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Old 09-06-2019, 04:02 PM
 
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OK, we're trying to grow grass at our lot in the country. IMO, the ground is pretty compacted, so it seems to me that the grass seed just kind of sits on top of the ground. I'm wondering which would be better...aeration, or tilling? Would they both work? Yes? No? Why? lol


I'm hoping someone will say tilling is fine, because we HAVE a tiller. We don't have an aerator.


I won't be able to reply back until Monday, but I'll be watching for comments.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Is any grass growing? If there's some grass, I'd core, top dress and seed. If it's all weeds and bare spots, I'd till, amend, and sod.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:58 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Is any grass growing? If there's some grass, I'd core, top dress and seed. If it's all weeds and bare spots, I'd till, amend, and sod.
I agree. Aerating/coring just punches 1/2” or so holes in the ground so water can penetrate. Tilling means you are starting over from scratch, and will have to rent a roller before seeding to compact, level and flatten it. You could do it by a bunch of people stomping all over it but it won’t come out as well.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:24 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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Try frost seeding (if you're located in an area with real winters)-- just broadcast seed in late winter/early spring on surface of snow. As the early spring thaw/freeze cycles, the sod heaves and allows the seeds moistened by the melt water to get into the cracks. Very efficient method for acreage as well as smaller lots.


Then again, if your lot is just a weedy mess, maybe it's worth tilling it up and completely replanting it. More work, and heavy rains on bare soil may cause erosion.
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I'm wondering which would be better...aeration, or tilling?
There is also slit-seeding, where the machine cuts slits in the ground and deposits seeds. That is probable less destructive that aerating, and obviously much less than tilling, if you want to try to save any of the existing grass.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:37 AM
 
Location: NC
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The diffence is in how much weed seed you expose to light. Weed seed needs light to germinate otherwise it can sleep inthe ground for years. Aerating lets weed seed stay sleeping.

Tilling can bury living and dry plant material that might take a while to breakdown so it can interfere with root growth. And it brings up all that weed seed into the light.

So, tilling is for a new start which is sometimes needed but you should probably kill and remove the top stuff first. Aerating gives the new seed a place to wash into while keeping the soil intact with fewer new weeds
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Old Today, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Is any grass growing? If there's some grass, I'd core, top dress and seed. If it's all weeds and bare spots, I'd till, amend, and sod.

We do have SOME grass growing...but it's mostly bare. There are a lot of mature trees, so I think the shade hinders grass growing. We also have weeds.


A couple of weeks ago, I did throw some grass seed around, and I noticed last weekend that some of the grass seed has actually sprouted, grown, etc. That's nice...but I'd like more.


I hesitate regarding aerating. My thought process is "The chipmunks have made LOTS of holes. Seems like those holes are aerating.


I have a hand tiller. I think I'll work small patches at a time. Till and plant, till and plant, etc. How's that?
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