lawn core aeration and seeding

Asked May 22, 2018, 1:04 PM EDT

After mowing the existing lawn area at a shorter than normal height, what is the best sequence for core aeration and seeding a lawn?

1. Core aerate then seed or

2. Seed then core aerate.

I have read several web articles that only address core aerate then seed, but I would think seeding first would result in more seed contact with dirt. I plan to cover the area at least twice at different angles with the core aeration operation.

The lawn soil does not compact tightly by hand when moist. I aerate to mix light thatch, grass and leaf mulchings into the upper soil and to encourage lawn grass root growth.

Thanks.

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

Aerate, fertilize the area to be reseeded with a starter fertilizer, and seed. There are different ways to do this however, preferred by some. Some reseed right away, others wait for the plugs to break down before reseeding. Both ways will work, but the best time for the task is in the fall. That’s because days are shorter, nights are cooler, turf is robustly growing roots, and weather in general is more predictable. Second best time is spring, and weather now is ideal, but we are going into summer and have no way of knowing what stresses lawns will be under going forward. Without irrigation is riskier yet going into summer which could turn hot and stay hot at any time. Hot and dry is unproductive for lawn growth.

You are correct in looking for good seed to soil contact because it is a must for germination. Seed slitters that deposit seed directly into the soil are the machines of choice by professionals and can be rented. Here are a number of links to more information:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/tips_for_seeding_your_lawn_during_summer

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/tips_for_reseeding_lawns_in_the_spring

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/core_aeration_and_dethatching_of_lawns

https://www.turfmagazine.com/services/the-strong-case-for-core-aeration/

https://www.turfmagazine.com/lawn-care/comparing-aeration-overseeding-techniques/

Good luck!