Why you dont need cores to grow grass is a conversation many members of the PPLM team have been having with clients as well as other professionals as of late. As liquid aeration becomes an increasingly popular alternative to core aeration, a debate is stirring about the value of good old fashioned cores for seeding grass. Clearly core aeration isn’t the only means of aerating soil, but doesn’t it serve an equally important purpose where seed is concerned?
For cool season lawns like turf type tall fescue, annual seeding is a key process to restoring and maintaining a healthy population of grass in the lawn. Fescue doesn’t spread much to fill in its own bare areas, and because about ten percent of a fescue lawn dies off naturally each year, fresh seed has to be put down to keep things balanced. Fall is the best time for seeding fescue because it gives new grass the greatest amount of cool weather in which to develop before it is exposed to stressful summer temperatures.
In years past, no one thought to ask why you don’t need cores to grow grass or whether or not it even mattered. For decades, core aeration has been performed at the same time as fall seeding. Aeration is a good service to do for a lawn because it opens up space in the soil system for air, water, nutrients, and roots to travel, but at face value, it doesn’t really matter what time of year it is done. The reason it is most often paired with fall seeding is because the holes left behind by the removal of plugs of soil during a core aeration service act as a great little nesting place for seed to germinate.
When moisture and temperature are at ideal levels, fescue seed can germinate within a week or two and grow rapidly into a young plant. However, from the time the seed is laid until it has developed a basic root system, a process that can take a month or more, the seed is easily disturbed. As a result, bare areas that do not have an established lawn benefit from core aeration to give the seed a foothold. But what if established turf can serve as that foothold instead? What if instead of a short term mechanical fix, we can focus on amending soil deficiencies?
This is where we start to explore why you don’t need cores to grow grass. Think about how many places in your yard you’ve seen seed germinate and develop that haven’t been aerated. From flower beds to carpet to even sidewalks and driveways, grass seed germination is guaranteed to take place. There’s even a classic elementary school science experiment that involves making seeds germinate in nothing but a damp paper towel! All you need for seed to germinate is the right temperature and just enough moisture.
That’s why liquid aeration is such a great alternative to core aeration for established lawns. Not only is it more effective in improving soil porosity, but there is no risk of the switch from core aeration reducing the efficacy of your fall seeding. In fact, grass seed germination and development has a greater chance of being successful in the long run because of the improvements to soil health and root development the right liquid aeration products give. Liquid aeration is definitely a service to consider and watch, and the next time you speak with your lawn service provider, be sure to bring up why you don’t need cores to grow grass!
After reading this you can understand why you dont need cores to grow grass. Is it a myth or and ole wives tale???