Aerating and seeding questions

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-06-11, 09:37 AM
tranch's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 119
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Question Aerating and seeding questions

The soil around my home is like concrete! It's a heavy clay. I've had a professional lawn service aerate my lawn for 5 years now and it just dosen't seem to be getting any better. Other than digging out the top 1 or 2 feet, replacing it with top soil and starting a new lawn, :NO NO NO: is there any other way to "condition" this soil?

Second, is the lawn itself. It's healthy and looks good, but it's a bit "thin." I'd like to overseed this year and maybe next. Can I just brodcast seed out onto the lawn and keep it moist or do I need to cover it with a light coating of top soil?

The house is 7 years old now and the front yard was sodded with Kentucky Blue Grass. The sides and rear yard were a seed blanket of rye, fescue and another grass I do not remember the name of.

The front yard has some thatch problems but is in much better shape than the rear and side yards.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-06-11, 10:02 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
If you have heavily compacted soil, I'd core aerate more than once a year

You could also start adding organic material like rotted manure or peat moss after you aerate to try to change the compostion of your soil

Seed needs to be in contact with the ground; I'd aerate, seed and then cover the seed with a thin (1/8" or so) layer of organic material or compost

Also, you do not have any grasses in your lawn which develop thatch problems, I would put that out of your mind (core aeration is a good response to a thatch problem anyway)
 
  #3  
Old 05-06-11, 10:06 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,107
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'll be the first to say it...you should have a soil test done at your local CoOp or extension office (or University).

That said..aerating won't help without addition of soil amendments if the soil is mostly clay (very common when a house is built, they strip off any existing topsoil and never replace it). Sand and/or compost are normally recommended. Good to put them on right after an aeration to get them below the surface. I've known people that scattered worms (red wigglers?) all over after the aeration as well.....best thing in the world for a healthy soil.

The thinness is probably because the soil is so hard the roots can't grow.
 
  #4  
Old 05-06-11, 09:19 PM
tranch's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 119
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK, that shouldn't be too hard to do. Living in a large farming community I should have no trouble getting a soil test.

I'll try the sand and/or compost the next time the lawn is aerated.

Thanks for the info.
 
  #5  
Old 05-09-11, 08:34 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,308
Received 47 Votes on 44 Posts
I hate sand, I'd go with compost
 
  #6  
Old 05-09-11, 09:10 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,107
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I should have mentioned it takes a LOT of sand. Depending on the size of the yard..could be 4 or 5 cubic yards...thats a LOT. And it needs to be coarse "builders sand"..not play sand.

The compost needs to be the large stuff as well...not peat or manure that is basically pretty small particles. The stuff you get from a municipal recycling compost lot is normally pretty good.
 
  #7  
Old 05-11-11, 07:57 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 578
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's probably too late to overseed this spring unless you plan on using an awful lot of water to get the tender new growth through the summer. It's probably better to make plans to overseed this fall.
 
  #8  
Old 05-12-11, 04:42 PM
doc
doc is offline
Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 403
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Waiting for all is a good idea. I have clay soil also. Fall before last I core aerated and overseeded. Next spring I had all sorts young sprigs of new grass - all in the holes left from aerating. An odd look, but the grass is starting to spread some. Wish I had spread some composted top soil before seeding.

In any event, I tried overseeding in late spring once and its not a good idea.
 
  #9  
Old 05-12-11, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
On many golf courses, they core irrigate at least once a year (usually fal) and sometimes in the spring/early summer depending on the situation.

They usually use sand immediately after and the disturb the surface to get the sand into the cores before othe materials get it. It increases the amount of moisture to break up the surface. After that, the dress the surface and then spread it and disturb the surface disturb. Usually this is done in one day to keep the course in use. Greens have different method, but sand is used periodically. Much of the work is done the late afternoon and finished early the next morning.

Spike aeration is a waste of time and money.

Dick
 
  #10  
Old 12-09-11, 03:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How to soften hard soils.

You can try using gypsym to soften your soil or peat moss. DO NOT use sand. I would go over the lawn 2 or 3 times with and aerator and then cover the lawn with peat moss the grass should grow though it. This is a good thread. You guys are asking a lot of good questions.
 
  #11  
Old 12-12-11, 11:50 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: somewhere down in texas
Posts: 506
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sand is the only way to modify the characteristics of the soil from a clay to more of a loam. Compost is good to feed and inspire microbial activity but not for drainage or compaction issues.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: