It is this time of year to get your lawn back in shape, fill in these thin areas and recover from the limited rainfall and heat wave at the end of August in August. During the fall season, aerating and sowing are two of the best services you can do to give your lawn strength again.
Choosing a service provider to provide ventilation and seeding services can be a daunting task. because the results of their work won't be known until weeks or months later. As with any service, there are professionals who do first-class work while others just try to earn extra money on the side. How do you make sure you hire a professional? For starters, we recommend that you contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or visit their website at www.bbb.org before hiring a service provider.
Regardless of whether you are a handyman or a homeowner looking for someone to use services, the following questions should be asked regarding the equipment and quality of the seed used. (The following questions are for contract service providers, but can be replaced by landlords and the purchase of seeds.)
- Aerators – Ask for details about the aerators used. In particular, ask whether the aerator is a spike aerator or a core aerator. The difference is that a spike aerator only creates holes in the ground and actually increases compaction. One of the main reasons for lawn ventilation is to reduce compaction and using a spike aerator does not. The best choice is a core aerator that actually pulls plugs or cores out of the ground (see figure above). The next question is: does the aerator use hydraulic pressure to punch holes or does it only depend on the weight of the machine? The hydraulic pressure is better due to our local clay soil conditions when pulling ideal cores.
- Seed – This will ultimately be the difference from one service provider to the next, and surprisingly, most homeowners never ask what type of seed do you use? The most commonly used seed varieties in our region are bluegrass, fescue and perennial ryegrass. Each of these strains has its advantages and disadvantages, and the lawn care provider should be able to provide the details of the seed mix it uses.
While retail locations are ideal for buying tools and supplies for general gardening, I still have to find a high quality seed mix that I would recommend to anyone. Below are pictures taken at a local hardware store and the percentage of the actual seed compared to other ingredients or inert substances.
For more information on our ventilation and sowing services or to request a quote, please call our office at (618) 233-7600