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Aerating / Overseeding questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Navig8r, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    I am new to the Aerating part of the biz and I have a few questions I'm hoping to have answered.

    Most of my customers that I will target for Aerationg are properties of approximately 1 acre, or just slightly less.
    My ZTR goes everywhere that I would aerate.

    I dont own an aerator, nor do I care to at this stage, so I'll be renting.
    How long does it take for cores to break down? Will I need to skip a week of mowing because of the cores in the lawn?

    I can rent a tow-behind unit (core-type, 40-48", don't know the brand) or a much smaller, walk-behind unit (20-24"??)

    Obviously, because of the size of the props., I think the tow-behind would be better suited and more profitable (I can pull it with my ZTR, right??)
    What do you think?? Tow behind, or walk?

    Should I assume that aerating with a tow-behind (1 pass) should take as long as mowing same prop.? Less? More??

    With a walk-behind unit, how fast will I be able to move? Will I be there all day to do an acre??

    What do I do in the areas that I cannot aerate? For example, one property has a cable line buried shallow that cuts right across the side lawn. I was thinking of using a manual dethatching rake along that to loosen the top a bit. I will be overseeding this property.

    Which brings me to my next question....... How much seed will I need per, say, 1k sq.ft.? I will probably go with a rye/fescue blend, as that will blend best with most of these properties.

    Sorry for the long post.............. Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it!!!
  2. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 796

    yes you can tow an aerator w/ ztr. alot of aerators state you must have at least 12 hp to do this. you will in most cases need to make more than onr pass with the aerator. you will also realize that there may be several areas such as corners you cant reach w/ the ztr. i would bet it would be difficult to properly aerate this lawn in the same time it takes to mow. the cores will break up over time and you really should skip a cut or two after seeding if the grass is thin, to keep from disturbing the seed. make sure you are aware of any irrigation heads, invisible pet fencing ect. hope this helps
  3. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Walk behinds have a tighter core spacing than the pull behinds (as a rule). Make sure you get a quality pull behind (heavy) it should pull at least a 2" plug. Soil must be moist. Pull behinds work best by going around the property in circles (squares). To get more core density you can overlap your passes by 1/2 or 1/3. Sharp turns tent to tear the turf some. Your seed bag should have the over seed rate on the bag . I would estimate 3-4 lbs /1000. Many factors will affect the results. Water freq. Thickness of turf. Quality of the seed (pure live seed calc). And fertility. You did not mention any starter fert? Always a good idea.
  4. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    Thanks for the replies..... as fas as starter fert goes, I'm not certified applicator, and sub's are not real readily available here.
    May consider suggesting it to a couple homeowners to do on their own..........
  5. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Large properties the tow behind sounds like the right choice.

    The walk behinds are slow machines, though they get into the areas the tow behinds cannot.

    You might not be certified. But you can apply organic fertilizers. There is one brand that one of my suppliers sells, can't remember the name of it. But if your in Suffolk you will need to be certified and have certification for organics.
  6. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    Just measured for the first one today... 32k of lawn.... regular mowing customer, sometimes watered, not irrigated.
    Darn near perfectly level, though rutted slightly in a few spots, gonna talk to cust. about topsoil for the holes, etc.......
    21 trees in back yard, small island garden in front yard.

    Any pricing suggestions, aerating / overseeding 32K sq. ft.??
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    i don't know what seed sells for there, but here I pay right around $1 per pound. Here I would charge $500, that's for seed, fertilizer and labor. I would add the cost of the any rentals to that figure. Maybe a little more if you are going to have to do some aerating with a walk behind.


    SUGAR_CUT_MARK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    from my experience on average the going rate for overseeding is $.02 per square foot, and the same for aerating.

    32,000 x .04 =$1,280
  9. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    seed's gonna cost me about $1.50 /lb...... rye blend....... anybody reccomend anything different....... lawns are mostly sunny, small areas are partial shade. Aerator's gonna cost around $60. to rent (tow behind). I figure to quote around $230. to aerate + $350.00 to overseed........ Any thoughts...... OK to tear me up if this sounds off.... I appreciate the help.... thanks.
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Aeration = $320 -$380. Aeration + Seed = $640-$760.

    These prices are based on $10-$12 per K for Aeration then double the price for Seed.

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