What type of seed and fertilizer do you use?
We use a professional blended fescue (three different varieties) so that the lawn has a bed of grass that can stay viable throughout our various seasons. Our seed is certified 100% weed free. We typically apply a high end – pet friendly – 18-24-12 starter fertilizer at the time we aerate to help the new seeds along as well as feeding the existing lawn.
Why do you spread seed when you aerate?
Because most cold weather grasses, like fescue, only grow new plants via spreading their seeds annually; however, we humans tend to cut these grasses before they can reproduce via self-seeding. The best time to solve this problem is when the ground is opened up from plug aerating. The new seeds either fall in the holes or mix with the soil pulled out with the plug and thus have a greater chance of germinating.
We have a sprinkler system can you aerate our lawn without damage?
Yes. For clients with underground obstructions such as sprinkler systems and/or electric dog fences, we drop off flags well in advance of our service for the client to mark these underground obstructions. We then retrieve the flags on the day of service. While on this subject: we typically pull plugs 1.5 to 2.5 inches deep unless the client want shallower or deeper but, at least once a year, we run into a situation where the client’s cable company did not burry their cable to the required depth (typically 12 inches). If a client knows their cable is too shallow then we drop off flags for them as well.
We use another company to apply chemical weed killers and fertilizer but are not happy with their aerating service. Do you help customers like us?
Yes, all of the time. We do not believe in over-feeding or putting too many chemicals on a lawn so Classic Lawn & Tree has never provided an “annual” service of applying chemicals. We do understand that some clients want and do subscribe to this method and at least 30% of our annual Aerating clients still do. It is very important, however, to know when the last weed killer chemical was applied. We typically need to wait 30 days after the last application before we over-seed so the chemicals in the soil do not kill the new seed – why waste your money?
Can we aerate and over-seed in the springtime or do we need to wait until fall? Our lawn could use the help now.
Yes – but. . . . Aerating and over-seeding is best done when the grasses are in active growth. For fescue and other cold weather grasses this is typically when soil temperatures are between 55 and 85 degrees. This temperature range is most consistent in the fall which is why most companies recommend this service in our area during the time period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
That being said we do offer aerating and seeding in the springtime. We start taking orders for this service in February and then we monitor the ground temperature(s) around the area as we work on other projects. We then perform the service for clients in late February to mid-March most years when we are comfortable that the soil temperature will be stable even if we have a late frost/freeze on the surface.
Warm Weather Grasses:
When do you recommend aerating and seeding Bermuda grass?
Typically we aerate Bermuda grass lawns in June in order to take advantage of the 3 to 4 months of warm soil temperatures of summer so that the shoots of new Bermuda can take advantage of the prime growing conditions that plug aeration provides. We typically do not need to over-seed a Bermuda lawn but we do apply the same starter fertilizer that we use when we over-seed a cold weather lawn.