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View Full Version : dethatching vs. aerating & overseeding??


bottlefed89
08-26-2004, 11:25 AM
Alright, I asked this question in an existing post and didn't get much attention, so I decided to start a new post. I've had several requests to aerate, verticut, and overseed some lawns. I've also had some dethatching requests. My question is that it would seem wise to dethatch before overseeding, but I think it's too hot here. If I don't will the overseeded grass stand a decent chance?? If I wait until later in the year to dethatch, when should I do it, and will it hurt the new grass??
thanks

rmartin
08-26-2004, 11:40 AM
dethatching is done in the spring........Aerating can be done in both spring and fall but it is more beneficial in the fall. Overseeding is done in the early fall. I usually start around the 1st week of september up until the 1st week or october. Anything after that you start dealing with possible snow and real cold temps.

GreenMonster
08-26-2004, 11:43 AM
I don't know much about overseeding, so please forgive any stupid ?'s.

As far as overseeding goes, are you guys applying anything for moisture retention? Straw, penn mulch, etc.?

Is slit or verti-cutting required, or can the overseeding be done in conjunction with aeration?

rmartin
08-26-2004, 11:46 AM
overseeding after areating is the way to go. Even better if you have access to a slice seeder. I usually aerate, slice seed, topdress and then drag around a screen to break up the plugs. Looks crappy at first but wait till spring......best looking yards around

lawnmowingboys
08-26-2004, 11:48 AM
I aerate, overseed, then dethatch, in that order.

I always thought I would lose at lot of seed in the thatch. Especially when I sucked up the thatch with a bagging mower.

I was told that dethatching would "shake" the seed down into the ground. Also the dethatcher will break up the plugs left over from the aerator.

I have aerated and then seeded only, but didn't get a good result.

I always do this in late September, to allow a few good weeks for the new grass to take off.

All of my advise goes from a golf course super. He has a degree.
He seemed to know what he was talking about.....I had to cut the thickest grass in Oct.

GreenMonster
08-26-2004, 11:50 AM
rmartin:
I'll actually be "aera-vating" so I won't have plugs to break up. I guess the real point of my question is:

Is the slice seeder step NECCESARY?

Thanks.

oh yeah, moisture retention?

rmartin
08-26-2004, 11:54 AM
slice seeding is the best way to go. You can just spread the seed with a spreader too. It;s up to you. I prefer the slicer.......and no i do not use any moisture retention. really no need to if you have a good yard to begin with

bottlefed89
08-26-2004, 12:09 PM
So then don't dethatch until next year??
Oh yeah, what would you all charge??
Package deal; aerate, veticut, overseed on say 20,000sq. ft.
fert anything special with it??

GreenMonster
08-26-2004, 12:11 PM
thanks for education, rmartin :D

rmartin
08-26-2004, 02:01 PM
i charge .07 cents per square foot for slice seeding and between 100-200 for areating....

Package deal; aerate, overseed on say 20,000sq. ft. $1500.00

fertilizer is extra
topdressing is extra

bottlefed89
08-26-2004, 02:22 PM
What do you fert with??
Dumb questions, but I'd assume a sliceseeder seeds as you slice, whereas the verticutter I spoke of just cuts slits then you have to go back and seed, this correct?? Do you think fert and topdress are necessary??
Thanks for all you help.

rmartin
08-26-2004, 05:54 PM
i usually do not fert until aftet the seed germinates, as far as topde=ressing i llike to use a sand, loam, compost mix. but that gets expensive. usually aerating sliceseeding is enough but some people want it all

bottlefed89
08-26-2004, 06:17 PM
So what is safe to fert with this time of year after germination??

fga
08-26-2004, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by rmartin
dethatching is done in the spring........Aerating can be done in both spring and fall but it is more beneficial in the fall. rmartin,
why can't dethatching be done in fall? in my 14 years experience, i've seen it done by every company here, twice a season. i recently spoke to my brother in law, who owns a large company(400 weekly accounts), who taught me what i know, and he said staring this fall, he will no longer thatch, but start aerating...

I've never aerated before. how large r the plugs you pull up, and how do you go about breaking them up? and why can't you thatch in the fall?

rdran5
08-26-2004, 09:35 PM
FGA, Don't worry about the plugs, they will get broken up by next weeks mowing, also rain helps to dissole them.
I haave to agree with prev thread, we normally dethatch in the spring, and remember only if you thatch is over 1/4 inch deep, some thatch is good, it retains moisture in the dry season.

Hope I helped, take care and good luck.

Rich Landscapes

rmartin
08-27-2004, 11:49 PM
you can dethatch in the fall. Actually using the slice seeder does that. It will pull out a good amount of the years thatch. Doing it in the spring allows you to start your lawn out fresh and clean. It is really your own preference. As far as the plugs, here is another preference. If the customer does not mind the apperance of geese crap on their yard you can leave it like so and the mowing and drying out will break them up over time. But some people dont like that look. Many of my customers hate the apperance. So for a few extra bucks I hook up a 4' chain link fence to my mower add a 25 lb weight and drive over the lawn breakng up the plugs. As far as the plug size it is nice to get a 2''-3'' plug. That way you are pulling out the top few layers of grass,thatch,loam and sometimes clay


oh yes...also the thatch help prevent and treat many types of winter fungus probkems that may arise.....some thatch is good

NoWalk4Me
08-28-2004, 11:45 AM
Green Monster,
I've gotten great results by cutting very short and then putting out about half my app of fert, lime, seed etc. before Aerovating. As it runs it really seems to shake a lot of the seeds and other stuff into the ground. The Aero-vator is pricey but man on dry ground...it really is the stuff! If its very wet conditions the core plugger seems to work better and by all means, don't use a standard aerator that doesn't remove a "plug". All that does is compact the dirt around the slit, exactly what you are trying to remedy!

