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Fall is the Time to Aerate and Overseed Lawns

In the fall, there are some things we can do to get our lawns looking great next spring. Two very beneficial steps to take are aeration and overseeding, in that order. Aeration is especially good for our lawns because it reduces compaction of the soil and increases air flow and water absorption in the root zone. Overseeding is recommended in order to achieve a thicker, healthier lawn that will keep weeds to a minimum and look amazing.

What is aeration?

Aerating a lawn involves removing plugs of soil throughout the lawn so that air and water can get deeper into the soil and the turf can expand in order to reduce compaction. To remove the plugs, specially designed equipment is used to evenly pull out plugs of soil at the appropriate depth of 2-3 inches. For best results, the plugs are left on the lawn to break down naturally. This process is very healthy for lawns and does no damage if done properly. Many homeowners aerate their lawns every year but if your lawn is heavily compacted or pools water when it rains, it's definitely time to consider aerating your lawn.

Why is fall a good time to aerate?

Fall is a really good time to aerate a lawn because soil temperatures start dropping quickly as the days get shorter. Grass roots grow much faster when soil temperatures are between 55 and 75 degrees. This is important to understand because one of the biggest benefits of aeration is that it speeds up root growth, giving the grass a great start next spring. Aerating in the hottest months of the year is not necessarily bad, but it's also not as effective as doing it in the fall.

What is overseeding?

Overseeding is quite simply the process of spreading new grass seeds on the lawn to sprout new grass. It's generally a good idea to overseed lawns when there are bare spots in the lawn or when weeds appear to overwhelm areas of the yard.

Why is fall a good time to overseed?

New grass seed will sprout in 5-14 days under ideal conditions and immediately begin taking root. To survive long term, young grass needs about 6 weeks to grow strong and establish a healthy root structure. Fall is a great time to facilitate this growth because soil temperatures are warm enough for germination and cool enough to avoid dormancy that we often seen in the summer. Spring is another great time to overseed but the major benefit of overseeding in fall is the establishment of healthy grass roots prior to the start of next season.

If you have additional questions about aerating or overseeding, please feel free to contact Clean City Cuts.

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