by Nathan Brandon
CEO of Pure Green
Over the last few months, I’ve written about several tips to a healthier, greener lawn – everything from watering, mowing, fertilizing, and weed prevention. But one of the most important steps in keeping a healthy lawn is what you do to get it prepared for next year.
Aerating and over-seeding is a crucial process to building and keeping a good turf year after year. Every lawn can benefit from aeration, and there is no better way to protect and preserve your grass than to do this in late summer or early fall. Adding seeding to the process will also help improve the health of your lawn. The perfect time of year for aerating and seeding in Middle Tennessee is between September 1 and October 15.
Throughout the year, your lawn’s soil becomes increasingly compacted as a result of watering, rain, mowing, walking and other activities. Aeration perforates the soil, resulting in holes that allow for air, water, and nutrients to get down deep into the roots of the grass. If you are taking on the aeration and seeding process as a do-it-yourself project, I suggest using a core aerator over a spike aerator. Core aerators (pictured above) pull the soil out of the ground and create holes (typically three quarters of an inch in diameter and two to four inches deep) that are wider and deeper than spike aerators. Core aerators will also loosen up the soil more than spike aerators, allowing new grass seeds to more effectively take root. The resulting holes make perfect spaces for new grass seed, which is why you should always over-seed your lawn after aerating.
For fescue lawns, I suggest over-seeding with a hybrid blend of tall fescue grass seed. Almost all grass seeds now are hybrids, with two to four varieties of seed in one bag. Over-seeding fescue lawns once a year is very important because fescue grass doesn’t spread like bermuda grass does. Fescue only grows from the seed. If you have a bermuda grass lawn, over-seeding with Perennial Ryegrass seed will help keep your grass green through the winter months. Without over-seeding in the fall, bermuda grass will brown in the winter, but it will green back up in the spring. Fescue grass, however, can be tricky. As always, local lawn care experts are happy to assess your lawn needs at any time and help guide you through the process. All of the lawn care steps I’ve written about over the last few months, such as mowing, watering, fertilizing, and now aeration and seeding, combine to make up a routine that will help give your lawn a deep, healthy root system and fight off weeds and disease. These steps and tips are certainly worth the time and investment year after year when you have a lawn full of great green grass.
Nathan Brandon, a Nashville native, is CEO of Pure Green, a Middle Tennessee-based lawn service company focused on using environmentally friendly products and procedures. Pure Green offers fertilization and weed control, aeration and seeding, flea, tick and mosquito suppression, and sports turf care services. For more information about Pure Green and the company’s services, visit http://www.puregreenllc.com/.