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aeration, Lime and overseed -what order and when?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by nick21, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. nick21

    nick21 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    I am in Northern Virginia and I have a pretty good lawn ...except for the dayflower. It is fescue - any seed recommendations?
  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Aerate first then seed. Not sure about lime, does the lawn need it? See your local co-op, nursery or Lesco about type of seed to use. Seed now. Good luck
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Core aeration, in and of itself, was never intended to be an operation that set the stage for seeding. The reason for this is that the mechanical tines usually go much TOO DEEP in the soil's strata for the deposited cores to have much chance of gaining a foothold.
    Llikewise, if seed finds some germination possible under some deposited soil cores, that seed has about a 50% chance of making it on average, because what's lying under many of those deposited seed cores is relatively UNDISTURBED turf.

    An exception to the above would be going over the (prior well irrigated) lawn with an aerator multiple times, but by the time you would have spent the time and effort to do this, you may as well have rented or borrowed a slice seeder and done it right the 1st time!

    Core aeration is largely an innovation of the golf course industry from the '60s and '70s. Their main focus for was (and still is) to relieve compaction and topdressing purposes in greens and tees, mainly.

    Unfortunately, many otherwise well-meaning people in the professional lawn care industry have grabbed 'core aeration' since then, thrown it into the midst of either their spring or fall chemical program, and have misused it.
    It's no wonder then, that many homeowners are disappointed in the end result of their once-over "aeration and seedings" come later in the fall, or the following spring, because, again, their company went about doing the work the 'el-cheapo' low-bid route, or honestly.... they may have not known any better!

    When I renovate I like to core aerate lawns one time over just to bring some soil up to the surface and to relieve compaction. Then I'll wait maybe a half hour or so until the cores dry a little.
    Then I'll slice seed.
    The slicer will not only cut vertically into the turf and drop seed as it goes, but it will also chop up those deposited cores on the surface to ensure excellent seed to soil contact, which is the most important thing in seeding next to proper watering and weed control.
  4. MoGreen

    MoGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I just did this. Core aereated, slit seeded, but went over it again with a lawn roller (390lb poly roller) to help "push" the seed into the soil or at least get the seed to contact the soil. Did I go wrong with the roller? I'm wondering if I should've done that........
    I just did it today. The ground was DRY the whole time. I wanted to get the seed down as close to the dirt as possible.
    What do you think?

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