It is that time of year to get your lawn back in shape, fill in those thin areas and recover from the limited rainfall and end-of-month heat wave of August. During the fall season, Aerating and seeding are two of the best services that can be done to bring vigor back to your lawn.

core aeration to control thatch

Choosing a service provider to perform aeration and seeding services can be a strenuous task; as the results of their work will not be known for weeks or months afterwards. As with any service, there are professionals that do a top-notch job while others are just trying to make an extra buck on the side. So how do you ensure that you’re hiring a professional? For starters, we recommend contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or visiting their website www.bbb.org before contracting any service provider.

Whether you are a DIY or a homeowner looking for someone to contract services the below questions should be asked in reference to the equipment and quality of seed being used. (Below questions are directed towards contracting service but they can be substituted toward rental companies & purchasing seed)

  1. Aerator – Ask for details on the aerators used. Specifically, ask if the aerator is a spike aerator or a core aerator. The difference is a spike aerator only creates holes in the ground and actually increases compaction. One of the primary reasons for aerating a lawn is to relieve compaction and using a spike aerator will not accomplish this. The best choice is a core aerator that actually pulls plugs or cores out of the ground, see picture above. Next question to ask is, does the aerator use hydraulic pressure to punch holes or does it only rely on the weight of the machine? Hydraulic pressure is better with our local clay soil conditions in pulling ideal cores.
  2. Seed – This will ultimately be the difference from one service provider to the next and surprisingly most homeowners never ask what type of seed are you using? The most common seed varieties used in our local area are Bluegrass, Fescue & Perennial Ryegrass. Each of these varieties has their pros and cons and the lawn care service provider should be able to provide the details of the seed mixture they use.

While retail locations are great for buying tools and supplies for general yard work, I have yet to find a quality seed blend mixture that I would recommend to anyone. Below are pictures taken at a local retail home improvement store and notice the percentage of actual seed vs. other ingredients or inert matter.

Pennington 1 Step Complete grass seed

Pennington 1 Step Complete Seed Mixture

Scotts Turf Builder grass seed

Scotts Turf Builder Seed Blend

For more information on our aeration and seeding service or to request an estimate, please call our office at (618) 233-7600

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