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Old 04-16-2014, 01:26 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
1,214 posts, read 4,743,085 times
Reputation: 683

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I am thinking of doing my own lawn care this year for a "project".

I think I would like to overseed this year because I think my lawn needs it.

My lawn was freshly laid sod 4 years ago and I have never overseeded it before.

So 2 questions:

When do you overseed? Spring or fall?

Also, I think I need to both aerate (hard clay type soil) and dethatch.

I have aerate before (professionally done). I did it because I was told it would help break up my clay soil.

I also think I need to dethatch. I have a lot of brown dead grass material on my lawn that sometimes I can rake up with a spring rake and then that patch of lawn looks better and more lush. I am thinking I should get a dethatch to have that done on my lawn for the overall appearance.

So When should I aerate and dethatch. I am think aerate now to help keep water bills down during the sprinkler season. and dethatch ..... not sure when.

thanks
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:32 PM
 
296 posts, read 534,219 times
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I would dethatch now but hold off on the aerator until fall. I just rented a dethatcher last week. It cost me $ 90.00 a day and it pulled up a lot of dead grass. We live in NJ. After dethatching I cut the grass at 2inches in height and then applied fertilizer step one from Scotts. I am sure you will get various opinions on this site. Hope this helps you!
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:51 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,745,806 times
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MD, Zone 6a/7b

All I know is both my yard services aerate in the fall.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:08 AM
 
35,316 posts, read 48,692,616 times
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I'd get it professionally done as they will have the proper equipment to do the job and the expertise to do it right. When i used to work on golf courses we would dethatch and aerate at about the same time.
We would also top dress the area aerated with sand to give the clay soil better breathing/drainage.
Dethatching - Eco Greenscape Gardens
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:25 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,884,700 times
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Unless you have 1/2" or more of thatch buildup, you don't need to do it. The dead topgrowth will decompose. Just don't overfertilize. That can lead to excessive thatch. Dethatching is a brutal job. Raking all that dead grass is very labor intensive. Don't do it if you don't have to.

Normally, fall is the best time to overseed, especially if you're in an area that gets very hot and dry summers, which can kill off the new shallow-rooted grass. It's fine to aerate in spring or fall, and if you're expecting good spring rains, you can aerate now. But generally, all these big projects are done in the fall.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
1,214 posts, read 4,743,085 times
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Thanks all. I have been told by several that dethatch is not necessary but this year I am going to do it.
When we first got sod, my husband let the grass grow really long before first cut... maybe 3 -4 inches. And then our mower did a very bad job of mulching. I really should have racked the discharged grass. Since then... it seems that my lawn never really gets a lush green. When you are up close, you can see a layer of brown dead grass. Even in the middle of summer.
I have used fertilizer services for 2 years in a row and use sprinklers... my lawn is never lush and green. but in the areas that I rack, then that patch of grass seems to flourish and get lush and green. So this year I am going to dethatch.

I also aerate to try to break up the clay soil. I will do that in the fall. Intrigued by the thought of "dressing" my lawn with sand after aerating. I have heard that people will augment sand to clay soil... I guess that is how they do it??
Will research that as well.

So overseed and aerate in the fall? What about this dressing with sand? I want to try that because my soil is really like clay.... when it gets wet, it is just like clay, slimy and smooth, not crumbly soil.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
6,413 posts, read 10,042,493 times
Reputation: 4280
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcam213 View Post
Thanks all. I have been told by several that dethatch is not necessary but this year I am going to do it.
When we first got sod, my husband let the grass grow really long before first cut... maybe 3 -4 inches. And then our mower did a very bad job of mulching. I really should have racked the discharged grass. Since then... it seems that my lawn never really gets a lush green. When you are up close, you can see a layer of brown dead grass. Even in the middle of summer.
I have used fertilizer services for 2 years in a row and use sprinklers... my lawn is never lush and green. but in the areas that I rack, then that patch of grass seems to flourish and get lush and green. So this year I am going to dethatch.

I also aerate to try to break up the clay soil. I will do that in the fall. Intrigued by the thought of "dressing" my lawn with sand after aerating. I have heard that people will augment sand to clay soil... I guess that is how they do it??
Will research that as well.

So overseed and aerate in the fall? What about this dressing with sand? I want to try that because my soil is really like clay.... when it gets wet, it is just like clay, slimy and smooth, not crumbly soil.
A fresh laid sod lawn or seed lawn should not be mulch mowed in the beginning. I live on the humid north coast of California and I reseed spring or summer and mix the seed with a good and find planting mix or compost, then spread that on the lawn. The soil keeps the seed from being consumed by birds and keeps it moist for germination. Mulch mowing works great if the mowing is on a regular schedule and the lawn is not tall.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs
1,299 posts, read 2,699,065 times
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"I reseed spring or summer and mix the seed with a good and find planting mix or compost, then spread that on the lawn."

What kind of tool do you use to spread the mixture? I tried to top off my lawn with compost and had to use an old tomatoe can for a scoop. My spreader couldn't handle the compost.

uh
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
39,378 posts, read 70,636,382 times
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You can reseed spring, summer or fall. It's really just best to do it when you will be getting some rain to avoid watering 2-3 times a day to keep the seeds from drying out. The best approach is to dethatch, then aerate, then overseed and rake some of the seeds into the aeration holes.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:42 AM
 
35,316 posts, read 48,692,616 times
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A few lawn tricks/
Will Beer Work to Rid the Lawn of Thatch? | eHow

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...24475484323145

Jerry Baker's All-Season Green-Up Tonic

1 can of beer (not light beer)
1 cup of ammonia
1/2 cup of liquid dish soap (not anti-bacterial or concentrated, trust me)
1/2 cup of liquid lawn food (get this at a nursery or farmers' supply)
1/2 cup of clear corn syrup

Mix in large bucket, pour into a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer and spray on everything (grass, bushes, flowers) every three weeks. One batch covers approximately 1500 square feet.
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