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Debunking Aeration and Overseeding for Fescue Lawns

By Peter Henrikson of GrassRoots Turf-Charlotte

Fescue is a common grass type in Charlotte. Fescue lawns are chosen for their beauty and resilience to heat stress during our hot Carolina summers. When cared for properly, fescue can live a long life and look great year after year. Unfortunately, environmental stress, disease, our pets and high foot traffic can take its toll on your turf, requiring many homeowners to over-seed their lawns during the fall growing season.


Overseeding is the process of spreading fescue seed over the entire lawn or on thin/bare areas to reestablish the turf and add new generations of fescue to your lawn. Overseeding should be performed between August 15th and October 31st in Charlotte for best results. This is the time of the year where ground temperatures are perfect to optimize seed germination, while giving the new grass plant plenty of time to grow a strong deep root system to protect it from next year's hot summer.

Traditional Core Aeration

Soil aerification is a process of opening up the soil to allow air, water and nutrients deeper into the soil. The primary reason for aerating your lawn is to reduce the compaction of our heavy clay soils. This process has been done for years in Charlotte in an attempt to regularly reduce compaction and improve the clays efficiency. Core aeration is a great process for achieving this goal. There are also many drawbacks to this process including:

  • Disrupting the soils biology which reduces the soils efficiency and nutrient processing capacity

  • The soil structure is not improved and this process will continue to be required 

  • Removal of healthy grass plugs, which then require reseeding to replace the lost turf

  • Allows weed seed to penetrate the soils surface and establish itself

  • Increases erosion, creates a messy appearance, and can damage invisible pet fences, irrigation and internet cables

Liquid Aeration

In my last article, I detailed the Soil Food Web, which is the foundation of our living soil. In many areas of our country, aeration is not required because the soil contains large amounts of organic material and living organisms. Our heavy clays generally have low amounts of organic matter and can be anaerobic, choking out many of the beneficial organisms required for healthy living soil.  Liquid aeration is the process of supplementing the soil with high amounts of humic and fulvic acids, molasses, and other micronutrients. This is the food for the living organisms, allowing them to growing in population and dig deeper in the earth creating healthy soil to support our plants. These organisms create micro pockets that hold air, water, and nutrients similar to the pores in a sponge. By supplementing the soil, we have changed its composition for ever and that soil will begin to manufacture these compounds itself over time. The best part is, this process works continually 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, which provides a superior, lasting results year in and year out. By maintaining the soil structure, lawns are healthier and will not require overseeding annually when maintained properly. By better understanding your options you can reduce the total cost of maintaining your lawn while improving its beauty at the same time.


Peter Henrikson
Owner GrassRoots Turf-Charlotte

GrassRoots Turf

9975-D Rea Road

Charlotte, NC 28277

Phone: (704) 994-8778


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