Help with aerating and overseeding

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Mike821, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Mike821

    Mike821 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    Good day!

    I have two properties that need core aerating and over seeding. Here are the specs:

    1) 3/4 acre with some bald spots. Grass is fairly thick but needs some attention in the areas around the trees and some bald spots in the lawn. He is looking for slit seeding. Questions...How much should I charge for both core aerating and slit seeding? How much seed and what type of mixture. (live in NJ) Do I cut short (2-2 1/2") and then core and slit seed? I am looking at 1-2 hrs on repair of the bald spots.

    2) 1/3 acre...half is grass. The other half is totally dead. Needs renovation in my opinion. Full sun on both sections. What should I figure on core aerating and over seeding. Cost for renovation and what steps should I take. Till...cut short and slit seed..???

    I have searched the posts and found many opinions and suggestions. This will be my first job this year. I just don't want to take a beating. Hopefully someone can chime in and guide me in the right direction with estimating and some pointers. Many thanks in advance for your time.

  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,433

    I don't know which type of soil preparation is best--except it is best to get the seed down into the soil, 1/4 inch. (Refer to my experiments). Don't expect much success in heavy shade--it tends to fade out in August heat. Are sites irrigated? In NJ you can probably get good results with a bluegrass/ryegrass mixture. About 4 pounds per thousand. Be sure the rye is resistant to gray leaf spot and red thread. Maybe a rye seed like "Dash" would meet your needs. I think slit-seeding is easier than tilling it first. Charge for your drive and$75 per hour for your time, more, if you have to sweat...charge for depreciation, wear and tear on the machine. If you could be called back for a redo...charge to cover that risk. Set up a battery operated sprinkler timer if not irrigated (charge for that, too).
    Opinions vary--other experienced people will chime in.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Running a slit seeder through the dead grass over a large area may make sense, but why are you seeding into good turf?

    Individual bald spots should be handled individually and done right as opposed to aerating and slit seeding the whole thing, then going back to the bald spots...

    Aerate only if there is a valid reason to aerate, rather than "Because that's what we do." excuse...

    Charging for all those different processes and covering the cost of the machinery, means that both you and the client are wasting money... A perfect lawn with less money means a bigger profit margin for you...

    Is there a reason to aerate?

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