At Oasis Turf & Tree, we have always said that aeration and overseeding are two of the best things that you can do for your lawn. But we still find that homeowners are sometimes skeptical.
They want to know: Is aeration and seeding worth it?
Our answer is yes because a thick and healthy lawn is the best way to defend against weeds and other lawn problems. Aeration and overseeding are really important when it comes to achieving that thick and thriving lawn.
However, rather than just take our word for it, we want to help explain how these services work and why they shouldn’t be skipped.
Is Aeration Necessary?
We have found that homeowners sometimes feel like they’re already doing all the right things for their lawn with a lawn care program (fertilization, weed control, and more).
So, do they really need to aerate and overseed, too?
But what’s important to know is that with Turf Type Tall Fescue, which is the best grass seed for our region, each grass plant is a circle. It does not grow by creating new grass plants off of itself. Instead, the only way for a Turf Type Tall Fescue lawn to get thicker is to put more grass seed down so that the gaps between the circle can grow.
While you can thicken what’s already there with lawn fertilization, that’s not going to fill in those bare spots in between the circles.
We have made a series of illustrations that we think will make this easier to understand. These graphics show the transition from new grass seed to fully matured grass seed. As you can see, the circles become filled in over time as the grass matures.
Of course, we’ve been talking about seeding this whole time and the question was, is aeration necessary?
The fact is, aeration is necessary if you want the grass seed to have a chance to grow. That’s because seed needs good seed-to-soil contact in order to germinate. If you seed without aerating, it’s just going to sit atop the soil due to the clay-like soil that we have here in Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
When you have aeration performed ahead of seeding, it helps to break up the clay soil through the process of pulling small soil cores throughout the lawn. When you seed right after aeration, it also allows the seed to fall into the holes where they’ll get that soil contact that they need.
In breaking up the soil, aeration also allows the lawn to “breathe,” by getting more oxygen, water, and nutrients down to the lawn’s root zone where they are needed most.
This is also essential when it comes to your lawn’s health.
Is Aeration Necessary for Overseeding?
So, you probably already know the answer to this next question: Is aeration necessary for overseeding?
Yes, absolutely, aeration is necessary for overseeding. You’re just going to waste your time if you put seed down without aerating.
We believe it’s so important that we do not offer overseeding by itself. We wouldn’t want to waste your time or money. With the clay-like soil here in our region, it will be very difficult for the grass plant to breathe and to survive without aerating first. Plus, you’re not getting that seed-to-soil contact that seed requires for germination.
While we will not overseed as a stand-alone service, we will offer lawn aeration as a stand-alone service. If your lawn is in really awful shape and it needs to breathe, we can perform a Spring aeration, even though this would not be the optimal time to seed.
We wrote an entire article about why you should not seed your lawn in the Spring, which you can read for more information. But in short, the hot weather conditions and the fact that it would prohibit the use of important weed controls are two primary reasons why we would not seed a lawn in the Spring.
Is Aeration Needed Every Year?
Finally, even if you understand the importance of lawn aeration, you might be wondering if you really need to do it every year.
While you might be hoping it’s something that you can occasionally skip, that would not be our recommendation.
If you care about a thick and thriving lawn, then you should be aerating every year.
It’s such an important service—arguably the single best thing that you can do for your lawn. And when you combine it with overseeding, which introduces new and improved grass into your lawn each year, you’re doing everything you can to start growing a thick, healthy, and thriving turf.
Of course, if your lawn is really performing well and is already thick and healthy, you don’t need to overseed it every year. That would be a service we would say is okay to hold off on for a season. But we would still recommend aerating in order to break up the clay soil and allow your lawn to continue to perform its best.
It’s important to keep in mind that aeration also helps you to get the most out of your lawn care program because it ensures that the lawn care products we use, like lawn fertilizer, are ending up where they need to go (rather than sitting atop of the soil). This is another reason why aeration really shouldn’t be skipped, even for just a year.
The Bottom Line?
Hopefully, this article has helped to provide more understanding as to why lawn aeration and overseeding are such important services. If you truly want a thick and healthy lawn, then these are two things that simply shouldn’t be overlooked.
At the end of the day, it comes down to being able to let go of your worries and know that your lawn is getting everything that it needs to perform its best.
Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams without the worries.