A Primer on Soil Aeration and Overseeding


Brendan Wetzel owns and operates Yardley Landscaping and Paving Company, which serves Bucks County and nearby locations in Pennsylvania. For more than a decade, the company has offered a full range of yard services. Brendan Wetzel brings experience and expertise to the work that he performs for each of his clients, including irrigation, mulching, fertilizing, soil aeration, seeding, and more.

Experts agree that aeration and overseeding are among the central lawn-care services that can promote the long-term health and beauty of any yard. By opening up the soil, aeration permits more water, oxygen, and nutrition to go deeper into the grass root zone, fostering greater root extension underground and a healthier lawn overall. Overseeding, meanwhile, involves opening about a quarter-inch-deep groove in the soil and inserting the optimum amount of grass seed. This sets up conditions for better seed-soil adhesion and promotes improved rates of seed germination.

The two techniques differ in the proper timing, methods, and means of application. Traditionally, the middle and latter parts of August are recommended as an optimal period for aerating, followed by overseeding in September. Many experts also recommend aerating in early spring for cool-season grasses and in late spring for warm-season grasses.

Standard methods focus on rolling a handheld drum aerator, or a mechanical aerator, across the lawn. Spike aerators puncture holes in the soil, while plug aerators pull up small plugs of grass and topsoil to reach beneath. Mechanical overseeders remain standard