about spring Aerations, maybe I'll actually read it instead of just looking at the pictures

JFGauvreau
02-28-2011, 09:37 PM
One of the big benefits of alowing the plugs to sit on the surface is that they encourage beneficial bacteria growth and micro-organisms. I do not know it this is reduced by breaking down the plugs machanicall y with a power rake.

I have always been under the training that fall is the best time. Pre-emergents do enough to the roots so why aerate and stress the roots out any further? But I did get my Turf Magazine in and the cover article was about spring Aerations, maybe I'll actually read it instead of just looking at the pictures

Their always been a big debate on doing the aeration in the spring or in the fall.
Me I tell my customer either way is good, however if you do one in the spring and one in the fall, that's even better.

+ There's such a small difference that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference of a spring or fall aeration.

Smallaxe
03-02-2011, 08:03 AM
If you are using pre-m in the spring... What effect would aeration have on the establishment ofthe pre-m in the surface of the ground?

GreenI.A.
03-02-2011, 09:51 AM
If you pre-m first aeration will cause the active ingredient to prematurely break down. The issue I have with it is that pre-emergents and aeration both stress the root system. Both are great on there own but added together the equal alot of stress especially If there is no irrigation system. If an aeration is badly needed then go for it. But otherwise I would hold the aeration off till fall. Just my. 02
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Smallaxe
03-02-2011, 04:32 PM
If you pre-m first aeration will cause the active ingredient to prematurely break down. The issue I have with it is that pre-emergents and aeration both stress the root system. Both are great on there own but added together the equal alot of stress especially If there is no irrigation system. If an aeration is badly needed then go for it. But otherwise I would hold the aeration off till fall. Just my. 02
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That makes sense... :)

aeration
03-09-2011, 02:26 AM
According to research sent to me from Purdue, aeration has little affect on the pre-m.

Smallaxe
03-09-2011, 10:09 AM
According to research sent to me from Purdue, aeration has little affect on the pre-m.

So does the Purdue literature, talk about how deeply it goes into the soil?
And
How it acts on top of thatch?

elundgren
03-12-2011, 08:15 AM
In my experience, I have found that keeping the lawn on a schedule is the key. Seed, starter fertilizer and lime in the Fall. Pre-emergent in the Spring. Periodic fertilizing in-between.

Where I get screwed up is when something has to occur off schedule.

I have a couple lawns where the Fall seeding did not take hold in many of the bare spots. Now that the Spring has arrived, I need to put down a pre-emergent but still have to deal with the numerous bare spots.

Any suggestions?

Smallaxe
03-12-2011, 09:54 AM
In my experience, I have found that keeping the lawn on a schedule is the key. Seed, starter fertilizer and lime in the Fall. Pre-emergent in the Spring. Periodic fertilizing in-between.

Where I get screwed up is when something has to occur off schedule.

I have a couple lawns where the Fall seeding did not take hold in many of the bare spots. Now that the Spring has arrived, I need to put down a pre-emergent but still have to deal with the numerous bare spots.

Any suggestions?

Depends on how much time you got to get cool season grasses growing, before the CG would start up. Or play with the barespots after the pre-m and hope for th best...

Exact Rototilling
03-13-2011, 02:12 PM
So does the Purdue literature, talk about how deeply it goes into the soil?
And
How it acts on top of thatch?
http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

This Purdue publication has basically zero mention of the effect of cores left on the lawn and how the soil microbes helping to breakdown thatch. There is mention of 2" - 3" plug depth but they also mention 20 - 40 holes per square foot. A double pass with a Plugr 800 series will get it to 16 plugs per square foot if there are no holes in holes. Ryan 28 is at 17 plugs per square foot on a double pass mathematically.

A double pass with many of the rolling tine units is still at 12 per square foot or less.

GreenI.A.
03-13-2011, 03:30 PM
http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

This Purdue publication has basically zero mention of the effect of cores left on the lawn and how the soil microbes helping to breakdown thatch. There is mention of 2" - 3" plug depth but they also mention 20 - 40 holes per square foot. A double pass with a Plugr 800 series will get it to 16 plugs per square foot if there are no holes in holes. Ryan 28 is at 17 plugs per square foot on a double pass mathematically.

