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Best Time to Aerate and Overseed a Lawn

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Best Time to Aerate and Overseed a Lawn
Written By: Bear Creek Landscaping Team ~ 6/1/2023


There are two schools of thought to consider when your lawn requires aeration and seeding. One of them says that the best time to take care of this work is in the early spring, while the other suggests that fall is the ideal time to take care of everything.

The best time to aerate and overseed a lawn depends on the species you have planted on your property.

When you live in a northerly climate, most lawns feature a variety that performs well in cooler temperatures. It is better to do the aeration and overseeding work in the early spring or early fall to support the growth cycle in that circumstance.

Lawns in a southerly climate typically feature warm-weather species. The best time to do the aeration work is in the late spring or early summer because of its growth preferences.

Why Is It Better to Wait Until Fall?

Many professionals call autumn the “undisputed best time of year” for completing the aeration and overseeding work that lawns and gardens need each year.

That’s because fall often brings warm days and cool nights. This combination creates extra warmth in the soil, dying weeds that provide nutrients, and additional precipitation to prepare the grass for the dormant winter cycle.

When you complete the aeration work in spring, there is still a risk that the grass could be dormant. Even if it starts developing, there’s a bunch of dormant weed seeds waiting to grow. If you complete the work at this time, it could cause weeding problems in the summer.

Although those are all valid points, it is still better to aerate and overseed a lawn in the spring in some climates. Warm-weather grasses tend to have explosive growth during that time, locking out the issues that weeds potentially cause.

The following geographic chart for the United States can give you a better idea of what to expect when aerating and overseeding.

Geographic Region When to Aerate and Overseed a Lawn

Pacific Northwest The best time to plant new grasses in this region is approximately six weeks before the first expected snowfall. Since some areas don’t receive any snow (or freezing temperatures), some temperate lawns work better with the overseeding and aeration happening about six weeks before summer.

Northeast These regions see cold temperatures throughout the winter with prevalence. It’s usually better to aerate and plant seeds in August or September to ensure there’s enough time for them to grow before winter arrives.

Midwest Weather conditions are highly variable in this geographic region. You’ll want to think about your growing zone, how far north you live, and if microclimate influences affect your property. Most homeowners should expect to overseed and aerate by the end of August to see the best results.

Southwest Because of the hot temperatures that persist in this region throughout the fall months, it’s better to aerate and overseed right after winter dissipates. February and March tend to be the best months to complete these lawn chores.
Direct South When someone lives in Florida, Texas, or another Gulf of Mexico coastal state, a late spring overseeding and aeration project offers the most benefits. The best time can vary each year because of soil temperature, but it’s usually in April, May, or June.

Should I Aerate the Lawn First or Do the Overseeding Work?

The reason why the aeration and overseeding time matters in each climate is because these chores must give the grass a chance to create a strong root system. Without that resource, the new growth might not stand up to pests or other issues that develop on a property.

When you fill in the empty and bare spots with new grass, you’re doing more than creating a more cohesive look with greater curb appeal. The work increases the lawn’s resistance to pests.

Lawns that deliver a lush, thick, and uniform grass bed make it harder for weeds to take hold in the soil. That makes it even easier to care for it during the year because the root system gets the nutrients and water it needs to support each growth cycle.

Unless exceptional circumstances exist, most homeowners only need to perform aeration and overseeding work once per year to support a healthy lawn. If you have any questions about this work or wish to schedule an appointment, please feel free to reach out to our team at your convenience.

Together, we can help your lawn look beautiful in every season!


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