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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I recently got a new 2021 x350. My lawn is probably half grass and half weeds and moss :).
I've always been happy as long as its green, and when you mow it ... it all kind of looks the same anyway.

Fast forward. I'm going to take a run at this making your lawn nice thing.
Just starting to read up on things and it seems a plug aerator and seeder are pretty big ticket.

So a couple of questions for the experts here.
1) I live in New York State. Should I aerate in the fall or spring?
2) Similarly, when should I over-seed?
3) Thoughts on this aerator? Sounds like agri-fab makes these for john deere and I can save some coin buying theirs directly?
-> Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator $279 on amazon
4) Any suggestions for a seeder? Haven't researched that at all
5) Any worries pulling an aerator like that once or twice a year with my x350? I have about a 0.5 acre lot. I've heard and read that this tractor is great for mowing but not ground implements. Is an aerator serious strain or not so bad?

Lots of questions! Thanks for the education.
 

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Hey folks,

I recently got a new 2021 x350. My lawn is probably half grass and half weeds and moss :).
I've always been happy as long as its green, and when you mow it ... it all kind of looks the same anyway.

Fast forward. I'm going to take a run at this making your lawn nice thing.
Just starting to read up on things and it seems a plug aerator and seeder are pretty big ticket.

So a couple of questions for the experts here.
1) I live in New York State. Should I aerate in the fall or spring?
2) Similarly, when should I over-seed?
3) Thoughts on this aerator? Sounds like agri-fab makes these for john deere and I can save some coin buying theirs directly?
-> Agri-Fab 45-0299 48-Inch Tow Plug Aerator $279 on amazon
4) Any suggestions for a seeder? Haven't researched that at all
5) Any worries pulling an aerator like that once or twice a year with my x350? I have about a 0.5 acre lot. I've heard and read that this tractor is great for mowing but not ground implements. Is an aerator serious strain or not so bad?

Lots of questions! Thanks for the education.
Here is the aerator that Agri-Fab Makes for Deere Products > SmartLINK™ Master Platform John Deere Licensed Products But the Normal Pug & spike aerators Deere sells our Made By Brinly Spike & Plug Aerators Archives as Long as Your Yard Is flat or rolling Hills You should be Fine Pulling a Plug Aerator with the X350. Now if It's One steep Hill there Might be some worry (y)
 

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JD X585 owner
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I have an Ohio Steel 42" spring assisted aerator that I love and got through Sears 15 years ago. It was still available in 2019 but appears it is no longer being produced but you might still be able to find it. They still make a 48" version. Here is a link to their archive listing of the 42" unit.

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Where are you in NY? On LI the time to thatch, aerate and seed is right after labor day...a little earlier if you are upstate....if you have moss you can probably use a combination of less water and put down some lime.....next Spring,in order to avoid summer weeds put down Andersen's Barricade.... it is reasonably priced and I think more effective than Scotts...I put it down the 1st week of May...I always have some left over, which I put down right before Memorial day...I have no dandelions, clover or crabgrass since I started using that....keep in mind that you can't get anything to grow from seed for at least 2 or 3 months after that in the treated areas...I have also heard of some people with large lawns just using seed from TSC that contains clover...which is a nice color green ....it seems to choke out other weeds.....I have also seen some of the landscaping guys around here aerating in April
 

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JD X540
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A few of thoughts.
First, I would say that you have lost your window of opportunity this year for plugging and over seeding. At our latitude, I usually aim this work to be completed by mid September.
Second, I pulled an Agrifab 40" plug aerator with a JD L120 for 8 years on a much larger lot than yours. If the weather was warm (mid 70's) I would stop forward motion for a minute or two and survey my work to let the fan cool the transmission. If it was in the 60's I never bothered. You might want to consider the 40" rather than the larger 48". Easier to pull and maneuver. My unit, now almost 20 years old works just like it did new.
Finally, I fabricated a wooden 'box' , same size as the plugger which I bolted to the platform. I would then rob my grandkids sandbox and use ~150 lb of sand, more or less, to get the correct weight for depth desired. This will vary with how wet your soil is when you do this.
Good luck, Ken
 

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I have that Agri-Fab aerator. The directions say to install the tines first. You will be a bloddy mess by the time you are done if you follow their instructions. They are wicked sharp when new. There is plenty of room to install the tines at the very end.
 

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I've had that 45-0299 for years, although I don't use it as often as I probably should. I used it with an LA140. As long as the yard is flat you'll be fine. Drive slowly (nowhere near as fast as mowing), and expect the trans will make a lot more noise than usual. Finding the ideal time to use it is a bit of a challenge. The ground needs to be at least a little damp so that the knives will go into the ground relatively easily. If the ground is hard and dry then then knives either won't penetrate or will require a crazy amount of weight. Of course, you don't want it to be so wet that you're making a muddy mess or leaving tire tracks with the tractor.

