What questions should I ask an aeration and seeding provider?
Aerating and seeding is one of the most effective ways to repair your lawn so it is healthy, green, and lush come spring. This process removes small plugs of turf, breaking up thatch—the layer of dead grass that builds up on your lawn—allowing more water, oxygen, and nutrients to reach your lawn's roots.
All aeration and seeding services are not created equal. Knowing what to ask a potential lawn care company can help you to choose a provider who is experienced and knowledgeable.
Here are the top questions you should consider asking a potential aeration and seeding provider.
Do you offer other services?
The needs of your yard change from season to season, and you want to hire a company that accommodates your needs. You want to hire a company that offers full lawn care services because they are more likely to understand the bigger picture behind creating a healthy lawn. You will also be building a partnership with them so they can help you to achieve the lawn of your dreams.
Any company that only offers aeration and seeding is a red flag because this service requires a lower level of licensing. Without experience with fertilizer application and knowledge of how to grow a healthy lawn, it is unlikely they will be able to provide you with the proper resources on how to maximize your investment. At a minimum, a company should be able to diagnose and treat lawn disease and pests, as well as offer service calls between regular lawn treatments.
What kind of seed are you using?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask when finding an aeration provider because you want to find a company that uses high-quality seed. Terms such as blue tag-certified, coated, seed boost, multi-blended, and weed-free are indicators of high-quality seed.
Any weed contamination, even 0.01%, will introduce thousands of weeds to your lawn. A company using clean seed may be more expensive than other options, but it is worth the investment. At Blades of Green, our seed is blue tag-certified, weed free, and coated to improve germination rates.
If they use a specific name brand, purchase their seed at a box store, or are unsure, you may want to look elsewhere. Most recognizable grass seed brands have weed contamination and are not blue tag-certified.
What type of training do your team members receive?
Lawn care technicians should be able to answer any questions you have about your treatments and inform you of how you can meet your lawn’s basic needs. You should also look for a company that sends the same technician or technician team to your property during each visit. This allows them to really get to know your yard and stay on top of any problem areas.
Many lawn care companies have a high turnover rate or recruit just for the season, so technicians are not properly trained. Aeration and overseeding is a costly service and is the key to your lawn's health—it is important to know that the person on your property is being held accountable and is trustworthy.
Although each company is different, our team members at Blades of Green receive ongoing extensive training, are background-checked, and are regularly incentivized to perform to the best of their ability. In addition, the same tech team will service your home each time.
If a company subcontracts this service out or offers a very brief description of the training their staff receives, this could be problematic. Subcontracting the work can create a disconnect in quality, scheduling, and accountability.
What type of aeration does your company do?
The best type of lawn aeration is either core aeration or liquid aeration. Core aeration is a proven method that allows water and nutrients to penetrate your soil to create better conditions for grass growth. Liquid aeration is a growing alternative that can be more effective for seemingly healthy and established lawns.
You should also seek a company that does double-pass aeration—this will provide twice the plugs allowing more nutrients to reach the roots. Bonus points if the company offers both services.
If a company says they perform spike aeration, you should find another provider. Spike aeration can make compacted soil even worse and is known to do nothing to improve the health of your lawn.
What kind of equipment is your team using?
Walk-behind or riding aerators and riding or push spreaders for seed are the most effective equipment. You can also ask how they treat hard-to-reach areas, such as sidewalks. At Blades of Green, we hand-rake or power-rake areas that cannot be reached with our aerator.
It is worrisome if a company is using an attachment for a mower or tow-behind equipment.
When should I have this service done for best results?
Most people think that aeration has to be completed in the fall; however, experienced companies will know the best time to aerate is by going off of the soil temperature, not the date. Grass seed needs a proper growing environment with the right temperature and moisture, and can change year to year based on the weather. Essentially, you want to assure that your seed is put down after prolonged summer heat waves and before regular frosts and freezes set in.
It could be a red flag if a company gives you set months such as “September through November,” because these are potentially not the best conditions or months for your lawn. According to the University of Maryland, late summer to early fall (mid-August to mid-October) is the optimal time to seed.
Will you notify me prior to the service?
Aeration requires preparation work on your part, such as marking irrigation systems and watering the lawn, so it is important that you know when your service is happening. At Blades of Green, we pre-notify you during key times so you can properly prepare for your service.
It is worrisome if a company says they will not notify you or offers a very large window of time when they would service your lawn. It could mean many things, including that their experience is limited or they may be short-staffed, but mostly that they do not have an established system in place to properly care for their customers.
What is the proper way to care for my lawn after service?
A reputable company should give you detailed aftercare instructions—this includes mowing instructions, watering tips, and what to look out for. They should have also have a number and email where you can reach someone if you have an issue. At Blades of Green, we not only have both of these, but also a texting feature.
It is a huge red flag if you are told that your lawn does not need special care after service or that you can continue to care for your lawn as you did before. Proper watering and mowing is key to the success of your aeration service.
Why is your company different?
A company should be able to identify why you should choose their company:
- Do they understand the science behind growing a healthy lawn?
- Do they have highly trained technicians, or do their staff just look at the work they are doing as another “job?”
- What sets their aeration and seeding service above other companies?
For example, we are constantly improving our program through testing at our testing facility, understand the science behind the soil, offer our technicians additional training, and only use the best quality seed available. We understand that aeration and overseeding is an investment, and we want to help you achieve optimal results.
Telling you that you will save money by using their company is a red flag. Their company may offer cheaper programs, but that most likely also means the quality of their service is lower. The seed quality, staff training, and the professionalism of the equipment and provider all factor into the cost. The lower the cost, the more these factors may be affected.
Don’t forget about reviews!
It is important that you check out online reviews when shopping for any kind of lawn care service. Be sure to check several review sites for the same company (such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook)—this will assure that you get a good overview of the company and their customer service.
Knowing what to ask aeration and overseeding providers will make a great difference in your short-term and long-term lawn success. If you have any questions about aeration and seeding, or would like more guidance on finding a reputable company, you can call or text us at 410-867-8873.