With the fertilizer and aeration, Dion’s lawn in Purcellville, Virginia, USA is really starting to come in. Photo Courtesy: Dion Hinchcliffe
The most common questions I get asked a lot in my landscaping business are about when and how to aerate a lawn. People want to know the exact optimal date to aerate their lawn.
Some people think June is too late, while some people think March is too early. Others think fall is better than spring. I say, after almost ten years in the landscaping business and the thousands of lawns I’ve had the pleasure of working on, that it all depends on a few significant factors.
Best Times to Aerate
A beautiful home and lawn in Spring in Windsor, Connecticut, USA – Photo Courtesy: InAweofGod’sCreation
Typically, spring and fall are the best times to aerate when the lawn is growing quickly, but depending on where you live, the grass may be growing in June and not March, or perhaps March and not June. It also depends on the weather that year. These last few years have been so unseasonably cold that you could aerate through the end of June in several areas of the country where years past, the beginning of May was getting too hot.
The only real requirement is that the soil temperatures should remain between 50 and 75 degrees. But exactly when is determined upon what you plan to do after the lawn is aerated. Do you want to overseed and fertilize, just fertilize, just overseed, or just leave it?
If you want to overseed, you want to make sure the temperatures are conducive to that activity. Also keep in mind that the warmer (toward 80 degrees) it is, the faster the grass will come up, discouraging weeds from taking their place. In 50 degrees, it could take six weeks or more for the grass to come out. In 80 degrees, it will be up in a week or two.
Core Aeration Equipment for Lawns
Just be sure that when you aerate, that the best machine to use is a core aerator (and preferably not a manual one). Try to get to it before the ground gets too hot and too hard, or too cold and too hard.
How Often to Aerate Your Yard?
When aerating lawns for other people, I often heard the question, “how often do I need to aerate my lawn?”. Knowing when to aerate lawns is very important. Other lawn experts suggest that lawn aeration should be done once every 3 years. I think it depends a lot on the lawn. New, unestablished lawns should be aerated twice a year. Hard or clay like soils, should be aerated every year to prevent soil compaction.
Another reason to aerate more often is if you have not aerated in a while. A few evenly spaced aerations can help strengthen the root system. A stronger root system can lead to thicker and healthier turf. This type of turf attracts more organic material that will benefit the soil. This provides a sustainable organic nutrients to your lawn when compared to neighbors who don’t aerate their lawns. It can also make your lawn more resistant to high temperatures and you can save money on your lawn by not having to water your lawn as often.
Having been a landscaper for the last eight years had made Spencer a reliable expert when it comes to lawn care and law repair. He likes to share his valuable ideas about lawn aeration and lawn thatching, and awesome tips in order to have a healthy lawn.