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Old 08-23-2010, 10:12 PM   #16
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Should I aerate and overseed?


It's my understanding that in the heat of the summer, weeds will outcompete the new grass seedlings in getting established. I know in my climate, if I aerated right now, I would destroy the crabgrass barrier I put down and my lawn would be overun with crabgrass and other weeds. I tend to get better results with cool season grasses, which perform better in the fall in regards to overseeding.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:50 PM   #17
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Should I aerate and overseed?


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
So I'm not following how aerating a dead lawn before reseeding is going to hurt it.
If your entire lawn is dead and there are no weeds present, you probably won't do any harm.

I think the confusion (for me anyway) comes from you using the term overseeding. When I hear overseeding it implies that there is at least some healthy, established lawn there, you aren't really "overseeding" if your lawn is completely dead.

If everything is toast, go for it.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #18
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Should I aerate and overseed?


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If your entire lawn is dead and there are no weeds present, you probably won't do any harm.

I think the confusion (for me anyway) comes from you using the term overseeding. When I hear overseeding it implies that there is at least some healthy, established lawn there, you aren't really "overseeding" if your lawn is completely dead.

If everything is toast, go for it.
A lawn thought to be dead could be just dormant because of the heat and lack of water. Once it starts cooling own, the grass could come back.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:03 PM   #19
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Should I aerate and overseed?


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A lawn thought to be dead could be just dormant because of the heat and lack of water. Once it starts cooling own, the grass could come back.
I have been waiting to see if someone else would bring up this point. Atlanta is in the "transition zone," meaning that some cool season grasses might grow here. It is my understanding through professional education and training that bluegrass goes dormant during hot dry weather. Most of this information is through research university systems, not through landscape suppliers' websites, etc.

"The first stage begins as sun scald if the turf has been growing fast and you get some hot, sunny days. The turf turns white and you may see blotches or patches in your lawn appear virtually overnight. Cool season grass is exactly that, it prefers cooler weather- not the high 80’s or 90’s- such weather places a huge demand for moisture on a shallow root system....

What else can be done to avoid and or minimize browning and or drought stress? Mow high, 3” minimum and don’t cut the lawn at high noon- this is not a western movie- mow in the am or late pm. Better yet, if the lawn does not need a cut, don’t mow it at all- skip a week or two. Your heavy tractor or mower will cause more damage by crushing delicate, weakened grass versus leaving it alone. Fertilizing, liming, and other proactive treatments can keep the lawn healthier going into hot/dry weather and help the grass recover faster. Avoid high soluble, quick release liquid fertilizer as this can burn and or cause an undesirable- unsustainable flush of growth. Aeration can help break up compacted soil and allow water to penetrate the surface and down into the root zone."

My personal experience has been generally with fescue lawns and bermuda sportsfields, and occasionally zoysia and centipede. Also, it is my understanding that bluegrass, if watered at all, should be done lightly during this period as opposed to most irrigation schedules that follow once a week to a good soaking recommendations.

All rhetoric nothwithstanding, I still maintain that aerating during "drought" will not harm a lawn in and of itself but then one has to wonder how or why a homeowner would be concerned with aerating but does not irrigate or other maintenance as was briefly mentioned in one post. Each goes hand-in-hand with the other as part of an overall maintenance program. But let's compare apples to apples, not sports fields and golf courses to bluegrass lawns. Two different cultural requirements.

In leaving, I will share this story. My mother used to tell me that I would argue with a signpost. That could be true. I submit that one could either:
A. Simply ignore false and inaccurate directions and simply follow the correct path.
B. Correct the sign so that others who follow would not become lost.
C. Stand there and try to convince the sign that it is wrong.

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Last edited by downunder; 08-24-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:50 PM   #20
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Should I aerate and overseed?


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
I have been waiting to see if someone else would bring up this point. Atlanta is in the "transition zone," meaning that some cool season grasses might grow here. !
How does that help the OP? I thought he was in NJ or PA


Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
What else can be done to avoid and or minimize browning and or drought stress? Mow high, 3” minimum and don’t cut the lawn at high noon- this is not a western movie- mow in the am or late pm. Better yet, if the lawn does not need a cut, don’t mow it at all- skip a week or two. Your heavy tractor or mower will cause more damage by crushing delicate, weakened grass versus leaving it alone.
So you are recommending that the guy NOT mow every week because his 40lb push mower might damage the delicate lawn, but it's ok to run a 200lb core machine?

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My mother used to tell me that I would argue with a signpost. That could be true. !
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:34 PM   #21
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Should I aerate and overseed?


Wow, lots of posts in here. Didn't intend to cause a controversy.

1) I didn't have time to water the lawn because of my work schedule and can only water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays due to water restrictions. If I had more time to take care of my lawn I'm sure it would look a lot better than it does now. My property is only 75ft x 100ft so aerating it would not take much time. I use an electric mower that weighs about 30 pounds and leave it around 3" tall. I've only mown twice this year at the beginning of the spring... it just hasn't had enough water to grow. I plan to have an irrigation system for next year so I'm hoping that can keep me from going through this again.

2) The grass isn't totally dead. I have white splotches scattered around the lawn. Right now it is probably 60% white and 40% green so there is still some life left in it. However, the spots where the grass is white if I pull on the grass blades they're not attached to anything. Like they just wilted away and died. Now, in one spot of my lawn I have beautiful green grass where the properties are designed to drain into. Since my neighbor has been watering like crazy the excess water is flowing into my yard and making some of my grass in that area very happy.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:41 PM   #22
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Should I aerate and overseed?


overseed now, and water regularly for first 30-45 days. Everyday if you can, even if it's just you holding the hose for 10 minutes a day.

areate in spring

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