After such a long summer without rain, it was a matter of time until we got our fair share. Every year is different around here, but this year has been very hot and humid. Global Warming may be, but we won’t get into that. It’s time to continue my lawn care renovation process.
Did I get lucky with my aerator party day?
I called 10 days ago and Ken said the aerator wouldn’t be available to rent until September 29th. I wanted late Septemeber, but I was thinking I may be pushing it a bit. Luckily for me, I’m glad I waited for several reasons.
- Still, no rain since I reserved the aerator.
- No time on the weekend to get it done.
- I couldn’t find a ride from a buddy to help me.
Things I’m facing moving forward.
On Monday night before I rented the aerator, the skies decided to work in my favor. We received a nice soaking of rain just in time to help saturate the ground which allows for better plugging.
I did one final cut yesterday and lowered the blade because I expect the existing grass to take off. This is okay, but I want the new grass to get some growth before I use my mower again.
Table of Contents
Fall on the Lake
The cool thing about the weather on the lake is the fall temperatures. You can walk or drive up the street and the temperature will be several degrees cooler. The opposite goes for spring. The lake property will be several degrees cooler than a few streets away. The lake temperature will dictate what type of outside temps you will have.
Although I’m worried about the leaves, we end up getting almost two more weeks without the fall compared to up the street. It is that drastic.
The Aerating Process
Although I had one bone head mistake I was able to punch the lawn extremely well. With the extra effort, I was able to make more plugs than I planned on. I was able to go over areas multiple times, giving the lawn the air it needs to really get going. This, on top of the dethatching process I did a few weeks will really go a long way.
I rented the machine for the day and it only cost me $40. My neighbor borrowed it as well, so it got a little more use.
The machine must way over 200 pounds, which really allows it to dig in and give those nice big plugs.
After I got the machine back to my house I had to do some work for a couple of hours. Around lunchtime, I set out to aerate the yard. I got the hang of the machine quickly. However, my lack of understanding of one component cost me a lot of time and gave me some pain.
After starting the engine and dropping the tines, I started to move. I thought the movement was decent, but at the same time, I also thought I was moving slow. It turns out, I didn’t increase the throttle. I was in the slowest setting the whole time. I was definitely working way harder than I had to.
HOWEVER, you may be thinking what a dumb $%#. Yes, I made the mistake, it turned out I got really nice plugs and nothing was left behind. Going too fast could cause a lack of deeper cores.
Covering the 10,000 square feet took me over an hour. Had I’ve been at full speed, I most likely could have cut that time significantly. Be sure to check your throttle when you get your aerator.
OverSeeding and Fertilizer
Once I completed the aeration, I had to go back to work. Several hours later, around dinner time, I spread 40 pounds of Pennington tall fescue onto my lawn. I was able to spread this out in multiple directions giving way for some nice coverage.
I was thinking about using a high-end brand of grass seed, but I really didn’t want to pay 2x as much. Maybe next year or whenever I aerate again, I will mix in the good stuff. I’ve had success with this brand of Tall Fescue in the past.
Right after I spread the seed I laid down some Scotts Starter Fertilizer and Weed Control. This was recommended by a lot of people and it was accessible at my local store. I only bought a bag that covers 5000 square feet. I will then apply a second bag of the same fertilizer in about a week. This is mainly the theory of not overdoing the fertilizer on my existing lawn. I could be just wasting time, but patience is everything when it comes to growing grass.
With the rain to come in the evening, I didn’t even have to water the lawn. Mother nature did her thing and I’m one day ahead of the game.
A Good Amount of Rain
Rain the first night was a bit more intense than I anticipated. With only a slightly sloping yard and the plugs freshly left on the turf, the seed shall either fall into the holes or get mixed into the broken down plugs. Good seed to soil contact should not be a concern.
The good news is the 10-day weather forecast. Rain, the night of my work and rain expected over the next few days could lead to some nice germination.
This will allow everything to go according to plan with limited watering. Should we get a length of time where the water isn’t satisfactory enough, I will add water gently to the lawn. The temperatures are perfect for growing grass. We have cool wet days for the first few days which is a great thing. We then have partly cloudy days, which will keep the ground wetter than if the sun was out all day and warmer temps on the backend. This will allow the germinated grass to really thrive. Weather could be fickle and change anytime and I may need to adjust. If you read my post about my well water situation you will understand my dilemma.
After going over the whole process, I still feel like I could tackle the areas that got hit the worse by the drought this summer. I think I may go out and get more seed and some good soil. This will help bring those areas back better than just overseeding. We’ll see about this. I may just let the lawn heal itself and not worry too deeply about it.
This pretty much covers my aeration and overseeding process. I will be sure to provide more posts about the progress and what I plan to do next. Will I winterize the lawn? Good question. I’ll need to figure out what the best step is to take to make this happen.
Let’s hope we get some nice growth over the next week or two. Stay tuned for more lawn care action.