Aerating and overseeding is meant to thicken up areas of your lawn that already has existing grass. So results vary depending on how thick or thin those areas already are. Seed is most likely to germinate in the holes, which is why we aerate before overseeding. If a very thin or bare area doesn’t thicken up, this is reason to re-evaluate that area and determine whether top soil and seed would be a better solution.
Should I water after aerating and overseeding?
If possible, you should absolutely keep the lawn well-watered, but don’t focus solely on the new grass at the expense of the existing turf. Adjust watering as needed. For best results, the soil should stay wet about 6 inches deep. Keep in mind, cool temperature and morning dew can also act as enablers.
What if my town has a watering ban?
Many towns have watering bans and keeping turf well-watered on a regular basis isn’t always possible. It’s obviously important to set expectations with new seed under these circumstances (e.g., not all seed will germinate), but we do have a couple of things working in our favor that we don’t have in the spring and summer 1) cooler day and
night temperatures 2) morning dew 3) diminishing weed and crabgrass growth.
Is this 100% effective? When will I see results?
Unfortunately, aerating and overseeding isn’t 100% guaranteed to always work. Lawn care best practices and processes will give us the best opportunity to help our new lawns or seed succeed. That means caring for the turf well into the subsequent year and “dog days of summer.” Follow up overseeding may even be necessary under some situations. In saying that, new turf that does emerge can take upwards of 2 years to mautre and fully establish via a deep root system..
Should I wait to mow after I aerate and overseed?
Again, you should be careful about tending to any new seed at the expense of your already established turf. Waiting at least a few days to a week before mowing after seeding can help that seed settle a bit, but the mower itself won’t have enough power to suck up any of the new seedlings. I would be careful about removing leafs after seeding via blower.
The holes have filled in. Why did that happen?
Holes produced by core aeration are not permanent. The cores will naturally destingrate and fill in due to any number of circumstances (rain, foot traffic, wind, etc). The amount of time it takes for the holes to fill in can range. For example, the holes could fill in almost immediately if you aerate your lawn one day and it rains the next. If the conditions are much drier, it may take longer; although the cores are likely to break down. Some holes may also be a bit deeper than others depending on the depth of your top soil or how low the aerator is able to penetrate. If the soil is hard like concrete the machine may also simply bounce over those areas.
Is there a bad time to aerate and overseed?
Yes, the spring. Never aerate or overseed in the spring. Aerating can breakdown crabgrass barriers and prevent new seed from emerging.