Most people know that their lawns need fertilization, water, and sunlight to stay green and healthy. What most people don’t consider, however, is that their lawn may need to be aerated. The number one enemy of a healthy lawn is compacted soil, and aeration helps to reduce that compaction.
Lawn aeration is a mechanical process in which a machine is used to pull plugs of soil out and drop them on the lawn. Aeration serves to decompact soil, reduce thatch, and promote the flow of water and nutrients. Thatch harms your lawn by preventing sunlight and nutrients to reach the soil. Overly compacted soil harms your lawn by stifling the flow of water and nutrients. The plugs that are dropped on the soil will break down, fertilizing the lawn and encouraging thatch breakdown. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the plugs to biodegrade, and you can mow the lawn during this time.
What Else Should I Know About Lawn Aeration?
It is a good idea to leave the plugs on your lawn because they encourage thatch breakdown and biodegrade, acting as a fertilizer. The plugs are good for your lawn’s health. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the cores of soil to break down. You can cut your grass while this process is happening.
One other thing to keep in mind is while aeration does not completely remove thatch, it does help get rid of some of it, helping your lawn to breathe. Severe thatch problems need to be corrected using other means.
Types of Aerators
An aerator is a machine that creates holes in the lawn to decompact the soil. The two main types of aerators are spike aerators and core aerators. Spike aerators use wedge shaped spikes to poke holes in the soil, whereas core aerators have hollow tines that pull plugs out of the soil. At Turf Tenders, we use core aerators.
Should I Have My Lawn Aerated?
How do you know if you should aerate your lawn? One of the biggest signs you should aerate your lawn is if it gets heavy traffic. If a lot of people and pets are walking around on your lawn, it contributes to soil compaction, which makes it harder for nutrients and water to penetrate the soil and reach your roots. Core aeration serves to decompact the soil, improving the flow of water and fertilizer. Your soil is also likely to be heavily compacted if it’s part of a new construction, as there are likely a lot of people and machines putting pressure on the grass.
Core Aeration with Overseeding
If your lawn suffers from bare spots, you can also follow-up aeration with overseeding. Grass seed requires contact with soil in order to germinate. Core aeration prior to overseeding allows the seeds to stick in the holes, causing greater contact with soil and preventing the seeds from being washed away when it rains or when the lawn is watered. Our minimum price for aeration with overseeding starts at $220.50 per 4000 sq ft. Contact Turf Tenders today to get an estimate.
Aeration with Overseeding Included Starts as Low as $220.50 / 4000 sq ft.
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Another reason you may want to aerate your lawn is if it feels dry and spongy. This is an indicator of heavy thatch, which prevents your lawn from getting the resources it needs. Finally, if your lawn was established by sod and has layered soil, you will want to have your lawn aerated. Layered soil disrupts drainage and water flow, which can cause poor root development. While not a miracle cure for extreme lawn problems, aeration can be an important step in creating a green, healthy, thick and hardy lawn that stays green all season. If you want your lawn to be the prize of the neighborhood and increase your curb appeal, contact Turf Tenders today for an estimate.
When Should You Perform Lawn Aeration?
Most grass in Michigan is cool season turf, meaning that it thrives in areas with cold winters and hot summers. These grasses grow best between 65-80 degrees F. At Turf Tenders, we aerate only in the spring and fall, not in the summer. This is because Michigan is a cool season turf region, meaning that for optimum growth and recovery, aeration needs to be done when it’s not hot out. Finally, your lawn should be moist, but not soaked. The aerator is more easily able to penetrate the soil when it’s moist, but it will clog up if the soil is too saturated. Ideally, your lawn should absorb 1 inch of water prior to aerating. Lawn aeration should not be done during especially hot or arid times, as you’ll stress your lawn. In most cases, aeration is typically performed once per year.
Protect Your Lawn
It’s also important to complete lawn aeration after weed control has been done. While the cores provide holes for grass seed to germinate, they also provide holes for weeds to germinate. The process can also spread the roots of weeds. Like seeds, fertilizer can also more easily penetrate the lawn after aerating, so fertilize either right before or right after aeration.
Lawn Seeding & Overseeding
If your lawn contains any bare spots, seeding and overseeding is for you. This program works hand in hand with aeration, though it can be done separately. We highly recommend that you have your lawn aerated prior to overseeding, as it allows the seed to come into greater contact with the soil and prevents it from flowing away if it rains. You also get the added benefit of dethatching the lawn and creating holes so that water can be utilized better.
