Plans for aerating

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by kemmer, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    I am planning on offering aerating this fall. I am located in new jersey-bergen county. When is the best time frame to do it, i need dates. also, i am planning on seeding afterwords, what type of seed should i put down, i want to put the same down for all the lawns. Also, how much should i charge?

    I am planning on sending out letters to my customers to offer the service soon, not too soon, but around September. because i believe your supposed to do it in the fall for best results. This is open to everyone, but people in new jersey will be more helpful because of the location.

    I just want to know what i need, so i have time to get the machines and materials, and especially the time to compete the jobs

  2. The mayor

    The mayor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    I start aerating the first or second week of september. Later if it is still hot and dry. I will be letting my customers know that it is coming up with this billing at the end of the month. I do seeding as a seperate service. That would be overseeding with my slitseeder.
  3. shepherdlawncare

    shepherdlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I start aerating first of September. You should have six weeks of good grass growing weather after you aerate before freeze-up to prevent damage to the lawn. I overseed with a good quality all pupose mix with KBG, creeping red fescue, perennial rye in equal amonts. I figure it will adapt to most areas of the lawn whether it is sun or shade. This seems to work good in my area.
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Mr Snowleaflandscaping:
    When to start aerating is a great question because there are many answers and they are all correct.

    The Mayor hit it pretty close for your area if you want to go by a calender. Fact is you can aerate northern grasses till the ground freezes and not do any harm. One good trick is to put down a fall fert right after the fall aeration. It will give the lawn a jump start in the spring. If your mowing that lawn it is a big plus as they grass is usually ready to mow a couple weeks earlier due to a quick spring start.

    Remember this Fall aeration is the best time for the grass plant and your time as mowing and stuff slows down. But it is the worst time to aerate for your equipment. Rule of thumb if yu cannot stick a screw driver in the ground you cannot aerate it with a rolling aerator. Don't even try it will be a waste of gas. Go out on thelawn in several places stick the screw driver in the ground if it won't go don't try. Water real good first. Aeration takes wet soft soild to do a good job. Now those piston type aerators will aerate in dry soils, in fact that is one of the selliing points they use. But, the dry hard ground will beat them to death. So be prepared to be a mechanic and have lots of money ready for parts.

    If you have lawns with irrigation you can get on them in Aug if it is not too hot. Also if you are going to do any overseeding in Aug or Sept it is good to aerate alot (14 to 20 holes per sq. ft.) before you overseed.

    One rule I always had was this. I always tried to aerate new customers in the spring and fert right behind it. This is the customers that have never had aeration done before. This way the customer gets a real quick value return for the dollar spent and they feel good about it. The grass just explodes. Had one guy tell me his kids hated be because they had to mow twice a week instead of just once.

    Later when they understand what aeration does I would move them to the fall schedule when I have more time. Understand that if you aerate a new "Aeration Customer" in the fall they will seldom see any inprovement till the spring. A real delay in "Value for Dollar Spent".

    One last tip and I will shut up...When you do a lawn have an aftercare booklet ready to hang on the door. Explain what the cores are, how long they last and that it is good for the lawn for them to break down slowly. Don't have a book? You can get them from Turfco Direct 800-679-8201 or just copy it from their web site, they don't care.

    this is really the last tip...When you do one lawn i a neighbor hood put out your sign for the neighbors to see then do this. Take a core sample from each neighbors lawn put it in a bag and hang it on their door knob. Put a (hand written) note inside introducing yourself and offering to aerate their lawn. Even put a price quote on it and don't forget your phone number.

    If you have any questions you can e-mail me at

  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Bob, thank you for "aeration 101', that was well put and to the point. May I save that to share?

    snowyleaflandscaping, as for the seed to use. It would be easiest for you to buy one type of seed or blend, but what do the clients have in their lawns? If you are doing work in an area that cares about the look of their lawn, and I think you are, you might want to reseed with the same grass that is in the lawn. Different grass is different colors, shape and sizes, those that know, will notice. As for what to charge, materials, labor, overhead and profit is what you need to determine.

  6. kevB

    kevB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Who put dog turds in a bag on our front door? :p
  7. Turfco2

    Turfco2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Go ahead and laugh...It works when you put a note and little sales flyer with it. It is called marketing to you guys who do not know. You would be amazed what a little marketing can do to help your sales effort.

  8. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    Thanks turfcobob, that flier was very informative, and i used alot of the information, but does anyone else have any type of fliers?
  9. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    There used to be some outfit out of Ohio would come to the PLCAA / GIE show and he had all kinds of flyers to sell. Best bet is to go to the show in Novemver in Orlando and look around. Great place to get ideas for the next year.

  10. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

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