It’s that time of year again to start tackling those outdoor projects before the cold sets in. Believe it or not, this is the perfect time of year to do some work on your lawn. Most people think that the time for aerating and seeding is in the spring when the weather starts to warm up. The truth of the matter is that fall and spring are both the best time of year to plant seed and take care of your lawn. Fall has the perfect temperature for growing new seed which will form nice thick roots for your spring lawn.
In Tennessee, we are notorious for our hard, clay soils which sometimes requires an aerator to really dig deep into our soil so that the grass seeds can form thick roots to return for Spring. This is a machine that you push along your lawn just like a push mower, except that it takes small plugs of grass and dirt out of the lawn allowing for better seed penetration and growth.
Now is the time to call your local hardware store or lawn equipment rental store to reserve a plugging core aerator (about $30-$75 for a few hours rental). A core aerator really is the best to use since it has hollow tubes that pull plugs out of the ground to make room for new seed. Other aerators that only poke holes in the ground can actually do more harm than good by compacting the soil even more, thus inhibiting the roots ability to grow.
The day before you aerate your lawn, you should give it a good dose of water to prepare the soil. Rotate your sprinkler around the yard to make sure that you get at least 1 inch of water on every part of the grass. How do you tell how much water is an inch? The DIY network has a great tip for that! Place an empty tuna can in the center of the area to be watered and once it is full, you’ve watered an inch. Empty the can and move it to the next watering spot along with your sprinkler.
Next Run your aerator along the patches of yard that need thickening up, additional seed, or your entire lawn for a thick bed of grass. It is best to form a pattern that ensures you hit all of the spots only once with the machine. Don’t forget to flag your in-ground sprinkler heads if you have a built in irrigation system to avoid breaking the sprinkler heads with your aerator.
Apply your favorite grass seed and fertilizer to the lawn in steady, even motions or with a grass seeder. Make sure to continue watering to allow for steady growth of the grass and the roots until the weather begins to cool and the first frost occurs. Happy Seeding!
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Home Run Real Estate Team