Before Seeding

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This article will teach you how to overseed a lawn.
by Terry O'Leary · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · August 27, 2010 · 34,782 views

Aerating a LawnAerate Before Overseeding

Before broadcasting seed to overseed your lawn, aeration of the soil is highly recommended. Aeration allows seeds to drop in shallow holes, where plugs have been removed, reducing the possibility of washing and facilitating stronger root growth of seedlings. Aeration also allows fertilizer or organic matter to get to the roots and water to soak better into the soil.

For Fescue and Bluegrass it is best to use a mechanical "core-type" power aerator that will remove and disperse soil plugs (2 to 3" in length) randomly atop the ground. Core-type power aerators can be rented from your local tool rental store. Make at least two, or as many passes as desired over the area to be reseeded.

TIP: Aerators penetrate your lawn best when the soil has been moistened by rain or watering. If the soil is hard and dry in the area you intend to overseed, water the area deeply during the evening on the day before you plan to aerate. This will soften the soil so that the aerator does a better job of pulling deeper plugs. Keep in mind that if the soil is too wet, the pluggers on the aerator may become clogged and not work properly.

For Bermuda, Centipede and other warm season grasses, you can use a "spike-type" aerator that will poke shallower holes. Spike aerators can be pulled behind a riding lawn mower. A core-type aerator can be used, just make sure it's not plugging too deep. These seed types do not like to be buried any more than a 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Wait to aerate when overseeding with these types of seed until a point in time when the soil bed is not too wet.

Apply Organic Matter or Ammendments

Before broadcasting seed over the aerated area, apply sand or other organic matter as desired. These ammendments will fall into the plugged holes and work to condition soil and feed grass plants of any type over a long period of time.

Bermuda, Centipede and St. Augustine grasses thrive in sandy soils. So, whether you are seeding, or simply aerating, applications of sand on these grasses can be very beneficial. Organic matter, such as screened native top soil, mushroom compost, composted manures and others are very beneficial to all types of lawn grasses.

Terry O'Leary

Meet The Author

Terry O'Leary - Terry has been involved in golf course management since 1996. There isn't much he doesn't know about turf grass.

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