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How Aeration Works

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

Aeration and Overseeding is a vital part of lawn care each Fall to ensure healthy grass for the following season.


Over time grass can begin to look faded, patchy, and worn down. Your lawn requires love to stay looking it’s best. The most effective steps to make your lawn look incredible are aerating, seeding, and fertilization in the Fall.



Overseeding








Overseeding helps to thicken your lawn and fill in bare spots with new grass. Thousands of seeds are sown into the soil, and they spring to life when the proper soil, air, and water conditions all merge. Seeding should be done with aeration allowing seeds to get deep into the soil establishing their root system.



Aeration

Core aeration is the process of poking holes or “plugging” to allow oxygen, water, and other nutrients to reach the grasses roots. The primary purposes of aeration are to improve water absorption rates (think less rain runoff) and loosen soil compaction. This introduces greater air penetration to soil and allows for root structures to expand which also increases the efficiency of fertilization and soil amendments.











For best results, aerate during your lawn’s growing season. Certain types of grasses have different opportune growing seasons. Most grass in Tennessee are a Fescue blend that thrives during early spring and mid-Autumn. We recommend aerating in the fall for 3 reasons: 1. The temperatures are more consistent. (Ideal temps are 65 – 85 degrees). 2. New grass will thrive then enter a dormant season, increasing root growth. 3. Fall tends to have more consistent rain without frost. Summer grasses are slightly different and excel in Summer. Grasses like Zoysia and Bermuda fare well in intense heat with minimal water, but go dormant in the cooler seasons. For summer grass, aerate in growing season



Fertilization


Fertilization is the key successful aeration. Fertilizer jump starts the germination. Keeping the lawn healthy and performing its best.


Fertilizer brings essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to the root system. These are steroids to grass. Increasing vibrant and thick growth.









Before Aerating


Make sure your yard is thoroughly watered before the service this will ensure that the aerator gets good plugs. A solid deep soaking is recommended. If you can get a screwdriver into the ground without force your yard is moist enough for aeration.


Mow your yard lower than usual to allow for good seed-soil contact prior to your service.


Pull or scalp weeds and crabgrass with a weed eater.



Watering After Aeration


First and second week after aeration: Shallow daily watering. Water daily and if possible, two times per day – once in the morning and afternoon. If you have an irrigation system, 10-20 minutes per watering should be adequate. If using a hose sprinkler, be sure to move the sprinkler to multiple locations in the yard.10-15 minutes per station should do. Avoid heavy watering as it can wash seed away.


Third to fourth week after aeration: Water longer but less often. Decrease watering to 2-3 days a week. Increase your time by 5-10 minutes per watering. Only skip your watering schedule after a rainfall if it was a deep soaking rain (1/2″-1″). The seed should be germinating by now. Deep soakings are now necessary to Increasing root development.


For more details about watering after seeding, reach a friend Ann’s blog post at http://sumogardener.com/watering-grass-seed/ for a very comprehensive survey of watering after seeding.