While you’re still reminiscing about what a fun, relaxing summer you had, your lawn has been a bit stressed out.
Heat, drought, insects, weeds and increased foot traffic may have taken a toll on that carpet of green.
You know it needs something. But what? And is there time to give it a boost before winter sets in?
Your summer-weary lawn might benefit from aeration and overseeding or slice seeding. But which one?
Let’s take a look at slice seeding vs. aeration and overseeding and which one might be right for your Northeast lawn.
First, A Look At Slice Seeding
Slice seeding starts with a piece of equipment called a slice seeder. This machine slices into the soil with steel blades creating furrows. Then it drops the grass seed into the furrows. This method puts the seed directly and securely in contact with the soil, as opposed to just spreading seeds onto your lawn.
Slice seeders are expert seed planters. They’re adjusted to cut at the proper depth for the seed you’re using, and the slices into the soil are calibrated to give an even planting bed. As the machine lays down the seed, teeth work it into the soil.
When you broadcast grass seed over your lawn — typically called “overseeding” — not all of the seeds will stick to the soil and germinate. When you tuck the seed directly down into the soil, you give all of the seeds a better chance at germination.
Next Up: What Is Aeration?
Over time, soil and the underlying thatch of your lawn can become compacted, which can seriously affect your lawn’s ability to thrive.
As soil becomes compacted, it can’t breathe. That means the roots of your grass won’t be able to absorb nutrients or water from the soil. That makes it weak, and susceptible to weeds and disease.
Aeration perforates the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
It also encourages grass to grow roots deeper into the ground. That makes them tougher, more able to last through the winter and survive abrupt climate changes like storms and droughts.
Aeration is often followed by overseeding — spreading grass seed over the lawn, which falls into the newly created holes.
Does Your Lawn Need Slice Seeding Or Aeration And Overseeding?
While both slice seeding and aeration can help rejuvenate your lawn, they each serve a different purpose.
Slice seeding is all about planting grass seed for the fastest, most thorough growth of new grass.
Aeration addresses a deeper issue, literally — creating healthier soil to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots.
If you have a pretty good crop of turf already growing, consider aeration part of your regular lawn maintenance to keep the soil healthy. And most lawns can use the accompanying overseeding to maintain a lush green lawn.
As your lawn continues to thrive, aerate every year or two. Aeration also improves your lawn’s ability to absorb rainfall, reducing stormwater runoff.