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3rd Yr Home Owner on 3rd Season of Aerating/Seeding

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by 07Limited_WRX, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. 07Limited_WRX

    07Limited_WRX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    So like my thread topic stated this is my third season of mowing since becoming a homeowner. I have always loved to cut grass every since my dad first taught me on our ancient Snapper Rider. I have always taken much pride in my lawn maintenance and always edge and what not to make it look the best I know how.

    So last fall I was splitting the cost on a self propelled, rental, plugging type aerator with another family member that has a landscaping company take care of the majority of their fescue maintenance. I live in Chattanooga, TN, unsure what region, and this was my second time to split the aerator plugger with them. This last time I did a little research on the subject though after I had aerated the yard.

    When I first bougt my home it was more weeds than turf. There were several large patches of bermuda among other turf types. I have always liked fescue since I grew up cutting my parents sodded fescue. However, our next door neighbor had golf course quality bermuda turf, with an actual putting green in his back yard, and year by year I watched how the bermuda just kept encroaching our fescue until finally we only had bermuda between his house and our driveway. In essence I saw how drought tolerant bermuda was, how nice it looked in the 90 degree summer when our fescue was brown, and most of all how it just overtook anything in it's path including weeds.

    So when I bought my home with the weed turf I just decided to seed with bermuda since I already had established patches of it growing. I do not regret this at all after last years drought. Back to my aerating story....last fall when doing a little research after already aerating my summer bermuda in the mid fall I read where it was too late to seed bermuda in my location. Then I read about overseeding with annual rye and figured I would seed something since I'd already aerated. Needless to say I will think long and hard before doing this again come this fall! Rye would grow 6.5" in one week w/o rain and still be so moist when I emptied my bagger you could not light it on fire. Now I do always put out Scott's seasonal turf builders and weed and feeds as well as 34-0-0. I never realized I would be mowing on Christmas Eve when I seeded this rye though!

    I believe I overseeded on my decent stand of bermuda in either late August or early September last fall. The timing could not have been better as far as the immediately following rainfall temperatures. Within two weeks my yard was so thick and green it was ridiculous. Wish I'd known the amount of mowing that lied ahead of me during the winter months. It really needed to be cut every 4 days max. I had neighbors that do part time and full time landscaping taking pictures of my yard!

    I thought I had my spring aerating and seeding figured out until looking at some pull behind spikers and stumbling across this site. So what I want to ask you pros is as follows: I am ready to aerate/dethatch/overseed bermuda with my broadcast as my annual rye is thinning and browning. Plus my dormant bermuda has been growing for at least a couple of weeks. But now after reading some of the threads on the forum I am confused about the best method for doing this. I had great success with the rye and the plugging aerator but even before I read some of these threads I always thought the same thing I've now read on here about the plug type and how it just leaves deep holes that are widely spaced and how this could not be as effective as multiple, close holes? Just makes sense that half the seed is never going to reach the holes.

    I read a thread about renting a power seeder that aerates and dethatches or something from home depot in one thread and would like to know more about this from you pros. I can't afford to rent something for $400 a weekend though. I usually rent the plugger from sat to mon morning for like $150. My soil temp two inches deep as of 2 weeks ago was around 65 degrees F. The past two weeks the highs have been in upper 80's with lots of rain. I want to get this done this coming weekend. Already have my bermuda seed and fertilizer. How damp do I want the soil when I aerate? Should I let the grass regenerate for a week or so after aerating like I read on one forum thread or blow off thatch and seed? Considered buying a 40" pull behind spike aerator from home depot to save on rental plus realized I could use a little more often to oxygenate turf. Did not realize until this forum that it is a healthy thing to do. My grass is always bagged with 05 model Toro Walk Behind 22" Personal Pace Recycler. My neighbor that landscapes on side with commercial mowers already offered to scalp my yard with his rider before I aerate. If his mower can also bag could he use a pull behind spiker while he scalps it? How low should he cut it? How deep should I aerate holes? All advice greatly appreciated and will be printed out for future reference and to help others. Thank you for your time and what you do here on this forum by helping us novices!

    -Kris Carpenter:usflag:

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