Revitalize Your Lawn
Overseeding is a great way to revitalize a lawn that looks old or “tired.” Overseeding can make your lawn more resistant to pests, drought, and heavy traffic. It can help reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticides required. Overseeding helps fill in bare spots in the lawn, in addition to making the lawn healthier and hardier. A thick lawn is your first step in preventing weeds. Overseeding also compensates for the natural slowdown of turf growth, helping to strengthen the root system and keep your lawn green for years to come.
Overseeding is another way to ensure that your lawn is thick and healthy, preventing weeds and disease. We use a premium blend of grass seed that includes Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues, and Rye. Having a different blend of grasses gives your lawn the best protection against drought, insects, and disease. Overseeding is done over existing grass, filling in bare spots, whereas seeding involves starting all over without any prior grass.
What to Expect
When we aerate the lawn it leaves holes in your lawn. We then heavily overseed the lawn with a premium grass seed. This gets the seed down in the soil, where it has the best chance to germinate. Grass seed needs to be in contact with soil in order to germinate and grow into grass. Aerating the lawn before overseeding allows the seeds to stay in place, instead of washing off, when it rains or when you water the lawn. It also allows the seed to come into contact with more soil. With proper watering, you will have new grass growing in no time.
When Should I Do Overseeding?
If your lawn consists of at least 50% healthy turf, you are a candidate for overseeding. However, if your lawn lacks that much healthy turf, it may be better to start all over. This process involves killing/removing all vegetation from the lawn (including grass), removing all thatch depris, aerating thoroughly with a core-type aerator, fertilizing, and then re-seeding. You may want to go this route if your grass is overly infested with disease or is brown and dead. Overseeding a dead lawn is faster than digging up all the soil and starting completely from scratch.
Timing is Everything
The best time to overseed your lawn is late summer or early fall. Soil temperature is at its most favorable at this time for optimum growth. Seedlings will be well established before cool weather sets in, provided the lawn gets adequate moisture, fertilizer, and sunlight. Overseeding in the spring risks weather related problems and over competition with weeds. Overseeding in the midsummer puts your lawn at greater risk of disease and heat stress. Dormant overseeding, after soil temperatures are too low for germination, is done in the late fall or early winter. Success with dormant overseeding is dependent on good snow cover to prevent wind and water erosion and early germination.
Premium Seed Blend
At Turf Tenders, we use a premium blend of grass seed that mimics sod. It contains a mixture of Kentucky Blue Grass, Fescues, and Rye. Having a greater variety of grasses in your lawn makes it more resistant to drought, disease, and insects. Your lawn will stay greener and thicker all season long, and you will spend less money on maintenance because you won’t be dealing with as many diseases or weeds. Weeds need contact with soil in order for their seeds to germinate, so a thick, healthy lawn is your first line of defense against infestation of dandelions, crabgrass, and other annoying weeds.
Get the Best Results
We highly recommend that you have your lawn aerated prior to overseeding, as it allows the seed to come into greater contact with the soil and prevents it from flowing away if it rains. You also get the added benefit of dethatching the lawn and creating holes so that water can be utilized better. Thatch is dead plant material that chokes out the lawn, depriving it of nutrients, sunlight, and water. Dethatching and aeration allow your lawn to adequately obtain the resources it needs to stay thick, green, and healthy all season long.
In order to care for your lawn after it has been overseeded, proper watering and soil temperatures are critical. Water your lawn lightly every day until germination. After germination, water less frequently, but be sure to water deeply with adequate soil penetration. Once the grass is established, you can resume a normal watering schedule for the type of grass that was planted. Care and patience are key to establishing a healthy lawn after overseeding.
Seeding & Overseeding Pricing
Regular seeding at Turf Tenders starts at $155.50 per 4000 sq ft and involves us spreading grass seed over your lawn to help thicken it up and introduce new grass varieties. Seeding with aeration starts at $220.50 per 4000 sq ft. While you can seed your lawn on your own, it’s really recommended that you use a professional lawn care service to do this for you. Only a lawn care specialist can determine the best blend of seed for your lawn and the best time to do it. A trusted lawn care specialist can also perform the aeration for you, saving you time and headache. This ensures that you’re not wasting your time and money by using the wrong grass seed or aerating at the wrong time, which could harm your grass instead of helping it. Save money on costly mistakes by allowing a professional to get the job done.
Why Choose Us?
Choose Turf Tenders for lawn overseeding and all of your other lawn care needs. Not only are we experts in our field with over 30 years of experience, but we truly care about our customers. If you’re unsatisfied with your service, we will keep coming back until you are satisfied. Our staff thrives on providing exceptional services, personalized attention, and top-notch products. When you contract Turf Tenders for your lawn care and overseeding needs, you’re not only becoming a customer, you’re becoming part of the Turf Tenders family!