selling aeration AND overseeding in the spring

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by djlunchbox, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    are any of you doing this (cool season grasses) in the spring. I can see aeration, but i have some customers interested in overseeding in the spring. the way i see it, even if i aerate in a few weeks up here and overseed, then when i do the first mow, i'll just ruin the seed. the obvious answer is wait until fall, but there are some people that are asking about it. what do you guys do in the spring. slit seed? topdress after overseed with compost?
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    Ruin the seed by mowing it? If its tall enough to mow--should be no problem.
    If its still short--getting squashed by a heavy tire--well my opinion is that there would be almost zero damage. Accept a little extra profit. Seeding is easier than aerating. Its a good time to improve the lawn with more modern cultivars of grass seed. Darker color, drought hardy, more disease resistant. You have to convince the customer to spend a little more to go with better quality seed, of course. Naturally, in an overseed situation it is hard to determine what percent of the new seed actually took hold. And if its a shade situation there is a good chance it will become weak and thin during late summer when day length is short, temps are high and tree leaves are at their maximum.

    A more important question is: What about crabgrass control? It could very well block the germination of new seed. You are forced to use Tupersan, do the crabgrass control late in the season, or treat with a post emergent. But maybe you do not apply pesticides, so you do not do the crabgrass control for this customer.
  3. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Some of my clients I do a full lawn aeration on the property, then I pass with my dethatcher, then once all the thatch is picked up, I fertilized and overseed at the same time. It's a BIG boosting package for a lawn in the spring. Usually in spring it's always damp, so the seeds take no time to germinate. You cut the grass a bit shorter than usually before doing that, that way the customer can stay away from his lawn extra longer.

    The only bad thing I can see if your mowing your lawn that has fresh seeds, is the seeds might fly away or get displace.
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    When you dethatch and rake up the thatch are you also picking up the aeration plugs? If you are going to both aerate and dethatch then I would de-thatch first and rake. Then aerate so that you do not disturb all the plugs
  5. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    A lot of people here do not like seeing little earth cores on their lawn, even though it is very good for your lawn as it acts as a top dressing.

    So I do the aeration first, then I pass with my de-thatcher, the de-thatcher does it job as lifting up the thatch and + it helps to brake up the plugs. Once everything is done you are left with almost no more plugs, they are already all broken up.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Aeration in the spring still seems out of place to me... The freeze/thaw cycle after being frozen all winter, does so much to loosen the soil and have lots of air and structure for the first few mowings of springtime.

    Grass seed only needs contact with soil and plenty of moisture to grow. I always seed by hand, tossing it on areas that are bare or noticably thin as soon as the snow is gone. We now have access to decent compost, so lately I've gone over the seeding with a pickup load of compost as cover, and that really helps a lot... :)
  7. djlunchbox

    djlunchbox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    thanks for the replies guys.

    what i was trying to describe is this situation:

    we'd run a power rake on smaller yards, and a jrco dethatcher on the larger yards. (we only have a 22 inch wide power rake at the moment)
    vac up the thatch
    do our core aeration
    then some sort of overseeding.

    i like the other method that was mentioned above, using the power rake to break up the cores....

    i'm just going on my experience with this, but up here it usually takes a minimum of one month to see a nice growth from the new seed. Now being that its spring and not fall, the lawns are going to grow super fast. Which means more mowing. I was worried about the mower lifting up the new weed after a few weeks, and smashing the new growth that had taken root.

    I'm thinking that i will explain the process to my customers, tell them if they choose spring overseeding , that their lawns will be a bit "shaggy" for a month or so until its safe to mow. most of my customers will be having spot treatments anyhow.

    i'll also push the customers who want an entire lawn overseeding to wait until fall

    we don't have our licence for pest control this year, so we will be subbing that out (it pains me to do it) we will do the fert ourselves if it's cost effective.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    One of the big benefits of alowing the plugs to sit on the surface is that they encourage beneficial bacteria growth and micro-organisms. I do not know it this is reduced by breaking down the plugs machanicall y with a power rake.

    I have always been under the training that fall is the best time. Pre-emergents do enough to the roots so why aerate and stress the roots out any further? But I did get my Turf Magazine in and the cover article was about spring Aerations, maybe I'll actually read it instead of just looking at the pictures
  9. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Their always been a big debate on doing the aeration in the spring or in the fall.
    Me I tell my customer either way is good, however if you do one in the spring and one in the fall, that's even better.

    + There's such a small difference that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference of a spring or fall aeration.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you are using pre-m in the spring... What effect would aeration have on the establishment ofthe pre-m in the surface of the ground?

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