Is your lawn gasping for air? You won't hear it, but you can probably see it.

When your turf’s roots can’t breathe, it shows. Weeds take over where grass struggles. Grass that used to be green turns brown. Pests and disease pounce.

The good news? There are solutions. But which one is right for your lawn?

Let’s take a look at lawn aeration vs. slit-seeding and how they can revive your struggling lawn.

What is Lawn Aeration?

When your soil becomes compacted, either from age or from heavy foot traffic, your lawn can't breathe. Its roots can't take in water or nutrients, which weakens your turf and opens the door for disease and weeds.

aeration holes in lawn

Aeration uses a machine to pull out tiny cores of soil from your lawn, allowing water and oxygen to get to the roots. Now, your lawn’s roots can grow nice and deep, producing a lush, healthy carpet of green.

Aeration And Overseeding: Best Friends

Aeration is typically followed by overseeding, as the holes created by aeration are perfect new homes for grass seed.

Then, we chop up those plugs of soil, so they become a nice top dressing for the newly planted seed.

If your soil needs an extra boost, we’ll bring in compost, which nestles into the holes and adds nutrients to the soil.

Aeration and Overseeding Infographic by Level Green Landscaping

What is Slit Seeding?

Slit seeding, also know as "slice seeding", is a mechanical method of planting grass seed that combines a bit of dethatching with seeding.

A row of blades that resemble stars dig down into the soil, creating slits in the ground. This process opens up the thatch — the layer of dead grass, old roots, and other organic matter that builds up between the soil and the grass.

The sharp blades also create a perfect row of openings for the seeds. So the seeds get great, secure contact with the soil — a better method than simply spreading seeds over the lawn. 

When to Slit Seed or Aerate

Slit seeding and aeration are best done in the early fall, by the end of September. The cool, wet weather gives seeds the best chance to germinate before they have to deal with summer’s heat and drought.

Then, when spring arrives, your lawn can focus all of its energy on growth.  

grass growing after slit seeding

Ignore Your Lawn, And It Suffers 

If your lawn needs aeration and you don't do it, water won't penetrate deeply. So your lawn’s roots will shrink and come to the surface, looking for water.

This weakens the root system, and it won’t be able to tolerate summer’s heat and drought.

As your grass dies off, weeds will fill in, and can quickly take over your entire lawn.

Does Your Lawn Need Slit Seeding or Aeration?

The quality of your turf helps determine if aeration or slit seeding is right for your property.

If your soil needs a boost, aeration with a top dressing of compost is beneficial.

If your lawn is thin and patchy, slit seeding will get grass seed off to a great start, so your lawn can start to fill in quickly.

New properties that have been planted well may be able to go for years without this type of extra attention.

But if your property is aging or gets a lot of foot traffic, you might need aeration every year.

healthy grass after slit seeding

Trust Your Turf To Level Green Landscaping 

At Level Green Landscaping, our experts can help determine exactly what your lawn needs to be healthy and happy. Lawn aeration? Slit-seeding? We’ve got it covered, as well as all the other elements of lawn care, from fertilizing to pest control.

We do it all.

If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.

Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.

We’d love to hear from you.

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