Now that spring is in full swing (other than the dips back into winter we seem to be getting every so often), you’re no doubt taking a good, hard look at your lawn. If you have patches where you need to reseed, here’s a very important tip to help you do it right:
Do not aerate!!
If you’re going to put down grass seed, you’ll likely be told to first de-thatch the area and aerate or break up the soil to prepare a bed for the new seed. But this time of year, that is the worst thing you can do.
Breaking the crust invites weeds!
Weeds are in their strongest growth cycle now and the hard soil surface that developed over the winter will help to prevent these weeds from growing. If you break the soil now, you basically tell the weeds that are desperately seeking new real estate to take over, “Here you go, move in right here!” If you haven’t already applied a pre-emergent weed control treatment and are reseeding, you should wait on doing so. Follow the instructions below on getting a new seed bed started, let the grass come in then apply pre-emergent weed control. If you apply pre-emergent before you seed, the seed will not grow!!
What do you do?
Instead of de-thatching, aerating, or in any other way breaking through the protective winter “crust”, add about an inch of soil to the area and follow your grass seed instructions from there. This will save you a lot of time and money with future weed removal.