Aeration do's don'ts

Asked September 16, 2019, 9:13 PM EDT

Should I aerate this fall or spring? I want to over-seed when I aerate also. I also have some crab grass issues that I will address with a pre-emergent in the spring. My question is when should I aerate and over-seed my lawn without hurting my chances of the grass seed germinating with the application of a pre-emergent crabgrass fertilizer in the spring? Also I usually apply a Fall weed and feed fertilizer would that affect my grass seed germinating? If so should I just use a fall fertilizer without weed control if you suggest fall aeration and over-seeding?

Grand Traverse County Michigan lawns and turf

1 Response

Fall is the ideal time for aeration, when days are shorter with less sun and nights are cooler, both lessening competition from weeds and crabgrass. Right now would be a good time and yes to overseeding after. No to using weed control however. Herbicides will affect germination. Yes to using fertilizer without weed control. You could use a starter fertilizer at aeration time, which is high in the phosphorus that new seedlings need. Then use a winterizer about Halloween, while there is still uptake from the lawn before cold weather dormancy. Winterizers accomplish two things. The formula is higher in potassium, associated with internal plant health. Second, while summer fertilizers contain some slow release nitrogen, winterizers contain all quick release, to be taken up by the plant for the next year’s growth. So, yes go for it now. Best timing happens when a couple of mowings can be done before winter sets in. Good luck and read more here: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/core_aeration_and_dethatching_of_lawns