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Aeration and Seeding for Lawn Health

Why Aerate and Seed Your Lawn

Lawns need aeration and seeding at least once a year.  Aeration is the best way to prevent thatch build-up and soil compaction from hurting your lawn. Seeding is crucial for thin lawns, bare areas and lawns with weed control issues.

Without aeration, a thick thatch layer begins to form under your grass.  Also, the clay soil typically found in the Philadelphia area is prone to become hard or compacted.  When this happens, water, air and nutrients are unable to reach your lawn’s roots.  Another problem with compacted soil is that lawn roots don’t have enough room to spread and deeply grow.

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Top 5 Reasons to Aerate Your Lawn

Before and After Aeration shows the compacted soil is opened up to promote the flow of air, nutrient and water and deeper root development.
Aeration breaks up thatch and compacted soil to promote the flow of air, nutrients and water and deeper root growth.

Here’s why Aeration is so valuable for your lawn.  Aeration will:

  1. Break up thatch.
  2. Open access to air, water and nutrients.
  3. Promote deeper root growth.
  4. Make turf more tolerant of heat and drought.
  5. Provide an excellent base for seeding.

Want to learn more about aeration?  Check out our blog post 4 Steps to Take Now for a Beautiful Lawn for an article explaining aeration, seeding and other actions to help your lawn.

What Is Aeration?

Giroud Team member uses aeration machine to break up thatch and compacted soil
Aeration machine is used to break up thatch and compacted soil to build a healthy, thick lawn.

Every lawn can benefit from aeration.  It breaks up dense thatch and fractures compacted soil.

Aeration can be done on your entire lawn or just specific areas.  During aeration, your Giroud Lawn Crew uses an aerator machine to pierce the thatch and pull up small cores of soil.  As the soil cores come out, small holes are left behind.  These holes open the way for water, nutrients and air to flow.  As a result, your lawn’s roots will also now have room to spread and grow deeper.

Seeding an Existing Lawn

Adding seed to an existing lawn is actually called “Overseeding.”  It helps to fill in bare spots, thicken lawns and crowd out weeds.  The key to success in overseeding is preparation and choosing the right seed for your growing conditions.

Lawn Seeding for an existing lawn using a seed spreader
Seeding an existing lawn with a seed mix that is right for the growing conditions and more disease and drought resistant.
  1. Preparation: Aeration is a must.  It opens up the lawn and creates the perfect bed for laying down seed.
  2. Seed Selection: Getting the right seed for your lawn and growing conditions is key.  The best grasses for the Philadelphia region are cool season grasses.  Equally important, Giroud chooses seed varieties that have proven to be more disease and drought resistant.  Getting more of these grasses into your lawn builds a healthier lawn that is less likely to have problems in the future.

To learn more, see the Lawn Institute’s article with Tips on Overseeding

When Is the Best Time to Aerate and Seed?

Aeration needs to be done at least once a year; especially with the clay soil that this typically found in our Philadelphia region.  Overseeding can be done at the same time.

In terms of timing, the ground must be thawed for aeration and the temperatures warm enough to promote seed germination.  Generally it’s best to aerate and seed in the Spring or Fall when cool season grasses in our area are growing.

  • Fall:  This season is the best time for aeration and seeding.  Temperatures are cool and usually perfect for seed germination.  Also looking ahead to Spring, your fall fertilizer treatments will help your lawn green up for Spring and promote root growth.
  • Spring: Aeration and seeding can also be done in the Spring especially if you have a shady lawn. For shady lawns, seeding should be done while the leaves are still off the trees.  This gives your lawn prime access to sunlight.

Please note: Special caution is needed for aeration and seeding in the Spring.   You will need to delay your pre-emergent crabgrass treatment.  This treatment can not be applied until after aeration is completed and the seeds germinate.

Learn more about how to grow grass in shady areas.

Ready to build a healthy, thick lawn?

Aeration and seeding are two crucial ways you can make it happen.  To get the best results, your lawn also requires special care during the growing season.

That’s why, we always team up our aeration and seeding services with our annual lawn treatment program.  Giroud offers both traditional and 100% Organic Lawn Programs.  During your free lawn evaluation, your Giroud Lawn Expert will prepare a customized lawn treatment program to fit the exact needs of your lawn and your goals.

We’ll be happy to schedule a time for a Giroud PA Licensed Lawn Expert to evaluate your lawn and determine what’s required to get it looking the way you want.  Contact us today!  Just call our office at 215-682-7704.

LCAP Lawn Care Association of Pennsylvania