With the record-breaking heat and drought conditions we experienced this summer, many lawns have not rebounded from dormancy. The best thing you can do is aerate and overseed your property. Why is it important to have a thick lawn? Aside from aesthetics, the best way to keep weeds at bay is to have a thick lush lawn.
What exactly is included in this service and when should it be performed? These are great questions and deserve to be answered before you spend your hard-earned money on lawn aeration and overseeding.
The best time of year to do this is between Labor Day and October 15th. Timing is important but so is the moisture content of the soil. Soil cannot be so dry and rock hard that the aeration machine will be unable to pull 1.5-2” deep plugs. What is the use in aerating a property which is hard as concrete if you cannot pull deep enough plugs?
Now that the property has been aerated in at least two directions, what do we do next? We need to spread seed across the entire turf area. For overseeding, it is recommended that you use a rate of 2.5 lbs of seed per 1000 square feet of area. At Terra, we use 5 lbs of Oregon State Blue Label Certified Seed per 1000 square feet of area. The seed we primarily use is an 80-10-10 mixture. 80% turf-type tall fescue for disease and drought resistance. 10% Perennial Rye for fast germination and 10% Kentucky Blue Grass because that can knit its way into small bare areas and fill them in.
Not so fast, we are not finished yet. We need to feed the new seed so we also apply a starter fertilizer to the property to promote growth and get as much germination as possible.
One common thing that many companies do is apply lime to properties. The reality of this is that lime is very inexpensive, it takes years to penetrate the soil surface, and it takes a lot of it to actually make a change in the soil pH. At Terra, we use a product called Physiocal which is much more effective than lime in adjusting the pH levels of soil as well as help to break down any clay soil.
Now we have done our part, it is your turn to do your job which is watering your property regularly. If you do this, I assure you that you will have a beautiful lawn and just be sure to do this every other year to maintain your lawn.