How to Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn (5 Simple Steps)

How to Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn (5 Simple Steps)

How to Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn (5 Simple Steps)

Want a greener lawn?

Who doesn't?

Look, apart from regular mowing. One of the best ways to make your lawn shine is to aerate and overseed

Why are aeration and overseeding so important?

More importantly, how do you aerate and overseed your lawn properly?

All of that and more will be answered into this go-to aeration guide.

Here is what you need to know... 

What is Aeration?

The concept behind aeration is simple. Poke holes in your lawn.

I know, it seems like some kind of gimmick when you put it like that. But it’s not.

Here’s the deal, by aerating properly you can; loosen compacted soil, and allow nutrients to penetrate deeper into the roots of your lawn. 

This stimulates root growth, causing your lawn to become greener and more resilient. 

But when you overseed after you aerate, you can do even more. 

What is overseeding?

Overseeding is simply the process of seeding over your existing lawn. 

It IS NOT the practice of spreading too much grass seed.

By spreading grass seed after you have aerated, you give the seeds a great space to grow from. 

The result?

A thicker lawn that is both greener and healthier. With a healthier root system, you will see more vigorous growth and your lawn will be more resilient to issues such as drought. 

But how do you aerate and overseed?

Below are 5 simple steps. 

5 Steps to Aerating and Overseeding Your Lawn this Fall

Look, not only is aeration and overseeding an easy process, it can be fun too.

But you have to do it right, or you will be wasting your time. 

To ensure you are doing things right, follow these 5 simple steps to aerate and overseed the right way.

When is the best time to Aerate?

You can aerate in the early spring or late fall. Most people get it done in the fall so that the grass seed can overwinter in the lawn. 

In my experience, the best time to aerate and overseed is right after the last cutting of the lawn for the season. But if you miss the fall, early spring is good too. 

Step #1: Prepare Your Lawn

The first step in your mission for a greener lawn is to prepare your lawn for aeration. 

Be sure to clear your lawn of any branches, leaves, or other debris. 

You also want to cut the lawn a little lower than you usually do. 

This will give the grass seed the best chance of contacting the soil and germinating. 

Step #2: Aerate The Lawn

Now that you have prepared the lawn, it’s time to aerate!

You will likely need to rent a core aerator from your local rental shop. In general, they rent for about $100 a day. Fortunately, you will only need it for a few hours. 

Aeration takes roughly the same amount of time as mowing the lawn. 

Pro Tip! If your neighbors need their lawns aerated too, you can all pitch in and split the rental costs. 

Here’s the catch, you want to select the right type of aerator

Types of Aerators

There are 2 main types of aerators; solid tine and hollow tines.

Hands down, hollow tine aerators are the best. Hollow tine or core aerators actually put the plug out of the ground and bring it to the surface. 

Core aerators do several things including:

  • Bring microbes from deep in the soil to the surface which helps break down thatch,

  • Loosen compacted soil by decreasing its density,

  • Create a space for new grass seeds to successfully germinate,

  • And allow nutrients, water, and air to penetrate deeper into the soil. 

Solid tine aerators should be avoided. While they do offer limited benefits in the summertime and in lawns that aren’t compacted. Most lawns do suffer from compaction and are better served by core aeration. 

Step #3: Overseed Your Lawn

Now that you have aerated, it’s time to overseed. 

Assuming you have selected the right type of seed for your lawn, it’s time to spread your grass seed. 

Be careful not to over-seed while overseeding. Follow the instructions on the seed packaging. 

The best part about overseeding after you have aerated is that the seeds will fall into the new aeration holes. This will provide the perfect place for them to germinate and grow deep roots as the holes fill back in. 

Step #4: Rake in Seed

Once you have spread the seed in your lawn. It's time to loosely rake the lawn with a soft rake. 

This is to help the grass seed get beneath the existing grass blades and contact the soil beneath them. 

If your grass seed is not in contact with the soil, it will not grow. 

Step #5: Water and Keep off the Lawn 

Finally, you will want to water your lawn for about 2-3 weeks

You will want to water your lawn at least every other day to ensure your little baby grass is able to come in properly. 

Be sure to follow the best practices for watering the lawn

For best results water in the early morning before the sun rises. 

Aeration and Overseeding in a Nutshell

At the end of the day, aeration and overseeding are a crucial part of developing a healthy lawn. 

By following these 5 simple steps, your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood next season. 

Here are the 5 steps to properly aerate and overseed your lawn:

  1. Prepare your lawn by removing debris and cutting the grass shorter.
  2. Rent a core aerator (preferably a hollow tine aerator) and aerate your lawn.
  3. Select the right grass seed and spread it according to the instructions.
  4. Gently rake the lawn to ensure seed contact with the soil.
  5. Water your lawn regularly for 2-3 weeks.

Aeration is one of the most important lawn maintenance tasks for improving the quality of your lawn. 

If you want your lawn to be its best. Aeration is essential! 

Want to go even further? Consider fertilizing your lawn

Don't have time to aerate and overseed? Don't worry, hire one of the lawn care pros at GreenPal.

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