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Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lav86, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. lav86

    lav86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hey guys I'm new to the site and new to lawn care, so basically i want to aerate my lawn because it died this summer from the heat and wanted to know if i could dethatch+aerate in 1 day and overseed a few days later?which is best to do?thanks
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Unless you have a need to aerate,,, for an actual reason,,, you'll have much better results by running a slit-seeder over the ground just the way it is and keeping it watered... soil to seed contact can be made in the bottom of the slit,,, but if not, seed to mulch contact is even better, becuz the mulch doesn't dry out as quickly as dirt does...
    De-thatching is an error for cool-season grasses,,, even for seeding...

    If your lawn is truly dead,,, then even if you had a thick layer of living thatch,,, that will be truly dead as well...
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    My opinion. Use high-quality disease-resistant seed, suited to your climate. Start in late summer when temps come down to 85.Warm soil causes quick germination, (if moist). Mow as short as you can--removing the residue. Add starter fert. Power rake and sow seed or slit seed. Mulch over the top with the residue you just removed. Water every day for 30 days. Use turf building fert after 30 days and again at 60 days.
    Let us know what happens, OK?
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    What he says, except I would aerate up to 12 holes per sq ft right after the mowing. Plugs help cover seed and holes make a great place for seed to get a start.
  5. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    What? Please explain how de-thatching a lawn is an 'error'?
  6. lav86

    lav86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hey guys thanks for quick replies, what about top dressing I bought a few bags of that Scott's lawn soil bags..what step should that be??
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I've laid out the reasoning in a couple of similar threads, just recently...
    perhaps it would be simpler to explain why removing the natural soil covering is beneficial...

    remember that no-one proposes doing it to conquer living thatch... verticutting and aeration won those spots in the professional's tool kit... :)
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If I get to topdress I haul in compost by the pickup load and just spead evenly about the lawn, adding more to areas that have more grass clippings showing than grass that growing... :)
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    I am not a proponent of top dressing to cover the seed to substitute for proper soil preparation. I think you would need too much. If you planned to bury the seed a quarter inch deep. My estimate is 21 cubic feet per 1000 sqft. (That would be three-quarters of a cubic yard per 1000 sqft. (Around 1650 pounds).
    And it is nearly impossible to spread it evenly.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    When it comes to overseeding existing turf, it will also be impossible to stir up the soil 1/4" deep as well... I would want seed to germinate in a space between 2 plants 2" wide...

    When the grass is cut short those 2", or more, bare spots really show up all over the lawn and you just can culivate those spots to be 1/4" deep w/out harrassing the plants all around it... many times the seed is still visible, just sitting on the surface of that bare spot so the compost, even a little compost, makes the necessary contact for the seed to germinate while on the surface...

    This is the very reason why having dead grass clippings sitting in these little bare spots is so important... the seed will never stay in place otherwise... :)

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