Aeration and overseeding in the winter?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jasonnau, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    I have a customer who would like their lawn aerated and overseeded as soon as it is possible. They have some spots that are looking kind of rough (Mostly from a couple of mature trees in the front yard, and a little bit of wear). I'm fairly new to the business, and would like some input weather this is a good idea or not. Also, what types of grasses would be best suited for a general, yet, shade tolerant mix. It's flat out winter here in Northern Kentucky, and still frozen, but when it thaws enough, I want to go ahead and do the job. Would you advise this? or not? Also, I will be adding several yards of top soil to fill in some low areas prior.
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    If the ground is frozen as you say, you are flat out wasting your time AND your customer's money. Period
  3. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    No, I'm not going to aerate when the ground is frozen, read a little closer. I want to aerate it when it thaws, before spring though. As long as we have some warm days soon, It will be thawed shortly.
  4. plateau lawn care

    plateau lawn care LawnSite Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 195

    Some LCO's may have more to say but go to this site and check it out he tells when to do both, it is a very good site. from the home page click on Lawns which is on the left side of the page then select the type of grass very easy site

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Your seed will not germinate and may wash away in the spring rains.

    Rod is wise.
  6. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    You can aerate in the spring with cool season grasses, but it is no usually as benificial as doing it in the late summer after the high heat is gone. It might be better to wait until then to do it all. If you put down grass seed in the spring, you are a little more limited as to what you can use to control grassy weeds (goosegrass, quack grass, etc.). If you are bound and determined to do it now, we need more info as to the grass type, soil test results etc. There might be more to it than just a shadey area
  7. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    I've always heard that you could "winter" seed. That the freeze thaw effect helps to get the grass seed somewhat burried in the soil. The grass germinates early in the spring giving it ample time to grow before the summer months hit. I do however agree that any pre-emergents would put a big damper on the homeowners plan. I'd still like some input. The website listed in the former post suggests that aeration is best in september and october for the cool season grasses, but also says that it is best before grass begins to vigourously grow (does this mean that just before spring is an ok time to do this?) It may not be the best, but is it ok?
  8. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    Sorry one more thing,

    I always seem to have two posts in a row. Sorry about that. How soon after the grass seed germinates can a pre-emergent be applied? I know crabgrass may be a problem, but, a pre-emergent could be applied shortly after the grass seed germinates right? Or, a post-emergent could be used later. Also, the seed I use is up to me, I want an all purpose mix including shade tolerant species. I've been told that some of the fine fescues can tolerate 60% shade. It's pretty plainly obvious that the areas of the yard that are most needed of seeding are under the mature trees. Granted a lot of factors come into play here such as competition from the tree roots for water and the like, but, in reality, there is nothing short of limbing up or removing the trees that would greatly benefit those areas of the yard. I would just like to do the best possible under the existing situation. Also, not that I need the money, but it's the time of the year where short of snow removal there isn't too much going on. One small job is better than no jobs. But, if it is absolutely not beneficial for the customer, no, I wouldn't want to waste their money! I'm still a beginner at turf grasses, my background has been in maintenance and landscape. Since the beginning of my company last year, this is a whole new realm to me. I'm willing to, and going to learn every last aspect. As for now, I'm asking the questions first. My business plan has been to offer my customers everything they need so that they don't need to hire anyone else. I've got my work cut out for me.

    Thanks, Jason

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