Ask a Question forum: When does grass need aeration?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Oct 26, 2015 9:18 PM CST
I've been seeding and fertilizing my lawn in spring and just recently in fall and it looks better but not excellent. I read soil needs aerating and it's been over 15 years since its been done! But I also read your not supposed to have it done until a year after your last seeding.

Is it really necessary? What are the benefits and aftercare?
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 27, 2015 8:23 AM CST
Best time for us northern folk to aerate is in the fall. We have an established lawn and DH has a fall schedule of aerating first, then over-seeding (perennial seed varieties) and fertilizing. This should be done between 8/15 and 9/15 although if you're just aerating, you can go a little later than these dates. Do not use a fertilizer with weed killer in it or grass seed will have a problem germinating. The goal is to get the seed germinated before it turns cold. We use a pelleted chicken manure fertilizer with no additives. Our partially shaded lawn has done very well on this regimen and has gotten thicker.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Oct 27, 2015 12:43 PM CST
Shadegardener said:Best time for us northern folk to aerate is in the fall. We have an established lawn and DH has a fall schedule of aerating first, then over-seeding (perennial seed varieties) and fertilizing. This should be done between 8/15 and 9/15 although if you're just aerating, you can go a little later than these dates. Do not use a fertilizer with weed killer in it or grass seed will have a problem germinating. The goal is to get the seed germinated before it turns cold. We use a pelleted chicken manure fertilizer with no additives. Our partially shaded lawn has done very well on this regimen and has gotten thicker.

Ok, and after being aerated no special treatment besides fertilizer or overseeding? I use milorganite fertilizer it's organic http://www.milorganite.com
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Oct 27, 2015 2:07 PM CST
If you're over-seeding, you have to keep the seed watered every day until it sprouts (about 5-6 days) and then every couple of days until it gets growing good. It's probably too late this year to over-seed as the ground is starting to cool a bit too much. DH also puts down gypsum every couple of years because we have easily compacted fine stuff on top of clay. If you're not over-seeding, no additional work is required after aerating and fertilizing.

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