Aeration and Overseeding rejuvenates the grass!
The first step to fall lawn care for your commercial business should be to aerate your lawn. Aeration is the process of pricking small holes in the ground with a machine that looks like an overgrown grass trimmer. This process allows the grass roots to grow deeper and stronger, while also allowing much needed oxygen, water and nutrients to get down into the soil. It also helps with thatch buildup.
When Should you Aerate your Lawn in Virginia?
Early fall is the ideal time to Aerate and Overseed your lawn. Conditions around Lynchburg tend to be best between September and October when the days and nights are both cool and mild, creating ideal conditions for seed germination. The ground in at this time is usually soft enough to get decent plugs in, and seed is better able to retain moisture in these conditions as well.
Is it ok to Aerate Lawn in the Spring?
In the Spring, fresh annual weed seeds are dormant and ready to grow in cold soil packed full of nutrients. During this time, weeds outcompete young grass plants for space due to fierce competition. The summer heat can also spell trouble for these new lawns because it’s often too hot during that season (summer) which makes fertilizing difficult with limited shade cover from trees or other structures .
Unlike fall soils which contain only dead weed matter , spring soil is occupied by many additional seedlings prepared to compete with your newly seeded lawn as soon as temperatures warm up outside. In addition, typical summer heat causes problems like drought stress and high temperature limitations on turf health making fertilization more challenging
Aerating Your Lawn
Aeration or core aeration removes plugs of soil in your yard to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the roots in your grass. This helps the root system grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
Over the course of the year, your yard experiences soil compaction, where the soil gets pressed down and any air or space in the soil is removed. This primarily happens when someone or something is walking across the lawn, when the lawn mower drives over it, or during a heavy rain.
There are benefits of aeration and overseeding including:
- Improving your lawn drainage
- Increased benefits from your fertilizer
- Winterizing your lawn
Aeration is critical to achieving a beautiful, green lawn, but most people simply don’t realize it or just don’t understand the process. If you want your lawn to look its best, aeration should become an integral part of your regular lawn care program.
Overseeding Your Lawn
Overseeding is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf, without tearing up the soil. It’s an easy way to fill in bare spots, improve your lawns’ health, or even enhance your lawn’s color.
After summer droughts, diseases, and plenty of foot traffic your lawn may look old, or worn out. Following lawn aeration, lawn seeding helps thicken up the turf layer and further reduce weed growth, along with other benefits of overseeding including:
- Filling in damaged areas
- Improving your lawn’s appearance
- Enhancing your lawn’s ability to protect itself
Warm Season Grasses Vs Cold Season Grasses
In this part of Virginia, we often have cold winters and hot summers. The ups and downs in temperature mean the best way to have a green lawn for as long as possible is to use multiple types of grasses in your lawn.
When you put down seed at the beginning of spring, you want warm season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, which thrive in high temperatures. When you overseed in the fall, focus on cool season grasses. These grass plants thrive in cooler temperatures and can survive significantly below freezing.
A healthy lawn will withstand the annual ups and downs of weather and keep your lawn looking great all year long!
Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn Together
When you aerate and then overseed, the thinning of grass that results from opening up your lawn’s soil allows sunlight to reach the lower areas where seed is deposited. This makes for faster germination and new seedling growth than would be possible if you just planted seed over a thicker stand of old grass.
Aeration provides the perfect spacing and conditions in your lawn for seed to grow and mature. Since you are introducing new grass seed, it will take all of the available water, oxygen, and nutrients and starve out the weeds as well.
If it’s done correctly by a lawn care professional, aerating combined with over-seeding will give your commercial lawn a brand-new look!