Factors That Affect Thatch
Several factors determine the rate of thatch development in your lawn:
- Choosing vigorously growing grass varieties
- Applying excessive amounts of nitrogen, especially in spring
- Growing species that are known to produce large amounts of tough, fibrous tissue
- Compacted soil conditions leading to shallow root development
These factors decrease the rate at which thatch decomposes:
- Acidic soil conditions
- Poor soil aeration and waterlogged soils which limit microorganism activity
- Pesticides such as insecticides or fungicides that restrict microorganism or earthworm activity
When Is The Best Time To Aerate A Lawn In Minnesota
This is a common question we receive from both residential and commercial clients. Aeration can be done any time during the growing season as long as temperatures are not too hot. However, we typically perform one round of lawn aeration services in the spring and fall. The first core aeration takes place after the spring clean up, lawn dethatching and first fertilizer application, most often this is mid-April through mid-May. The second core aeration is performed from mid-September to early-October to provide the turf ample time to recover before winter arrives.
If you have any additional questions about our core aerating services, get in touch with our friendly staff today by requesting a quote!
What Fertilizer Should You Use After Fall Aeration
If you do not plan to overseed your lawn after aeration, spread a fertilizer engineered for mature lawns in the northeast region. These typically contain high levels of nitrogen with some phosphorus and potassium. If your next step after aeration is to overseed, apply a lawn starter fertilizer that is high in phosphorus.
- Use this northeastern lawn fertilizer if you do NOT plan to overseed this fall.
- If you plan to overseed, spread this lawn starter fertilizer to help your seedlings establish themselves before winter.
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What Is The Best Time To Aerate A Lawn
Late summer and fall is the optimum season. Why fall? Blame it on summer. Thats when many lawns become compacted from heightened activity, foot traffic and dry weather. Fall aeration alleviates the compaction, preparing the soil to grow healthy grass the following spring.
Spring aeration is an alternative, but if you aerate in the spring, you could unearth weed seeds and cause unnecessary weed growth. And if youre applying a crabgrass preventer in spring, punching holes in your lawn after treating with a pre-emergent herbicide can compromise the chemical barrier it creates to prevent crabgrass and other weeds.
The absolute worst time to aerate is during hot, dry weather, which could quickly dry out the grass, causing undue stress to your lawn.
Aeration: Why How & When To Aerate Your Lawn
In order to achieve and maintain a beautiful lawn, you should employ basic lawn care practices such as properly mowing, fertilizing and watering. It is also important to ensure that nutrients can reach the soil beneath your grass. Aeration can be an extremely vital element to a healthy lawn because it allows air and water to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch.
Get rid of thatch and make way for a beautiful lawn with this quick guide to aeration. Youll learn why, how and when to aerate your lawn for the best results.
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Why Are Yearly Aeration And Overseeding Important
The idea behind lawn aeration and overseeding is tostrengthen your entire lawn. By filling in empty or bare spots with new grass,you do more than make your lawn look beautiful you actually increase itsresistance to pests. With a thick, lush and uniform bed of grass, its harderfor weeds to take hold, which makes taking care of grass easier, too.
Aeration breaks up compacted soil so water and otherlife-giving lawn nutrients can reach roots easily. This has a huge effect ongrass health and growth. In fact, even if your lawn is gorgeous and green allover, you should still aerate in the growing season to keep things that way.
When Is The Best Time To Dethatch Your Lawn
With most lawns in Minnesota being a cool season turf, it is recommended to dethatch your lawn in the early spring or early fall. Timing is everything, especially in the fall because you need to give your lawn ample amount of time to grow and re-establish its roots before frost begins to form on your lawn.
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How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs To Be Aerated
Testing to see if your Minnesota lawn needs aeration is a simple process. All it takes is a screwdriver and a few minutes of your time. Simply follow these steps:
Is Aeration Better In Spring Or Fall In The Northeast
In the northeast, you will get more benefits from fall aeration than spring aeration. This is because the bluegrass, rye, and fescue varieties planted in northeastern lawns experience a bigger growth spurt in fall than in spring. The grass will race to develop strong roots and fill in bare spots of your yard after aeration.
- Fall is the best time to aerate a lawn in the northeast.
- Cool-season grasses planted in the northeast have their biggest growth spurt in fall. This allows them to take advantage of the decompacted soil to form strong roots and recover bare spots in your lawn.
- Northeast lawns aerated in spring may be slower to recover and fill in than following fall aeration.
- Spring aeration of northeastern lawns may provide a chance for weeds to spread.
- There are few fall weeds in most northeast states. Your grass will thrive after a fall aeration but weeds wont.
