You may not want to play golf on your lawn, but you will be the envy of your neighbors and friends if it looks like you could. That look may take a little more effort and expense to achieve, but anyone in the golf industry can tell you how to do it. 

  • Start out with a good fescue base
  • Aerate your entire lawn annually
  • Overseed to strengthen the weak areas

This is how great golf courses have grown and continue to maintain near-perfect turf year after year. There is no magic or secret knowledge involved, although you may want to keep the neighbors guessing. Aeration and overseeding faithfully every year is the key.

Aeration Brings a Breath of Fresh Air to Your Lawn

The goal of aeration is to poke hundreds of small holes into every square foot of the turf that comprises your lawn. These holes keep the damp surface of your lawn from baking into a mud crust during hot, dry periods of the day. They also retard the buildup of thatch. But more important than what they prevent is what these holes encourage.

  • Fertilizer – seeps through these holes instead of washing away in the first rainfall
  • Water – mixes with the fertilizer and spreads it across the root zone
  • Oxygen – follows the water-diluted fertilizer and encourages the roots to grow more quickly

All of this means healthier grass growth, more productive roots, and a fescue lawn that feels like a soft green rug when you walk on it in bare feet. 

Why Aeration and Overseeding of Fescue Is Necessary

Not all lawns need to be aerated—just those that belong to discerning homeowners who take pride in even, green, healthy, and nearly insect-free turf. If thinning, discolored, and insect-infested lawns don’t bother you, then you don’t need to understand why aeration and overseeding fescue go together. Towards the end of summer in Atlanta, fescue grass begins to die out due to heat, drought, or lawn disease. The simple truth is that without aeration, overseeding may do more harm than good. A germination period of two to three weeks is normal for fescue seed. The fescue seeds crave water during this period.

  • Spurting seeds – can choke out the existing root zone if oxygen and water cannot penetrate the caked topsoil.
  • Fescue lawns — need to be re-seeded every year when average temperatures are cooler. Otherwise the fescue lawn begins to discolor and develop weak spots. Although fall brings on cooler temperatures, the air becomes drier. 
  • Drier air – tends to cake the topsoil, preventing oxygen and nutrients from flowing freely to the root zone.

This is especially true with red clay soil found in Georgia; poking hundreds of small holes in your lawn is not only helpful; it is a downright necessity. But it is time-consuming and tedious without the right equipment.

Two Kinds of Aeration Equipment

You might think that an aerator by any other name is still a piece of equipment that pokes holes in your lawn. But, there are aerators and there are aerators. 

  • Hollow tine aerator — removes pellets of dirt, loosening the soil around it as it pulls back out of your lawn.
  • Spike aerator — pushes dirt away from the spike, deeper down the root zone.

Both kinds of aerators poke holes into your lawn, but holes made by hollow tines create air passages across the holes and well as through them. Spikes compress the sides of the hole, preventing oxygen from seeping sideways through the soil. This impedes oxygen and water from flowing freely where they may. Add to this the increased demand for nutrients when overseeding fescue, and it is easy to see why the experts at Environmental Turf Management recommend hollow tine aerators and use them for their own projects.

Environmental Turf Management is a local, family-owned lawn management company that has been proudly serving the greater Atlanta area for over twelve years. All of their lawn care technicians are professionally licensed technicians who deliver quality service with excellent results. Aeration and overseeding fescue is just one of the many services they provide.

Contact Environmental Turf Management for a free, no-obligation lawn care analysis and recommendation.