aerate and seed OR seed and aerate

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grassmasterswilson, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,906

    So fall is quickly approaching and its time to think about fall seeding. I've always done aerate then seed. This has worked for me but I will get the plugs of grass. My mom has asked a few times why I didn't do it the other way and my response was you might damage the seed or aerating first breaks it up. Aerating after may also drop plugs on top of seed covering them up.

    So what is better? Does it matter. Anyone done it either way with better/worse results?
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    You'll hear both ways here, I tried aerate and seed last year got the plug effect, Going with an overseeder this year.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I agree with cpl, there is no reason to use an aerator for seeding... seeders, are the right tool, for the right job...

    damaging seed with aerator tines, is a very unlikely scenario and plugs covering up the seed is the desired result...

    uniform coverage with 1/4" of soil is the optimum seed planting goal...
  4. Reliable 1

    Reliable 1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    For me, and it worked great was I seeded first followed by aerating. Some of the seed still fell in the holes but the seeds also were part of the plugs that germinated thereby minimizing the plug effect. This worked primarily on soils that had sufficient moisture. For dry soils, using a seeder is probably best.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,460

    I am trying to figure out the answer to this. I like seed buried under cores. I agree--I would not want to damage any seed by cutting it in half. And of course there is the third way, Seed, aerate, and drag to beak up the cores--potentially burying the seed. I found that seed germinates fine in the bottom of the holes--but not sure what will happen after that. Is the crown buried too deep?
  6. JBNC

    JBNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    We will seed, aerate, and seed again. Best of both worlds.
  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    wouldn't that drive up the cost of your seed for the customer?
  8. JBNC

    JBNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    We use the same amount of seed, just cut the rate in half for both applications. It only takes a few more minutes with 2 or 3 guys. Obviously this would be a PITA on larger yards but for small-medium size yards it works great.
  9. DieselMDX

    DieselMDX LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 72

    do u leave the cores?
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm very curious as to why the dollhair or "plug effect" as you call it is part of the planting process at all... even a minimized plug effect is less than desireable... I can't imagine seeding a fall lawn, knowing full well, that grass is not going to fill-in the turf uniformly...(now I know there are those out there who will bash, bully and ridicule, rather than discuss)

    This topic deserves a civil rational discussion...
    So what advantages are there to plug aerating, for fall seeding, as opposed to seeding uniformly with a slit seeder or broadcaster???

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