Have you forgotten something? Check your calendar and I believe you will see a reminder that early Fall is the time to prep your lawn with two fundamental procedures: aeration and overseeding. Aeration refers to air, which is what needs to be periodically introduced into the root system of your grass in order to encourage turf grass rooting, among other benefits. Overseeding is the practice of introducing new seed into an established lawn. Both enhance and strengthen your turf and help it to produce that lush, green look we all prize.
Aeration is simple enough: it involves mechanically poking thousands of holes in the soil. This allows oxygen, but also water and fertilizer, to circulate down there where the root system is working its magic. Additionally, our clay soils are prone to tight compaction over time, becoming near brick like in consistency. Aeration loosens the clay, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate farther into the ground. This in turn encourages the roots to extend themselves.
Here are some action photos of our top men aerating a customer’s lawn.
Overseeding is straightforward: the grass is mowed low to the ground to permit the new seed to reach the soil and begin to germinate – and then nature takes its course as the new grasses supplement and/or replace existing lawns. The net result of both aeration and overseeding is a hardy, lustrous lawn that reduces water runoff and resists drought and disease.
When should you aerate and overseed? Most commonly annually, just before your grass starts to grow rapidly. Different grasses have different growth habits, so it is important to know your grass, especially with regard to aeration. Fescue does most of its productive growth in the Fall, so September and October are ideal months to aerate. But Bermuda, zoysiagrass, and centipede lawns complete their green-up in April, so late April is the best time to aerate those grasses.
So, to sum it all up, know your grass and aerate and overseed your lawns. You can thank me later.