Aerate and power rake at the same time?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mkwl, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    I've got a question for you guys. One of my clients (happens to be my Uncle) wants to have his lawn (1-1/2 acre) aerated and power raked. My question is, can I do both on the same day? Which order do I do it in? I'm going to rent an aerator and power rake from my local dealer, is 1/2 day long enough to do both? Do I have to collect the plugs? Also, I'm going to seed afterwards, when would be the best time to put down tall fescue seed, and when is the best time to aerate and power rake? Thanks in advance, Matt.
  2. New Image Lawn and Scapes

    New Image Lawn and Scapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Fall is always the best time to aerate and seed. I would power rake and then do your aerating.....the plugs will soon dicipate. Put the seed down in the next couple of weeks. It is always best to do in the fall because your immature turf will become infested with annual weeds here shortly, plus the heat is coming and make sure it gets plenty of water.
  3. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899


    what type of power rake will you be using (dethatcher walk behind?) Also will you be using a tow behind aerator of a walk behind & if the latter a turning one or old school like a lawn air 5??

    if your using a walk behind thatcher & have to rake/blow thatch, on 1.5 acres, it will probably take 2 guys close to a day depending on the volume of thatch. core aeration with a lawnair 5 would probably take around 3 hours easy.

    If you're in Jersey (especially north of me Camden County), its still way too early for spring seeding. The soil temps are way too cool. You should wait until mid April preferably. you are of course aware of the problems w/ spring seeding (no pre-m other than tupersan which is not too effective, yet very costly, competition w/ weeds and if it doesn't get a good root, could easily perish in a hot/dry summer).
  4. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    Turfdude, thanks for the insight! I will be renting a Blue Bird (or similar) power rake. I will also rent a walk behing aerator (Ryan I think). Anyway, I power raked the same lawn for him, an dit took me about 1/2 day to rake, 1/2 day to cleanup thatch. I own the LW blower, so the only equipment I'd be renting would be the power rake and aerator. I guess my question is, how long would it take to aerate 1.5 acres? Also, what order should I do it in? I won't be doing this job for another few weeks, since the ground is still frozen, and it's too cold to put down seed.
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899


    dethatch, clean up debris, core aerate (will take probably 1/2 day), then do your seeding, ferting, liming, etc.
  6. tractrpowr45

    tractrpowr45 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 32

    Is it OK to put down seed and fertilizer at the same time after aerating, or will the fertilizer reduce the germination rate of the grass seed?
  7. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    If you do your seeding last you won't have good seed to soil contact. The seed will just be sitting on top. I would aerify, dethatch, clean up the thatch, seed, use a drag mat to mix the seed and soil, then apply fertilizer. By going in this order you will be breaking up the soil cores with the dethatcher, separating the soil from the thatch portion of the plug, thereby cutting down on the amount of material you are cleaning up. I would use a starter fertilizer since you are trying to establish new grass.
  8. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    Dethatch, blow, aerate, seed if anything, dethatch and blow first to get all the crap out of lawn, then aerate to have fresh holes, then seed and most of the seed will fall right into the wholes, making faster germination
  9. You have dethatch this yard once before, don't understand why you need to again? Is somebody over fertilizing this yard? Tall fescue is one of the lower accumalators.

    Soil temps are too cold, at least for tttall fescue, they are in my area

    I would GET SOIL TEST, detach (if necessary), clean up, aerate, apply what is need to correct soil chemistry, seed, drag, and fert, something with some p, even if soil is high in p.

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