A double pass with many of the rolling tine units is still at 12 per square foot or less.

Say the holes were only 1" in diameter, at 40 per sq foot that would be the same as 10 plugs in a 6" x 6" area, or over 1/4 of the surcace being plugged. That would destroy the turf pulling that many plugs, you just cut up more than 1/4 of the root system. Maybe for an extreamly compacted area that you are going to seed from scratch, yes, but I can not see doing that to an existing turf that you are aerating and overseeding

Exact Rototilling
03-13-2011, 04:32 PM
Agreed I think a double pass with a plugr 8xx or Ryan 28 is optimal. Can't be exceed with standard rolling time units unless a fourth pass is done.
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Smallaxe
03-13-2011, 06:56 PM
http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

This Purdue publication has basically zero mention of the effect of cores left on the lawn and how the soil microbes helping to breakdown thatch. ....

From the Purdue URL:

"...Too much thatch interferes with
water and air movement, reduces fertilizer and
pesticide response, and increases disease and insect
activity. Eventually, roots may start growing in the
thatch, and since thatch does not hold much water,
the turf then becomes very susceptible to cold, heat
and drought stresses."

This quote addresses half of my question, but not in a very definitive way... :)

Exact Rototilling
03-13-2011, 07:13 PM
Agreed I think a double pass with a plugr 8xx or Ryan 28 is optimal. Can't be exceed with standard rolling time units unless a fourth pass is done.
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**Slight correction** - Actually 3 pass with a Lawn Solutions Stander or 21" WB will yield slightly more plugs in 3 passes than a double pass with a Plugr 8xx or Ryan 28.

bstsrvcs
04-08-2011, 12:50 AM
How about this scenario?

A client has a moderate mole problem, the turf needs to be rolled. His lawn is patchy from the bad root system caused by the mole infestation.

Should I:
Roll lawn
Areate ( rolling will compact the soil)
Dethatch
overseed
fert
top dress?

???

RSMProperty
04-09-2011, 08:33 AM
I have a similar ?
Customer has a decent yard about 20,000sq ft... It's a little thin as it's an older lawn...called asking me to reseed
He's located in southern pa... What's the best course to take...plug aerate and then power/slit sleed or just slit seed w/o aeration...it has been a wet past few days and not expecting anymore frost or snow
I'd rather do it in the fall but hes set on reseeding trying to thicken up his yard
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Smallaxe
04-09-2011, 09:06 AM
Lawns should be getting stronger and fuller with deep inpenetrable root system with age. Not thinning because of age.

If the Old lawn is thin, it is probably becuz of 'real thatch' not dead grassblades but a thick layer of living and dead roots and stems growing above the soil...

Too correct the situation and try to get some new grass to grow, first thing is too slit-seed and hopefully cover with compost or even black peat...

No fertilizer, no pre-m until later...

RSMProperty
04-09-2011, 09:42 AM
So no dethatching...just slit seed ?
How do you suggest applying the peat? How much etc
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Smallaxe
04-09-2011, 10:56 AM
So no dethatching...just slit seed ?
How do you suggest applying the peat? How much etc
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The idea of covering with compost or peat is to increase the level of growing medium for the seedling in the case of too much real thatch. Also the compost would help to break down the dead material in the real thatch, invigorating growth in the soil to a greater degree...

I distribute compost from a wheel barrow, by flailing with my hand, using the same motion as one would creating a wave of water in a pool. Nothing fancy, but quick easy distribution... :)

RSMProperty
04-09-2011, 03:37 PM
So just slit seed then distribute peet by hand enough to pretty much make the lawn look dirty too much I feel would knock down the grass already there
He wants his entire lawn done
Im gonna tell him now is not the best time but if that's what he wants I will accommodate but can't guarantee anything
Should I dethatch before slit seeding?
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