For overseeding I use a broadcast spreader. I see that Agri-Fab makes a combo spike aerator/drop spreader, but I don't know how much good those spikes would really do for burying the seed since they would only affect a small percentage of the seed you apply. I also didn't want to buy yet another piece of equipment to store. I would use the plug aerator, then seed, then fertilize.

EDIT: Probably should clarify, it's a walk-behind spreader. I had a Scotts spreader for years, and now I have a Yardworks (house brand for Menards). I'm on 1/3-acre so spreading goes pretty quickly just walking it off.
 
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Kioti SCUT
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I have a very large plug aerator on my SCUT, so I can't help with answers on a tow-behind model. But I've had a lot of experience with aerating and overseeding my 1.5 acre lawn.

First, I go around the yard and mark all protruding or buried rocks with marker flags. I don't want to damage a core tube on a buried rock.

I used to aerate in early spring and in September, but now I just do September because the spring overseeding was a waste of time and money. We had several dry/hot summers where I couldn't possibly water enough to support spring overseeding.

I use the aerator the 1st or 2nd week of September. Then I overseed with a TSC K31 fescue seed and a walk-behind broadcast spreader. Finally I use the same spreader to apply TSC starter fertilizer. The first September rain washes it all into the holes, and the lawn looks great.

I use the walk-behind broadcast spreader because seed is expensive, and I don't want to waste any. Every two years I do my lawn with pelletized lime, and I use my tow-behind spreader because I use a lot, lime is heavy, and lime is cheap. Cal

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I have had good success with the Brinley 40" plug aerator. I generally use three JD suitcase weights on it. I have used this behind my LA135 for 2-1/2 years now with good success.


I was aerating in the spring (late April - early May here in S.E. Michigan), and again in the fall (late October), but since I just over-seeded in the beginning of September this year, I am going to skip the fall aeration.

As far as spreading the grass seed, I used my Scott's walk behind spreader for around the driveway and flower beds (it has the Edge-Guard feature), and a 125lb Brinley tow-behind spreader for the rest. The biggest thing with the tow behind spreader is knowing what to set the application rate to. I started at 5 this year, and went through the seed really quickly. I will likely set it to 3 next time I have to do a large portion of my yard.
 

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I see a lot of suggestion on the aeration and overseeding, but what about dethatching? Are you guys not doing that? I’m just starting to learn about the grass care process, but was reading that should be done before aeration and overseeding. Not trying to hijack the OPs thread - hoping to add something else to consider since both Brinly and Agrifab have the dual-use tow behinds.
 

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I see a lot of suggestion on the aeration and overseeding, but what about dethatching? Are you guys not doing that? I’m just starting to learn about the grass care process, but was reading that should be done before aeration and overseeding. Not trying to hijack the OPs thread - hoping to add something else to consider since both Brinly and Agrifab have the dual-use tow behinds.
If you plug regularly, at least in northern grasses, you likely won't have to dethatch. Idea is that if you plug when the grass is actively growing....late summer, early fall the microbs and nature takes care of all that. I keep looking but in 20 years at this location I do not have a thatch problem.
However with different soil conditions etc all areas may not be the same. Just what I have experienced.
On another note some here have indicated spring plugging as an alternative. I see some folks do that but at least here in southern Ontario the window for success is much smaller than the fall. Doing both IMO is a waste of time.
 

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I've had nothing but good experiences with the 40" Brinly plug aerator over the past 10 years that I've used it. Other than some paint and periodic bolt tightening it's worked well with three suitcase weights pushing on the spoons. If you're looking to aerate to reduce compaction, then I'd recommend a plug aerator over the spike kind. The spikes cut slits but technically push the soil together between the spikes (creating compaction) as opposed to pulling the cores which creates space in the ground. I also overseeded the first few years by throwing some seed down after punching the holes and the grass grew fine that way.

In my situation I'm glad to have an X500 with stronger transmission to pull the aerator up my sloped property. With my self-calibrated rear end I can feel the extra drag on the tractor on the way uphill. If your property is fairly flat then I doubt it would significantly shorten the life of your X350. You're not likely to be aerating on a really hot day anyway, since it does initially stress the turf when you aerate it, so I'd avoid hot days and you'll be fine. A couple other people have used aerators on their X3xx machines and I don't recall it hurting their machines.