odin
08-28-2004, 11:57 AM
dethact only if it needs dethatching ..if the thatch layer is getting over a 1/2 inch or so then dethatch .

fastpitcher
08-28-2004, 12:03 PM
Rmartin: You said .07 cents per sq. foot. I charge $25 per k to aerate and over-seed. Either I am too low or you too high. Just curious if you can get that price. I will definitely have to reevaluate for next season.

rmartin
08-28-2004, 03:06 PM
.07 is cheap some charge up over .10.

khutch
08-28-2004, 09:24 PM
rmartin, your getting $1500 for maybe $200 of seed and 5 hours of labor?
KERRY FOR PREZ!
Maybe those prices from Mass will wear off on all of us!
I'm in fastpitcher's ball park, $10 per k for aeration, $16.50 for seed, $5 per k fert.......

Ziggie
08-28-2004, 09:47 PM
rdran5
where did you get your dfs bagging system for you toro z?

Ziggie

rmartin
08-29-2004, 12:25 PM
yes but also understand that the slice seeder leaves quita a mess that needs to be picked up. just like gethatching a lawn it pulls up the thatch in the ground. it is expensive but worth it. plus the equipment is real expensive too......

bottlefed89
08-29-2004, 12:42 PM
How do you clean up after the slice seeding without worrying about disturbing the seeds??

Five Diamond Lawns
08-29-2004, 12:55 PM
Maybe it's different here in the NW but we do as much thatching in the fall as we do in the spring. It' Sunday and I've got 8 jobs to go bid on for next week alone!
I always dethatch first then always core aerate second, after that ether fertilize or fertilize , seed and top with pete moss. In late Sept I'll eliminate the pete moss step.
I know some of the people on lawn site dethatch after aeration though this is the first time I've heard of anyone dethatching after they seed. It dosen't make sense to me. Filling the hole with thatch is counter productive and if you don't think you are going to suck up the seed when you suck up the thatch you must be using some heavy seed.:rolleyes:

rmartin
08-29-2004, 08:26 PM
the seed is forced into the soil and at the same time the tines pull up the thatch. Its kinda two in one.....The seed stays in the ground even during the cleanup........

battags
08-29-2004, 09:59 PM
I RARELY have to dethatch. I aerate once a year and have found that the core aeration helps accelerate thatch decomposition.

Brian

Five Diamond Lawns
08-29-2004, 11:27 PM
Sorry rmartin I'm not buying it.

trying 2b organic
08-30-2004, 01:01 AM
But thats what slice seeding does. The advantage is that the seed goes right into the soil. I believe he can do what he wants after slice seeding and not loose seed. I dont dethatch unless there is a thatch problem. I aerate then overseed. I would like to get you opinion on power rake. I know some power rake then overseed. adv - not a big cleanup like after dethacthing -- more seed germination due to more seed soil contact vrs aeration. comments plz.
After reading this thread im asking myself if I would get dramatically better results if I powerrake- aerate then seed vrs just areate and seed.

Rwise10230
08-30-2004, 04:55 PM
Man......to get $1500 to aerate and overseed 20,000 Sq. Ft. (1/2 acre) .......what a dream. Not a chance of that in this area (NC).....maybe $600 tops.

bottlefed89
08-30-2004, 05:10 PM
Thats kind of what I was thinking for here too, not to knock you, just that I couldn't get that much.

khutch
09-02-2004, 08:53 AM
Bogus price quote.....

Lux Lawn
09-02-2004, 07:27 PM
Here is the problem I am having with a yard that I need some help with.Front lawn is part shade and part sun there are some bare spots and a lot of dead spots in the lawn that I believe are from a lack of water the last few weeks when it has been hot and dry my customer wants me to overseed it before fall this is the plan I was going to follow what do you think?

Dethatch to remove dead grass

Apply application of Lime

Overeed

Starter Fertilizer

Any suggestions would be great I really need this lawn to come out looking nice.

bottlefed89
09-02-2004, 08:02 PM
My only suggestion based on what I've read, would be to skip the dethatch, and aerate instead. aeration helps to dethatch, but a full dethatch may be harmful with higher temps. That's what I've gather on other topics and responses here, hope that helps.
greg
bottlefed89@hotmail.com

Lux Lawn
09-02-2004, 09:20 PM
bottlefed89 thank you for your help I have thought of that but there is a lot of dead grass in there now still not sure if aeration will remove enough.

fga
09-03-2004, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by Lux Lawn
Here is the problem I am having with a yard that I need some help with.Front lawn is part shade and part sun there are some bare spots and a lot of dead spots in the lawn that I believe are from a lack of water the last few weeks when it has been hot and dry my customer wants me to overseed it before fall this is the plan I was going to follow what do you think?

Dethatch to remove dead grass

Apply application of Lime

Overeed

Starter Fertilizer

Any suggestions would be great I really need this lawn to come out looking nice. sounds on the money. I start thaching here next week, getting everyone lined up, cuz not all of them want it. i thatch, fertilize and seed each account. but over any significant the bare spot, i throw some peat moss. the starter fertilizer is your personal choice. I always wind up applying broadleaf fertilizer with it instead. it would depend for me if i knew they were going to water or not. if they're tight with the water, starter would be my route. if they give alittle effort, something stronger .. but that's just what works for me. its going to start cooling down very shortly, the seed should be fine..

now, about that record your guys set at the stadium......:o

odin
09-03-2004, 12:55 AM
power rakeing that dead surface grass is not dethaching...thatch is beneath the surface and around a 1/2 inch of it is ok.