• Close up of a mechanical lawn aerator. How to Aerate and Overseed Your Yard This Summer

    Caring for your yard is a year-round task, and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way towards keeping your yard healthy. Aeration and overseeding are two common tactics that can lead to a healthier yard, but performing either of these at the wrong time or with the wrong tools can damage the yard. Summer is a prime season to do both. Read on for Atlantic Mulch’s tips on aerating and overseeding this summer season.

    Aeration

    Aeration is just what it sounds like – helping your yard get more air and nutrients. This is accomplished by punching or digging small holes in your yard. There are two types of aeration methods:

    • Core aeration – This method utilizes a special machine that pulls out small plugs of dirt from your yard. These can be left in the yard to dissolve, but many choose to collect and remove them. This method is highly effective, reducing yard compaction and will yield more effectiveness from overseeding.
    • Solid aeration – Instead of extracting cores, this method punches smaller holes into the yard. This method is generally seen as less effective but also doesn’t disturb your yard as much and the yard will return to normal quicker. This method is less effective if you plan on overseeding.
    • Slicing aeration – This method is a variation on solid aeration. Instead of punching holes, the equipment is outfitted with rotating blades that will instead slice through the soil. This leaves the soil largely undisturbed but can create many smaller slices through which nutrients can travel.

    To maintain a healthy lawn, you should generally aerate at least once a year. When to aerate is going to vary widely based on the type of grass you have in your yard. Aerating at the wrong time can actually do more harm than good by not giving your lawn enough time to recover.

    First, identify what type of grass your yard contains, warm or cold weather grass. The distinction has nothing to do with the actual location of your yard, a North Carolina home could have either warm or cool weather grass.

    • Warm weather grasses: Bahia, Bermuda, Buffalo, Carpet, Centipede, Saint Augustine, Zoysia
    • Cool-weather grasses: Bent, Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Tall and Fine Fescues

    If you aren’t sure what type of grass your yard has, the team at Atlantic Mulch will be happy to help clarify. To properly aerate a lawn, you will need to buy or rent an aeration machine. There are a variety of different machines, from push-style carts that look like mowers, to the motorized core aeration machines – there are even shoe attachments that have spikes on the bottom! Core aeration machines will be the most expensive, but renting these machines are an option.

    Once you’ve aerated, your lawn is primed for watering or the application of fertilizer. If you chose core aeration, now is also the time to decide what to do with the dirt plugs. Some experts recommend leaving them to break down naturally, while others recommend raking them up, the choice is yours.

    Overseeding

    Overseeding is simply the process of spreading more grass seeds in your lawn – that’s it. This helps rejuvenate grass that has become worn down over time and become thinner. Overseeding will not help a lawn where much of the grass has died; in cases like these, you may want to completely reseed and restart your yard.

    Post-aeration is a perfect time for overseeding, as the new holes allow for seeds to take root and flourish. The necessary tools for aeration are simple – you’ll need the proper seeds and a seed spreader. For smaller yards, you can even just spread the seeds by hand. Atlantic Mulch has a wide array of seeds available for purchase and our team can help you choose the best seed mixture for your yard.

    Once you’ve spread the seed in the yard, you will want to keep your yard fed and watered. Continuous watering is important to help the new seedlings grow, and you’ll want to keep your yard moist while the new grass is growing.

    Atlantic Mulch Can Help with Your Aerating and Seeding Needs

    These techniques might not be necessary every single year, but if your yard is looking thin, both aerating and overseeding can make a world of difference. Aerating and overseeding together can help rejuvenate tired yards and ensure your grass and soil are in top condition. The team of experts at Atlantic Mulch can provide you with all the tools and knowledge necessary to keep your yard green and beautiful.