Not only does grass grow better in fall, but the northeast experiences fewer fall weeds than other regions. Fall aeration leads to uninterrupted grass growth that fills in your yard. If you aerate your northeastern lawn in spring, you may give weeds a chance to gain a foothold before the grass can return to optimal condition.
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Equipment Affects The Outcome
The type of aeration equipment can determine how effective the treatment will be. In general, turf responds best when core holes are close and deep. Equipment with hollow tines removes soil cores. Equipment with open tines divots the soil surface. Aeration equipment also varies in tine size up to 3/4 inch diameter and in depth of penetration up to 4 inches, depending on the manufacturers specifications. In most home lawns, fertile topsoil may have been removed or buried during excavation of the basement or footings, forcing grass to grow in subsoil that is more compact, higher in clay content and less likely to sustain a healthy lawn.
The Best Time To Aerate Your Lawn
For the best results when overseeding, our lawn aeration service advises you aerate before planting. The purpose of aeration is to break up the soil and allow it to breathe. That way new grass roots can penetrate deeper into the soil and have access to more nutrients. When should you aerate cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses?
The trick is to aerate right before overseeding. The best time to have lawn care services aerate your lawn in Midwest locations is usually around August or September. In warmer states, aerate in late spring or early summer.
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What Is The Best Aerator To Use On A Minnesota Lawn
Rent a core aerator from your local hardware store. These machines do the best job because they remove cork-shaped cores of soil from the ground and drop them on the lawn surface. This promotes true soil decompaction, breaks up thatch, and allows nutrient and water penetration.
Spike aerators wont do the job nearly as well. By driving a spike into the soil you are actually compacting all the soil around the spike. This a negative in the long run. If you want a healthy lawn, go with a core aerator.
Q: How To Get The Most Out Of Lawn Aeration
To get the most out of core aeration, it should be done when your lawn is moist. Watering your lawn the day before will ensure that the aeration process goes smoothly. However, be careful not to over water your lawn, if the lawn is too wet, otherwise this will cause issues, the soil should feel slighlty damp, not soaking wet.
One mistake people make when aerating their own lawn is that they aerate too frequently. Aerating too frequently can actually damage your lawns roots. This is why we recommend Spring or Fall, because that is when root growth is at its greatest.
Contact bioLawn for professional lawn aeration services. We will be sure you get the most out of you lawns aeration!
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Seasonal Plant Growth Cycle
In early spring, roots are long and full of nutrients stored from the fall. Shoots, the part of grass visible above ground, use this stored energy for growth.
In warm summer temperatures, leaf and root growth slow down. Plants rest during times of heat and drought. Roots can be damaged when soil temperatures are above 85°F.
In the fall months shoots start to grow again and nutrients are stored in the long roots for the winter. Optimal shoot growth occurs with air temperatures of 55 to 75°F.
Cool-season root growth is stimulated by soil temperatures above 32°F, and is optimal with soil temperatures between 50 and 65°F.
How To Aerate Your Yard
If you’re convinced that your lawn is in need of aeration, here are some lawn care tips on how to do it:
- Before you get started, make sure the soil is moist enough. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to aerate soil that is bone dry. Aerating the day after a rain shower or watering your lawn the day before is advised.
- Most aeration machines cover only a small percentage of soil surface per pass, so make multiple passes over the most compacted areas. Save resources by leaving unaffected areas alone
- The excavated soil plugs should be allowed to dry and then broken up to give your lawn a uniform, clean appearance. Break them up by running them over with a lawn mower or pounding them with the back of a rake.
- An aeration myth is that if you apply a pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn in the spring, aerating your lawn will destroy the herbicide “barrier.” This is not true research shows that aeration will not affect crabgrass control or weed prevention.
- After aerating, it’s important to continue basic lawn care practices such as proper fertilizing, mowing and watering.
Aeration is a beneficial practice toward achieving a beautiful lawn, but most people don’t realize it or understand the process. If your lawn is a candidate, make it an integral part of your lawn care regime. Your lawn will thank you for letting it breathe again.
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When To Schedule Lawn Maintenance
It is important to schedule your lawn care maintenance during times that match the life cycle of the turfgrass.
- Do not add fertilizer too early in the spring. This may encourage the grass to grow during a time when it should be slow or dormant.
- Do not spray to control weeds when temperatures are warm. This increases the likelihood of damaging the lawn.
- Do not fertilize in hot mid-summer months. This can cause irreversible damage to your lawn.
- Crabgrass doesn’t develop until late spring or early summer, so don’t apply herbicide used to prevent pre-emerging crabgrass in the fall.
