"I have very tough, rocky/eroded bare spots, what should I do for those areas?"
For area's like this, I would recommend bringing in compost/topsoil and TILLING it in. We then Seed and spread straw over top to help protect the seed.
"Should I be watering the new seed?"
The seed usually takes 7-10 days to germinate, and when it does, it will be a very small single blade of grass. These new seedlings will grow and expand much larger with time. The new seedlings are rather tough and usually, under normal conditions, do not need additional irrigation for survival, unless it is very warm and dry.
However, it is beneficial to keep the grass watered daily or every other day for the first 2 to 3 weeks after seeding. The amount of time depends on the system, but you want to be sure that ground is moist but not swampy or spongy.
"I aerated and seeded last year, why should we do it again?"
Tall fescue usually needs to grow tall to go to seed naturally, it can take a few weeks. However, in a well maintained lawn, it isn't capable of going to seed, because it is consistently mowed before it reaches that height. Tall fescue can grow thicker over time, but a single plant of tall fescue is not likely to spread or fill in bare spots with new plants.
"What are the benefits of aerating my lawn?"
Aeration pulls cores that new seed will germinate in, it's planting the seed as opposed to throwing the seed on a hard surface.
Aeration also loosens up the top layer of soil to help with water and air flow in the roots, also helping roots to grow deeper that will create a more drought tolerant environment.
This summer caused a lot of stress on fescue lawns. To repair these, Aeration and seeding may be necessary. September and October are the best months to complete these tasks.
In the softest area's, I would assume that our aerated can puncture down up to 5 inches. However, typical Cores are 1.5 to 3 inches long, depending on how tough the soil is and aerator pressure setting. (We can adjust pressure on aerator for higher risk areas)
A WORD OF CAUTION
When aerating, It is important to mark all utility and shallow irrigation pipes/heads.
Examples of utility lines are Satellite, internet, invisible fence, Propane, irrigation, or any other shallow lines that may be buried in the lawn area. The previous utilities are typically NOT marked by Ms. Utility.
Electric, phone, gas, and cable are usually deep enough to not be concerned with.
Our fescue blend is made up of three different varieties recommended by Virginia Tech.
It is a premium blend that has an optiroot coating to help with the germination process.
The three varieties are;
35% Xtreme Green Tall Fescue
33% Technique Tall Fescue
32% Integity Tall Fescue
00.00% Weed seed