Turf renovation—comprised of aeration, topdressing, liming and overseeding operations—is a process that takes place when air temperatures cool but soil temperatures are still warm, in late summer or early fall. However, mid-summer is the time to start taking proactive steps to get the best return on your investment and increase the chances of having good germination and development of the newly seeded grasses come fall, beginnig with a turf evaluation to identify deficienties or problematic areas that need to be addressed in order to support a healthy stand of turfgrass.
Once you determine a need for turf renovation, there are two things that you should do right away to get the process headed in the right direction. First, you should take a soil test to determine:
The importance of soil testing and maintaining the proper balance of soil chemistry cannot be overstated, as it is a key component to the success of basic aeration and overseeding operations. Too often, this important step is overlooked because of the time it takes to get results and recommendations back from an appropriate and dependable soil testing lab. The actual cost of the test is insignificant when compared to the cost of a failed turf renovation.
Second, coordination of the mowing and overseeding schedules with the turf chemical applications is key to a successful renovation in order to reduce weed competition and pave the way for the newly germinated seedlings. Chemical applications should be scheduled two to four weeks ahead to allow time for herbicides to “break down” and not negatively affect germination of the new seed.
In short, the time to start thinking about turf renovation is now, and this begins by walking the site with our customer and identifying needs, clarifying expectations, taking soil tests, making additional recommendations, and proactively scheduling turf chemical application as needed. It is a process of sequential events that requires attention to detail in order to get the best results from your fall turf renovation efforts.