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Aeration: Quick Question?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by MOturkey, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I'm asking this for my own personal information. I've never aerated my lawn, and it is starting to get some pretty bare areas, so I was thinking of aerating and overseeding with fescue, which is what most of the lawn is now composed of. Anyway, I realize this is normally done in the fall, but we were extremely dry last year, and I read on here that it is better to aerate when there is some moisture, so I never did it.

    My question is, would there be any benefit from doing so now, or should I just wait until this fall? Thanks.
  2. kennc38

    kennc38 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    You'll have much better results if you wait until the fall. If you seed now the new grass will not have much time to grow strong roots before the heat of the summer gets here.
  3. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    I used to do just that when I lived in Nebraska. It works but like Kennec said it is best done in the fall. Aerate the lawn several times to get the most holes per sq ft. Broadcast the seed wait for the cores to dry then drag the lawn. This moves the seed around and helps break up the cores for better seed germination. Seeds in the holes will have a nice protected enviroment to start in also the core dirt will cover seeds dragged to the low spots. The seeds will wait for the ground temp to get up to 50 before they germinate so be patient with spring weed protection. Let the new plants get up to several inches before treatment.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Aeration is not your best seed bed... period...

    Unless you have compaction issues or something, it is best to run a 'garden weasel' or 'seed stitcher' over your bare spots and drop some seed... run it over with the weasel or the stictcher again and get it to grow b4 the heat sets in...
    Forget aerators, when seeding is your objective... :)
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    do you mean seed slicer? is that the same as a revitiallizer?
  6. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    he means the stitcher, a sponsor on here at least at one time. it is the same kinda of tool as the garden weasel and meant for small spot seeding.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Grassman is correct... I wouldn't run a revitalizer over the entire lawn, just to spiff-up a few bare spots... I use a garden weasel, but the 'stitcher' was actually designed for the job... quick, easy and it shouldn't be a problem in mowing... :)
  8. kennc38

    kennc38 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Smallaxe, based on your previous posts on this topic, I know you're not a fan of aerating/seeding as an effective means to overseed a lawn. However, here in NC it's a very effective AND efficient way to overseed a lawn. The soil in my area has a high clay content so aerating at least once a year is almost mandatory and twice a year is highly recommended, even for areas that aren't exposed to high traffic.

    I have been using this method for many years (as well as every other person and professional lawncare company that I know) and have had great success doing it, so to suggest "forget aerating, when seeding is your objective" is very misleading and not entirely accurate in my opinion. If you the use the method that Turfco Bob has suggested, then you will get excellent results this way. If fact, this is the same method recommended by the NC State Ag. Dept. (see pg. 21 of "Prepare a good seedbed" in the following pdf link: http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/PDFFiles/004175/Carolina_Lawns.pdf).

    Also, if you will note in the OP's first post, he states that he has never aerated his yard. So my question is, why would he not core aerate, making double or even triple passes in the bare areas and then put the seed down and then drag the yard breaking up the cores as Turfco Bob has suggested? It's been my experience that you will get the same tearing and ripping action from a rolling tine aerator with several passes in the same area as you would with the "garden weasel" you've suggested. Besides, if he has a large yard with a lot of bare areas I wonder how long it would take to use the manual garden weasel as opposed to making several passes with the aerator.

    I agree that a machine such as a turf revitalizer would be more effective with a yard that has more bare areas than grass, but with an established lawn with a few bare areas, core aerating/seeding has been a very effective method for me as well as others in my area as I mentioned earlier.
  9. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Many good results using this method. To add, with a hydro aerator (since one has instant reverse now by merely squeezing), even over a medium to larger size area, I now as standard practice go back and forth, several times over, with the aerator and produce a very nice seed bed. Big time and labor saver.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Ohhh, But I am a fan of aerating for compacted clay soils... as well as heavily thatched hydrophobic soils... :)

    However, Getting out an aerator for a few bare spots in the lawn, is like using the a backhoe for edging around a clump of peonies, or reartine tiller to work up a foundation planting, in between the stones and concrete pots...

    You are in NC with the warm-season grasses and you could very well be right about what your strategy is... Up here, several passes with an aerator will kill more grass roots than your seed will ever produce, especially if it germinates late, like last year, and everything germinates at the same time as the CG does... What a mess that would be...

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