"What to do after dethatching lawn?"
Answer: aerating, then overseeding and fertilizing.
But do you know when is the best time for aerating the lawn? What to do before aeration? How to overseed warm season grasses and cool season ones? Or, which is the best condition for fertilizing the lawn?
If you don't, please read through this guide:
What To Do After Dethatching Lawn?
Lawn aeration is a maintenance practice of poking the soil with tiny holes that help essential elements, like water and air, to enter the grassroots. Consequently, it helps:
- Improve the lawn drainage
- Decrease soil compaction and weed attack
- Promote the grass root to grow healthily for a thicker, healthier lawn
There are two common methods of lawn aeration:
- Poking a thin, up to 6" deep hole in soil using solid tines
- Removing a 3" deep core of turf and soil using hollow tines.
Each type of tine has its own pros and cons.
Solid tine aeration is ideal for releasing low-level compaction issues, but not suitable for a highly compacted soil.
The reason? Actually, this method doesn't remove soil, but just puncture holes into the soil. If you apply it to a wet, highly compacted lawn or one with a high-clay content, the created holes will squeeze back together after a few days.
Even worse, they could seal up the water channels and beneficial air to the roots, which hampers the treatment's primary benefits.
Hollow tine aeration doesn't cause this problem. The holes it creates stay open for weeks - which is long enough for grassroots to grow and get stronger. So, this method is best for highly compacted lawns.
The only disadvantage of hollow tine aeration is the waste cores it creates all over the lawn. The larger the lawn, the higher the amount of removed soil, and you might have to take them to the local tip.
When To Aerate Your Lawn?
It’s recommended to aerate your lawn immediately after dethatching, preferably between mid-spring and early summer with southern grasses and in early fall with northern grasses.
But don’t aerate the lawn when the grass is dominant.
What To Do Before Aerating Your Lawn?
There are many good reasons that you should mow your lawn before aerating.
First up, it helps the spikes of your aerator tool go deeper into the soil, hence, optimally improving the airflow.
After overseeding, you cannot mow your lawn for a few following weeks until new seeds germinate. So, this is the best time for mowing your lawn.
Overseed Your Lawn
It's recommended overseeding right after aerating because the lawn's surface at this time is opened up, which is ideal for seeds to contact better with the soil. But this is not mandatory.
For The Cool Season Grasses
The best time for overseeding is late summer or early fall when the soil temps are around 50-60 degrees F.
Don't delay until mid-fall because cooler soil temperatures can inhibit seed germination.
For Warm Season Grasses
The ideal overseeding time is late spring or early summer right after aeration if you want to renovate your lawn.
On the contrary, if your lawn is healthy, you can skip this step due to the quick-spreading nature of warm-season grasses; they won't take long to fill the aerated holes.
This type of grass has a minor drawback, however: they don't remain green all year round. When the fall comes, warm season grasses start to be dormant and the lawn doesn't look lively at all.
Some lawn owners and golf course owners down south overcome this issue by overseeding annual rye during this time. Consequently, they have green grass during the winter months.
Note: If you just want to aerate your lawn without overseeding, you can do that later in the season.
Fertilize Your Lawn
If you overseed your lawn right after aerating, remember to apply the right fertilizer to stimulate seed germination and enrich the soil.
On the other hand, if you just aerate the lawn without overseeding, wait until fall to fertilize.
Here are some notes regarding fertilizing a lawn:
Fertilize the lawn in the late afternoon or early morning and when the weather conditions aren't harsh
Don't apply fertilizer during periods of drought, hot spells, or the heat of the day because it might burn the lawn.
Apply fertilizer to your lawn before the forecast calls for light rain because this helps the fertilizer absorb deeper into the soil. Avoid fertilizing before heavy rain.
Just apply fertilizer when the soil temperatures are around 50-60 degrees F, usually in early spring, because fertilizers work best this time.
Water Your Lawn
I recommend you invest in an automatic irrigation timer or an irrigation system to make lawn watering effortless. They are easy to find, not too expensive, and simple to install.
Make sure to provide enough water for your lawn and have plans to deal with those random hot spells that could occur during late summer.
If you overseed your lawn, remember to water well to support germination.
I’ve just walked you through all the essential information about “what to do after dethatching lawn”. Hopefully, you find this article helpful. For more posts that involve lawns, don’t hesitate to visit our blog. Thanks for reading!