See Water-saving strategies for home lawns for information on how and when to water.
When Should You Avoid Aerating Your Lawn
If your grass is brown, its not the right time! Aerating during the hot summer or during a drought will lead to root damage and suppress grass growth. Make sure your grass is green and moist.
Also, aerating too close to winter will impede strong root development before the freezing temperatures come. Your grass needs time to rejuvenate and grow after the aeration and overseeding process. In short, avoid dry periods, heat waves, or cold snaps so that your grass has the best chance of reaping the benefits of aeration.
Unlike other areas in the country, our Rock Solid team does not recommend spring aeration in Minnesota. There is too much competition for nutrients everything is starting to come alive and grow during the Spring. During the Fall you have a lot of the weeds dying off and less competition for the same nutrients, explains Jim, Rock Solid owner.
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Enjoy An Amazing Lawn Without Lifting A Finger
Your lawn gives you so much from perfect sunrises withcoffee to memories of your kids laughing and playing. Make sure it always looksgorgeous by performing regular aeration and overseeding. Contact ourprofessionals at Lush Lawn for expert advice and assistance in keeping yourlawn healthy all year long. We take care of everything so you only have toworry about relaxing and enjoying the view.
How Your Minnesota Lawn Can Benefit From Aeration And Overseeding
Fall is approaching in the North Star State, and that means we need to start thinking about fall cleanup and getting our yards prepared for winter. Today, we will talk about one of the most beneficial steps you can take to improving the look and health of your yard aeration and overseeding.
After a long summer of playing and hosting other activities, your grass might start to lose its former luster. This is because, over time, our soil becomes compacted from frequent use. When soil is compact, it stops the flow of water and air into the roots of your grass. This will cause your grass to wilt and eventually die if not remedied.
Other Signs of Soil Compaction
Brown or wilting grass is just one of the symptoms of compacted soil. Here are some other red flags that should alert you to soil compaction.
Try pushing a shovel or screwdriver into the ground. If it isnt easy, you have a problem and should consider aerating your lawn.
Compacted soils prevent water from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, it will collect in low spots and create large puddles that can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Thatch is another contributor to soil compaction. Thatch is made up of layers of leaves, grass clippings, and other organic matter. When it becomes thick enough, it can block water from reaching the soil.
The Benefits of Aeration
Aeration Has The Following Additional Benefits:
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What Would Happen If You Aerated A Warm
In most cases, nothing bad. The roots of the turfgrass will probably not grow any faster. But there is still the benefit of helping to reduce compaction. When a lawn is aerated, a certain amount of soil is lifted from the lawn and left back on the lawn.
As these cores are broken apart by mowing or melt into the lawn through rain fall or irrigation, the soil will intermingle with the current thatch layer and start feeding on it to naturally break it down. The only concern would be if abnormally cold temperatures were to occur and the ground were to freeze. This may cause some roots to die that are close to the edge of the core holes.
Fall may be the best time to aerate a cool-season lawn, but in some cases, aeration in spring and fall may also be recommended. If the thatch layer has been built up above a half of an inch over a period of time, spring and fall aeration may be the best choice. Many people like to seed after aeration, but we dont recommend seeding a lawn in the spring, since we cannot apply a crabgrass preventer and the lawn will require more watering than it will in the fall.
The most important condition that can affect the quality of aerating a lawn is the amount of moisture that is in the soil. The lawn has to be moist for the tines to penetrate into the ground. Be sure to either wait until after a good rain fall or provide about a half inch of water to the lawn before trying to aerate it.
Why And When You Should Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration is a lawn care practice designed to create openings in lawn turf and the underlying soil structure in order to penetrate the root and thatch layer and allow essential water and air down into the soil where it can better reach the grassroots. The process is usually called “core aeration” after the practice of punching small plugs, or cores, into the lawn. Usually, the practice is done with a motorized machine that can be rented, though there are also hand tools that can be used and which may be practical on very small lawns. Lawn care companies also offer aeration among their repertoire of services.
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When Should I Fertilize My Lawn In Minnesota In Spring
Late summer and early fall are the best times of year to fertilize your garden and lawn. According to the University of Minnesota, early spring applications of fertilizer can make your lawn look nice from the surge of top growth, but it ultimately depletes the plants energy reserves.
When should I apply crabgrass preventer in Minnesota?
Apply crabgrass pre-emergent in early to mid-May if possible Although it is tempting to apply your first fertilizer application shortly after the snow melts in April, this is often too early and the pre-emergent will not last long enough to be effective late into May and June when it is needed most.