It’s hard to believe that we’re reaching the end of summer. For many of us, August is a hot, dry month, and as summer draws to a close, we know that your lawn has probably taken quite a beating (both from the sun and those many barbecues you enjoyed in your yard). What does this mean? It’s time for aeration and overseeding.

Every lawn should be aerated each year due to compaction, which keeps water, air, and sunlight away and stifles the roots. Compaction can be caused by something as simple as mowing the lawn. Have you ever noticed how beautiful and lush golf courses are? This is because they aerate their lawns three to four times a year because it's so beneficial!

Here are some visual signs that it’s time to schedule your aeration and overseeding service.

After it rains, puddles stay on the surface of your lawn instead of soaking into the soil toward the roots. There are areas of thinning grass or even bare spots on your lawn. The lawn's thatch layer is thicker than half an inch. (The thatch layer is under the grass, between the blades and the soil. Pull up an area of turf to see how thick your thatch layer is).

A combination of aeration and overseeding will help these issues while rejuvenating your lawn and preparing for autumn and winter. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about the aeration and overseeding process.

What is aeration and why is it important?

Aeration is the process of removing small plugs of soil throughout your lawn in order to loosen up compacted soil. This allows water, air flow, nutrients, and sunlight to better reach the roots, creating space for new growth and promoting a thicker, greener, healthier lawn. Once aeration has created these favorable growing conditions, overseeding is a logical next step.

What are the benefits of overseeding?

Overseeding is simply adding grass seed to an existing lawn. It’s a natural companion to aeration because the process of aeration creates an optimal seedbed for new seed to germinate and take root, and for water, air, and sun to reach those roots!

Overseeding is also an opportunity to introduce new and beneficial grasses to your lawn. This helps to create thicker, stronger turf that is better able to crowd out weeds. A lawn made up of a variety of grasses can be naturally stronger and more resistant to disease, too, as each different grass type supports each other and the lawn through stressful conditions.

When is the best time to aerate and overseed?

The time to schedule aeration and overseeding service is from late August to October. The cooler temperatures and higher precipitation provide new seed better growing conditions and time to take hold and germinate before frost hits. A lawn with thick turf, strong roots, and a variety of grasses will better be able to withstand harsh winter conditions and wake up happier next spring.

How do I get started?

This is one of those times where you should call a professional, like Ankeny Lawn and Landscapes. A lawn aeration service provider will aerate properly and overseed the entire lawn. If you already have a lawn care plan in place, aeration and overseeding should be a service available to you, if not give us a call and we can get you on the right track.

How do I care for an aerated and overseeded lawn?

Water water water! Overseeded areas should be watered for at least 30 minutes once a day (or twice if possible) until the grass is tall enough to be safely mowed (3-3 ½ inches). Try and limit activity on areas of the lawn with new seed so strong roots can form undisturbed.