Getting ready for grass
Every year I try to get grass to grow. This year I might have a shot since I don't have a dog right now. I thought I would have someone come in and aerate for me since my soil is mostly compact clay. When should I do that? I plan to have them seed and possibly fertilize at the same time - Is that a good idea? I live in the Hamilton area of Baltimore City. Our lot is about 1/3 of an acre. But a lot of that is taken up by a house and pool. Any advice would be appreciated.
Core aeration is a method of lawn renovation. Best time for this is mid August thru mid October. It would be ok to seed bare spots in March if need be.
Now you should test your soil for pH, liming, and nutrient deficiencies in preparation for fall renovation http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing
You can core aerate, seed, and fertilize in the fall. Spring is not the best time as the grass needs to make it through the summer stresses.
See our publications on step by step information on lawn renovation and overseeding, type of grass, etc. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102%20Lawn%20Estab... as well as turfgrass