After a hot summer that featured plenty of dry spells, as well as some heavy rains, your lawn might be looking a little worse for wear. The good news is that there are two simple things you can do to restore its green, healthy look: aeration and overseeding.

These two processes are fairly easily accomplished – though aeration does require some specialized equipment – and provide impressive results.

The trick is knowing when and how to perform them.

First: Know your lawn

There are two times of year to perform aeration and overseeding: early fall or late spring/early summer. When you choose to undertake these jobs depends completely upon what type of grass makes up your lawn.

If you have a cool season grass – such as fescue, bluegrass, or rye grass – fall is when you should aerate and overseed.

If you have a warm season grass – such as Bermuda, centipede, and zoysia – aeration and overseeding should be undertaken in the spring/early summer.

If you’re not sure what type of grass you have in your lawn, you should certainly try to identify it (certain apps are very helpful in this pursuit). If you cannot 100% ascertain your lawn’s identity, then it is better to call a lawncare professional, rather than make the mistake of aerating and overseeding at the wrong time.

What is aerating?

Once you know what kind of grass you have, you can begin the process of making it as healthy as possible. That includes aerating, during which you poke a bunch of tiny holes in the surface of the turf.

That may not sound healthy, but it truly helps to strengthen your lawn. Why? It is because it gives the root system space to breathe and take in needed water and nutrients.

During the summer, your lawn gets stressed by high temperatures, excessive use, and hard rain. What happens is that some combination of (or all three) end up compacting the soil in your lawn, and that can make it hard for your grass’s roots to access the things it needs to thrive: Air, water, nutrients.

To accomplish aeration, you can use tools available for purchase at home improvement and lawncare stores, such as a spike aerator or a plug aerator. You wheel these tools across your lawn to create the necessary holes. And there are handheld versions or attachments you can hook to riding lawnmowers. However, the most effective aerating tools are not cheap, as they are gas powered and utilize hollow coring tines to produce the most effective holes. These are the type of tools utilized by lawncare professionals to produce the healthiest lawns.

What is overseeding?

While it may sound obvious, overseeding is the process of planting grass seeds into your existing turf. This process does not require you to mess with your lawn’s soil.

Overseeding helps to refresh your grass’s color, fill in bare spots, and improve your turf’s overall health.

The best way to overseed is by utilizing a mechanical seeder that helps open the lawn for the seed to nestle properly and root. You can also utilize less invasive methods, such as mowing the lawn very short and utilizing a spreader to deposit seeds.

In order If your lawn consists of cool-season grasses, choose a product specially designed to thicken thin lawns when overseeding. If you have a warm-season grass, it may be better to consult a lawncare professional to determine your best overseeding approach.

Do I need to aerate and/or overseed?

Take a look at your lawn. If you see evidence of:

  • Dead or brown spots
  • Compacted soil
  • Thatch build up
  • Invasive weeds

Then aeration and overseeding can do much to help you improve the condition of your grass.

The benefits of aerating and overseeding

Relatively simple processes, aeration and overseeding can do wonders for the health of your lawn. By completing these processes you give your lawn a much better chance at fresh growth and stronger roots. These two realities also help choke out any weeds that may try to grow on your lawn, as well as resist disease and temperature extremes.

When Is It Too Late to Aerate and Overseed?

For those aerating and overseeding cool weather grasses (in the fall), understand that new grass needs about five-six weeks to evolve before winter hits. In north Georgia, that is still some time away. However, the earlier you can get to it (once cooler temperatures start to become the norm), the better you chance you give your lawn of gaining optimum health.

Call in the pros

If you are unsure of the best time to aerate or overseed – or perhaps you just don’t have time – or if you see a lawn under great distress, it’s probably best to call in a professional to have a look and see what they can do.

A veteran lawncare professional will not only immediately know the right seed and time of year to undertake the project, he or she will also have the tools and the determination to help your lawn achieve peak health.

For years, Hughes Turf Management’s experienced and professional guidance has created the perfect balance of beauty and function for lawns around north Georgia – and we’re always happy to help new clients to do the same. Contact us today at 678-617-1962 – or email us at – and let us create the healthiest, happiest lawn you can achieve.

We have already begun the process of aeration and overseeding for many lawns this fall and will be happy to help you do the same.