Core aeration is the act of pulling plugs, or cores, from the first couple of inches of soil. The hollowed cores of the aerator tines are pushed into the surface of the soil, this action allows the cores to pull plugs from the soil (taking some thatch along with it).
As the aerator passes over the lawn, it leaves openings in the soil helping air and water penetrate the root zone of the grass while at the same time releasing the cores back onto the surface of the soil. These cores should be left on the lawn and not raked. As they begin to decay, the organic matter will help provide nutrients back into the soil and aid in the decomposition of some of the thatch layer.
Whether your lawn just needs to be filled in with a little overseeding or you have a large bare spot, Grounds Services can help you find the solution. Our grass type page is dedicated to informing you of the pros and cons of certain grass types.
It is recommended to seed in the fall, though spring is a close second when it comes to seeking the ideal time to seed. The reason behind fall seeding is nature. Our temperatures are naturally cooler and the moisture is working in your favor during the late summer / early fall months. We also do not need to worry about crabgrass prevention if seeding is done later in the season (instead of trying to establish new seed in spring). On a freshly seeded lawn, you will get quicker germination if the lawn is briefly watered 2-3 times a day.
When purchasing your grass seed, it is a good idea to get a blend of seeds. That will allow for some seed types to quickly germinate (can be as quick as a week) while some other desired grass types may take over a month. With a blend, you can also be sure that the grass type will thrive in it's own optimal conditions (such as shade vs. full sun) without the need to purchase multiple bags of grass seedling.
After your lawn has been seeded, make sure to water as recommended above. Also, allow the turf to establish before the first mowing (about 3"). Be patient, it may take over a month for all the seeds to take. Click here to see aeration / seeding video.