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Aerate before or after overseeding

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Westbrooklawn, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    Recent threads have raised a question in my mind. I have always core aerated, then overseeded, and have had good results. While I have a slit seeder I never use it anymore because I have found aeration to provide as good results.

    My question, does anyone know if you have better germination if you seed first and then aerate, or is aerate first and then seed better or just as good?
  2. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    I did the search, and found this old unanswered thread. Can anyone help on this one.
  3. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 538

    This is the order in which I do a lawn renovation. It has worked very well if the customer waters properly.
    1. Dethatch
    2. Yard Sweep
    3. Core Aerate
    4. Overseed
    5. Fertilize
  4. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    you need to aerate first. The purpose of aerating during an overseeding is to open up the soil for good SEED TO SOIL contact. The seeds will drop into the aeration holes and grow out them. If you aerate after spreading seed you will get no seed into the holes and have no better seed to soil contact than not aerating at all.
  5. bugspit

    bugspit LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 769

    Do you fertilize at the same time of overseeding??

    I've done a few and did the overseeding in Oct. then come back at the end of Feb and fertilize.

    How deep do you aerate? Some machines I've used are adjustable in depth.
  6. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 538

    Bug, fertilize after seeding. The depth of aerating should be 2-3", but that will depend on how dry the soil is. Aerate when the soil is moist, if possible.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    It depends on the type of aerator used and the lawn area your working on. If its pretty thin turf and using a cam driven aerator I put 1/2 the seed down then aerate and then the other 1/2 the seed. Its gets the first 1/2 churned into the soil better.
  8. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Hoss, thats the best thing I have read yet. After almost 300 have read this thread, no one has "dittoed" anyone else. I think most really do not know or they would say so. I might even try half an area before, and half after.:(
  9. Rhodester

    Rhodester LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    For broadcasting thin lawns, we like to rake first.
    Amazing how much seed will come up in those rake furrows.

    Then, we always seed half before and half after aeration.
    The seed under the core gets great contact as the cores break down.
    Also cuts down on the "Hair Club for Men" look of seed primarily coming up in the holes.

    I may be a little paranoid on this, but we also fert and lime if needed, before aerating/overseeding.
    Never liked the idea of piling the fert or lime on top of and in direct contact with the seed at the bottom of the holes...
    For super thin lawns it's still hard to beat the results of a slit seeder.


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