Aeration and Overseeding VS. Slit Seeding

Aeration and Overseeding VS. Slit Seeding

Fall is the best time for over-seeding. Whether your lawn is heavily damaged by summer stress, fungus disease, insects or just thinned out, this is the time to repair damage.  Most homeowners are familiar with core aeration; we watch as golf courses use this maintenance practice routinely to break up compacted soil, helping air, water and fertilizer reach grass roots. Many people though, are not familiar with the process of core aerating a lawn, followed by the application of seed, to fill in or repair damaged areas of the lawn.

No question about it, pulling small, finger sized “plugs” of soil from the lawn, then spreading seed over and into the aeration holes makes sense. It provides a process for getting reasonable seed to soil contact, necessary for newly germinating seeds to establish themselves safely in the soil. As the seed is spread, many of the seeds fall into the holes left by the “plugging” process.

There is, however, another seeding method that deserves consideration. Especially in areas where little grass remains and simply thickening up the lawn is not enough; most professional services offer “slit” or “Slice seeding”. This method is slower, taking more time, but can be very effective. As the “slicer/seeder” passes over the lawn, discs cut grooves in the soil. Seed is dropped from behind the discs into the grooves or “slits” in the soil. This seeding method provides excellent seed to soil contact.

Deciding which method makes most sense is somewhat tied to the lawn situation. Most lawn care pros would opt for aerating and over-seeding, where seeding into thin turf. The lawn is not disturbed, creating little or no clean up. Plugs removed from the soil are left in place to decompose naturally or be chopped up through subsequent mowing.

To learn more about core aeration vs. slice seeding, click here here.