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How To Prep For Aeration & Seeding

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Are you ready for your upcoming aeration and seeding?

So you've scheduled your aeration and seeding with us. Awesome! We're so happy that you've chosen Top Turf to lead you in your lawn care journey. What are the next steps to ensure that your aeration and seeding is successful and results in a beautiful lawn? While we do most of the work for you, we do ask that you do a few things in order to prep your lawn for us. Read on to find out more!

In case You Were Wondering... 


Why Does Tall Fescue NEED Aeration & Seeding

Every Year? If Not Scroll Down to "How to Prepare for Aeration and Seeding"

  • Tall Fescue does not spread or reproduce itself, so you must over-seed every year to keep your lawn looking full, thick, and healthy. 

  • Tall Fescue can stay green all year long with proper watering and maintenance. However, you will see it struggle in the summer as its favorite environment is a cooler temperature. Hence... why it's called a "Cool Season Turf". Unlike Bermuda (a warm season turf) that can't get enough of the heat! 

  • All lawns get weeds just nature showing whose boss. Even though we do give her a run for her money. When you get weeds in your lawn and we kill those weeds leave bare areas that need to be filled in with grass seed.
  • All Fescue Lawns will lose their thickness every year by approximately 20%. So by aerating and seeding every year you will keep your lawn looking thick and beautiful. 

  • When your lawn is thicker and healthier, you will see fewer weeds because a thick lawn will crowd them out.

    So There You Have It!

    That's why you NEED to aerate and seed

    Tall Fescue every year! 


3 Ways To Prep For Aeration & Seeding

#1Remove Thatch

Mow your lawn at the lowest setting

thatch in lawn

Let's get rid of that thatch and dead grass...

In the weeks leading up to your aeration and seeding, you will want to cut your lawn at the lowest setting each time you cut your lawn. We suggest 2 times maybe even one time. Just make sure you get all the dead thatch up and out of your lawn. The less thatch you have the higher efficiency of seed germination.

Mowing and raking will help pick up any dead thatch that has accumulated and hopefully clear out any dead spots. By doing this, you prevent extra thatch from being left over on your grass.

If you don't have enough time before your scheduled aeration to get up all your dead thatch, just make sure to bag your clippings now until you aerate and seed...Remember: Excess thatch will prohibit seeds from germinating effectively.

  1. This will help the seed reach the soil easier rather than rest on top of thatch or other grass.
  2. Remember... you will not be able to mow your lawn for up to 4 weeks after your aeration and seeding, as this is the germination period of the seed. You want it to remain unbothered to have the best chance of rooting and growing. Because you can't mow, any existing grass can overgrow, so cutting it that extra bit shorter will help keep it tamed while you allow the new seeds to germinate.
🌱 Pro Tip: Bag your clippings. Clippings left on the lawn cause excess thatch buildup and inhibit the growth of new fescue seeds.


#2 Mark Sprinkler Heads & Invisible Dog Fences

          Anything that you don't want the aerators to penetrate.

flags for marking your lawn

Mark your lawn for any underground or hidden items that can be damaged

Aeration machines are powerful and have the potential to run over and damage items that are underground. Prior to your aeration, please take the time to walk through your lawn and mark out your items using any kind of marking item so that our tech can see them. Here are a few examples of items you should mark–

  • Sprinkler heads
  • Irrigation system lines
  • Invisible dog fences
  • Hoses
  • Cables
  • Wires
  • Pipes

Basically, any underground or hard-to-see item that is less than 6 inches below the surface of your lawn can potentially be damaged if our aerator machine runs over them. That's why we need your help to clearly mark them so we can actively avoid them and make sure that we do not damage any of your property.

🌱 Pro Tip: We recommend using marking flags with bright colors to mark your lawn. They will be easy to see and maneuver around when we are aerating your lawn, and they are inexpensive. They are available to purchase at your local home improvement or hardware store, as well as online for under $5!


#3 Water, Water, Water

    A moist lawn makes for an effective aeration and seeding.shutterstock_690430750

Water your lawn to moisten the soil

You will want to keep your soil moist before your scheduled aeration and seeding appointment, so the aeration machines will be able to pull cores out of the soil more efficiently and effectively. If the soil is too hard the aerators will not pull cores correctly and in some cases can bounce across the lawn not pulling any core plugs at all. However, be careful not to overwater because a soggy lawn will also cause problems and the aerators can sink.

Make sure your sprinkler system is working and set your timer to 3 times a day for approximately 10 min per zone. This type of watering is only for seed germination. The goal is to keep the seed moist. Change your watering schedule after seed germination..approx 2 -3 Weeks. See our blog post on Aeration and Seeding After Care.

If you don't have a sprinkler system then set up a manual watering schedule or DIY your own sprinkler system. Check out our blog on DIY sprinkler systems.

🌱 Pro Tip: Water just until you can easily insert a screwdriver several inches into your soil. That's a great rule of thumb!


What to Expect After Your Core Aeration and Seeding...

Your yard will look like a mess! Plugs all over your lawn. There may be some dirt/mud and residual seed on your driveway and sidewalks. The aerators are dirty so try not to be alarmed. Just spray off with a hose. The technicians do not have water hoses on their trucks. 

  • Do not remove the soil plugs from your lawn. We understand that all the soil plugs that our aerator machines pull out of your lawn may not look the prettiest, but they do serve a purpose! Please do not remove them from your lawn. In just a short amount of time, they will begin to break down or crumble as time passes and they are watered into the soil. As they do, the nutrients they hold will release back into the soil, providing more nourishment for your new grass seed.

  • You may have a lot of seeds you may not. Overseeding is just what it means overseeding. We are not replacing an entire lawn. We are just overseeding to fill in bare areas and create a denser-looking lawn.
    To see how to properly water after aeration please go to After Care for Aeration and Seeding! 


For more information, check out other Aeration & Seeding material:

How to care for your lawn after your Aeration and Seeding to get the best germination!

Don't have an irrigation system? No worries... check out our solution!


You're all set!

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As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions!

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