It’s common to thicken lawns this time of year. Let’s look at the pros and cons of aerating versus seed slicing.
A core aerator pulls plugs of soil and deposits them above ground. This opens up space for air and water to enter the soil, and for turf-grass roots to spread. Although, as cores are brought to the surface, there’s risk that weed seeds are also brought to the surface and given a chance to germinate. These weed seeds would have otherwise remained buried and the existing turf cover would have kept them at bay. Due to this potential risk, core aeration should be avoided on lawns in the spring unless the area is so compacted that water can’t filtrate the soil profile.
A slice seeder (also known as a slit seeder) is a great alternative to core aeration for spring overseeding. These machines cut small slits into the soil, and then deposit grass seed into the cut rows. They provide great seed-to-soil contact to help with germination, minimize soil disruption, and reduce the risk of exposing weed seeds in your lawns. It’s important to note that seed slicing does not address compaction, and lawns should still be aerated and overseeded in the fall.
Spring’s here, let’s make sure our lawns are ready for the warmer days ahead!
*Plan accordingly, and follow up with a second overseed in the fall. If your budget only allows for one over-seed a season, wait until fall. Fall is the best window to focus on establishing grass from seed to thicken the lawn.