When I overseeded it was usually early Sept after I mowed grass, aerated extra well then threw down the seed. I them watered it for a few weeks if it didn't rain. Seed was Tractor Supply Tall Turf mix (not the pasture mix!!) and it's done well here in SW Ohio.
 
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I have the AgriFab smart link that has a dethatcher attachment and a core plugger attachment...the core plugger works as it should...although I think it could use a lot more pluggers....I pull it around a lot to get satisfactory number of holes...the dethatcher works ok...but not as well as a power rake
 

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I pulled a brinly 40 inch plug aerator and 100lb of sand with a troy bilt tb30 for a few years. It did the job and never broke, but I wouldn't recommend it... the differential on the rear axle was about the size of a walnut. I think you'll be fine.

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A little bit of thatch is normal and healthy for the lawn. I don't mulch, so clippings can't really accumulate over time. I also bought the Agri-Fab dethatcher years ago but got rid of it a while back because I didn't need it and it was taking up space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks a lot for all of your posts and advice here. I really appreciate it.
I'm going to strap some cinder blocks on the aerator, and just take it easy on the x350 and give her some breaks.

I ended up grabbing the agri-fab 48" because Lowe's for some reason has them for sale for $188 which seems to be about $100 cheaper than they go for everywhere else right now.
I also grabbed an agri-fab 130lb tow behind broadcast spreader.

Ok, so I definitely missed the golden window for fall aeration and over-seeding.
My lawn is in real sorry shape and definitely compacted. I've also read that doing this in the spring can really give weeds the upper edge.

So I'm wondering if I should do the aeration/seeding anyway even though it won't be as fruitful as if I did it a month ago (vs waiting another entire year?).
Also, I really don't want to use anything chemical based (weed killer or fertilizer). I found some stuff called "Coop Poop" that I was thinking of spreading. Anyone have experience with that crap (literally) :)?

Thanks everyone. Also, I'm in the Hudson Valley near the Mohonk Mountain House
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have that Agri-Fab aerator. The directions say to install the tines first. You will be a bloddy mess by the time you are done if you follow their instructions. They are wicked sharp when new. There is plenty of room to install the tines at the very end.
Thank you for this tip!
 

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I see a lot of suggestion on the aeration and overseeding, but what about dethatching? Are you guys not doing that? I’m just starting to learn about the grass care process, but was reading that should be done before aeration and overseeding. Not trying to hijack the OPs thread - hoping to add something else to consider since both Brinly and Agrifab have the dual-use tow behinds.
There is a benefit to dethatching. Even if you don't have a lot of thatch, it can help scratch the soil and aid in seed to soil contact. I didn't this year because I ran out of time, but will definitely use it next year. I overseeded a month ago, and ended up with some bare spots. I'm convinced it's because I didn't use a dethatcher or rake on them. Some of the bare spots are covered in thatch, and some are just bare compacted dirt. I think the dethatcher would have resolved this.
 

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Thanks a lot for all of your posts and advice here. I really appreciate it.
I'm going to strap some cinder blocks on the aerator, and just take it easy on the x350 and give her some breaks.

I ended up grabbing the agri-fab 48" because lowers for some reason has them for sale for $188 which seems to be about $100 cheaper than they go for everywhere else right now.
I also grabbed an agri-fab 130lb tow behind broadcast spreader.

Ok, so I definitely missed the golden window for fall aeration and over-seeding.
My lawn is in real sorry shape and definitely compacted. I've also read that doing this in the spring can really give weeds the upper edge.

So I'm wondering if I should do the aeration/seeding anyway even though it won't be as fruitful as if I did it a month ago (vs waiting another entire year?).
Also, I really don't want to use anything chemical based (weed killer or fertilizer). I found some stuff called "Coop Poop" that I was thinking of spreading. Anyone have experience with that crap (literally) :)?

Thanks everyone. Also, I'm in the Hudson Valley near the Mohonk Mountain House
If I were in your position, I would aerate this fall and skip the seeding until next fall. Aeration this fall, next spring, and next fall will give seeds a really good base to take root next fall. In the meantime, it will give you the opportunity to get the weeds under control. I understand you don't want to use chemicals, but for the short term it may be your best shot at eliminating or heavily reducing the weeds. Once they are under control, get the grass as thick and healthy as possible so it can generally fight off new weeds on its own. My goal is also to get away from chemicals as much as possible, but near term it will need the chemicals.

As far as Coop Poop, I have never used it, but have heard it is a good fertilizer. I don't believe it will do much to control actively growing weeds though. Once your lawn is healthy enough to stave off weed germination on its own, the Coop Poop will probably help keep it that way.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!
 
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