Should You Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn? - Backyard Boss
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Should You Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn?

Your lawn is one of the most important features of your home. It’s the first thing people see when they drive up and when they sit down in your backyard for a nice, relaxing summertime BBQ. It sets the tone for the rest of the property so you want to make sure that your lawn is in good shape.

One thing gardeners struggle with is how to proceed with proper lawn care. Should you be aerating and overseeding? Is it a good idea to incorporate these practices into your lawn care routine? Below you’ll find the answer! You’ll also learn about what aerating and overseeding can do for your lawn to see if it’s the right move for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Should You Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn?

close up plugs from lawn aeration
Image creditOldboys via Shutterstock

Aeration and overseeding – what exactly do those terms mean? And more importantly, is it something you need to do to your lawn? The answers yes!

Aeration is the process of making small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. Overseeding is the task of planting new grass seed on an existing lawn.

Turns out, this is a great lawn maintenance activity! It’s recommended you aerate and overseed your lawn once every one to three years.

However, if your lawn is heavily used, has a lot of traffic, or is subject to compaction, then you can aerate and overseed twice a year.

If you’re not sure whether your lawn needs aeration or overseeding, talk to a lawn care professional. They can help you assess the condition of your lawn and make recommendations for how to best take care of it.

Lawn Care 101 

Fertilizing a Lawn
Image credits: The Toidi via Shutterstock

If you want a healthy lawn, aeration and overseeding are key. These two lawn care practices that are essential for maintaining a luscious lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to aerating and overseeding your lawn:

Best Time

The first step is to figure out what the best time is to aerate or overseed your lawn. This will depend on your climate. The soil shouldn’t be too hard, or soft.

For aeration, there are select months optimal for aerating your landscape. In the spring, aerate during March to the end of June. During the fall season September and October are the ideal months to aerate your lawn.

If you want you can overseed four or five hours after your aerate.

How To Aerate

Once you’ve determined when you’re going to work on your lawn, the next step is to actually mow, rake and do the aeration. Fist, mow the grass as short as possible. You should aim for one and a half inches to two inches. Then, rake up all the leaf clippings.

Now you’re ready! For this part you have a few options from hand or liquid aerating, to renting a machine. If you have a small lawn, a hand lawn aerator will suffice. But if you have a large lawn, you’ll definitely want to go the machine route.

After you’re done aerating, let your soil dry for half an hour to five hours.

Pro-tip: You can save your leaf clipping for mulch!

How To Overseed

Now it’s time to overseed. First, spread a thin layer of seed over your lawn using a seed spreader. Then, aerate again over the top of the seed to help ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Alternatively, you can use a power rake or a verticutter. A power rake or verticutter will make indentations in the soil. Cut a series of trenches in one direction, sprinkle your seeds, and then come back with the verticutter and cut the second set of indentations in a 90-degree direction.


It’s important to water your lawn regularly, but it’s especially important to water after aerating and overseeding. This will help ensure that your lawn care routine is effective and that your lawn looks its best. Here are some tips for watering after aerating and overseeding:

  • Water twice a day, morning, and evening, for the first week after aerating and overseeding.
  • You could also water during the afternoon to keep the soil moist and cool.
  • Use a sprinkler or hose to evenly distribute water over the lawn.
  • Adjust your watering schedule as needed based on rainfall and temperatures.

Benefits Of Aerating And Overseeding

Weed free, clean lawn
Image credits: freenaturestock via Pixabay

Aerating and overseeding has its merits! Not only will your lawn look healthier and lusher, but it will also be better able to withstand heavy foot traffic and extreme weather conditions.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of aerating and overseeding your lawn:

Improved root growth: Aeration helps stimulate new root growth, which results in a stronger, more resilient lawn.

Reduced thatch buildup: Overseeding helps reduce thatch buildup, which can otherwise lead to lawn problems such as dry patches, disease, and insect infestations.

Increased moisture retention: Aeration creates small holes in the lawn that help improve moisture retention. This is especially beneficial in hot, dry climates where lawns are prone to drought stress.

Reduced soil compaction: Aeration alleviates soil compaction, which can otherwise lead to lawn problems such as poor drainage and waterlogging.

Reduced weed growth: Overseeding helps crowd out weeds, resulting in a healthier lawn with fewer unwanted guests.

A Little TLC

Aerating and overseeding your lawn may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really not that difficult. And the results are definitely worth it! A thick, green lawn is the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities and gatherings all season long.

So, get out there and start aerating and overseeding today! Comment below if you have any tips or tricks that made the process easier for you. Happy gardening!