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When To Aerate Your Lawn

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When To Dethatch Your Lawn

How To Aerate Your Lawn | The Home Depot

Prior to jumping into a dethatching project, its always best to assess your grass and determine whether the current thatch levels are healthy or not. The easiest way to do this is by taking a trowel, cutting out a small wedge of your lawn, and pulling it out for measurement and review. If the thatch is less than a ½ inch thick, dont worry about it. If its 1-2 inches thick , youve probably already started to see some lawn discoloration and weakness, and its certainly time to get your lawn dethatched.

Similar to other lawn and plant projects, its best to coincide your efforts with the optimal growth season. This will ensure that your lawn has the best odds of making a quick recovery to full health. If you have cool-season grass, such as Kentucky Bluegrass or Bentgrass, your optimal thatching time will be late summer to early fall. If you have warm-season grass, such as Bermudagrass or Centipedegrass, your optimal thatching time will be during the transition from spring to summer. Note that you should never dethatch your lawn when its visibly dormant or stressed, as it can cause damage that wont be repairable in the future.

Should You Aerate Your Lawn:

The most common question among homeowners is how to determine whether their lawn is a good candidate for aeration. Here are some tips.

  • If your lawn get heavy use, such as children and pets routinely running around the yard. These activities contribute to soil compaction.
  • If your lawn was created as part of a newly constructed home. Often, grass is established on subsoil and compacted by construction traffic, leaving the topsoil stripped or buried.
  • If your lawn has a dried out and spongy feel to it. This is an indicator that you may have an excessive thatch problem. Use a shovel and remove a 4 inch slice of the lawn. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
  • If your lawn was established using sod that leaves a soil layering of finer texture over the existing courser soil. This finer layer disrupts the drainage, leads to compacted conditions and causes poor root development. Aerating will break up the layering and allow water to flow more freely to reach the roots.

How & Why To Aerate Your Lawn This Fall For A Better Yard Next Year

When it comes to fall lawn chores that can help propel lawns to healthier, lush growth next year, its hard to beat aerating!

Aerating is one of the most over-looked tasks when it comes to overall lawn care. And yet, it helps solve so many of the problems and issues that plague lawns every year.

Why Aereate

Aerating is the process of puncturing the soil below to create open pockets. Why is that so important? It is through these pockets that air, water, and nutrients find their way to feed the roots of grass.

Over time, the soil of lawns compact from foot traffic, mowers, and other general use. And as this compaction occurs, it keeps all of the valuable life giving minerals and nutrients from getting through to the roots.

Rains simply wash away, as do any type of fertilizing, seeding or watering efforts. But by opening up the soil, your lawn can once again breathe and come alive!

How & When To Aerate

The best time to aerate a lawn is in the fall or early spring. These are both periods where the lawn is softer, and not in full-growth mode.

Late fall or early spring are the best times to aerate. These dormant periods give time for the lawn to recover and thrive.

Not only does it make it easier to perform, these more dormant periods are great for allowing the lawn time to recover from the process.

Attempting to aerate in the summer months can make it hard for the tines to break through the thicker lawn growth. And wintertime of course poses the obvious issues of frozen ground.

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Choose A Lawn Aerator Rental

Because aeration is an annual project, a lawn aerator rental is ideal. Aerator rentals are great for moderate to small properties and can cover 23,000 square feet per hour, which means you can hammer this project out in a weekend.

Aerators are easy to use and operate with self-propelled and compact portability options that make maneuvering through gates and around landscaping a breeze. Before getting started, always read the Use and Care Manual. Once your aerator is on flat ground and in the desired location, push down on the lowering handle putting the tines into the turf. Pull back slowly on the control handles to start aerating.

If youre looking to aerate a larger property, consider a towable lawn aerator rental. A towable aerator can aerate up to 3 acres of land per hour. This version drives tines into the ground rather than extracting soil plugs, which is another efficient way to aerate the soil. Just attach this model to the tow hitch of your riding mower, fill it with water to weigh down the body and get started. Always be sure to review the operations manual prior to starting your project.

But before you get started, its essential to water the area that youll be aerating.

Using A Motorised Lawn Aerator

How to Aerate Your Lawn?  The Housing Forum

Always be very careful when using any automatic machinery and follow the manufacturers instructions. Ensure that the area that you are going to aerate is clear of any debris such as rocks, tree roots, stones, branches, toys.

Aerate the whole of the area that needs doing, being careful not to rip the lawn by turning the aerator machine during use.

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Cool Season Grass: Bluegrass Fescue Ryegrass

Aerate cool-season grasses in the fall just before the peak growing season. Also, many homeowners combine aerating with fertilization and overseeding of cool weather grasses.

Late season fertilization is more effective after aeration as the lawn’s root system is likely to absorb more nutrients.

Related Content

S To Aerating And Overseeding Your Lawn This Fall

Look, not only is aeration and overseeding an easy process, it can be fun too.

But you have to do it right, or you will be wasting your time.

To ensure you are doing things right, follow these 5 simple steps to aerate and overseed the right way.

When is the best time to Aerate?

You can aerate in the early spring or late fall. Most people get it done in the fall so that the grass seed can overwinter in the lawn.

In my experience, the best time to aerate and overseed is right after the last cutting of the lawn for the season. But if you miss the fall, early spring is good too.

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Pass The Aerator Twice

Scarification should be done according to the degree of compactness of the soil in each part of the garden. For very compact areas, it is advisable to pass the aerating roller several times, leaving less than 10 centimeters of space between the holes.

Aeration is best done in two passes, the second perpendicular to the first, so that they cross.

Garden Knowledge: Scarifying Your Lawn Aerating Your Lawn

How To Aerate your Lawn EASY – CORE AERATION

Regular, long-term care is critical to maintaining an attractive lawn. But mowing alone isnt always enough. By scarifying and aerating your lawn, you can help improve the uptake of water, oxygen and nutrients. We recommend doing both several times a year. Well explain what tools work best and show you exactly how to get the job done.

You need: Lawnmowers

The prospect of scarifying and aerating your lawn may sound complex and daunting at first but in reality, its not hard at all. It is important to scarify and aerate your lawn in the fall, as this loosens up the turf, allowing the grass to breathe better and regenerate. This process improves the uptake of water, oxygen and nutrients. Whats the difference between aerating and scarifying?

A lawn aerator is equipped with minute steel tines attached to a drum . These tines poke small holes in the earth which help to loosen the turf. Aeration can prevent the grass from becoming thick and tangled. For that reason, we recommend aerating your lawn several times a year.

Scarification is a more intensive type of aeration. A lawn scarifier is used to score the turf by means of tiny steel blades. This process also removes weeds, moss and thatch. However, it does not damage the roots of the grass. Scarification should be carried out twice a year.

But before you begin aerating and scarifying your lawn, make sure to mow it to a length of about 4 cm. You can review everything you need to know about mowing your lawn here.

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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.

What Does Aeration Do

If your grass looks bad, aeration could be one of the keys to bringing it back to good health. Hardpan soil resists water penetration and deep root development. Some grasses adapt to this condition by forming a dense layer of shallow roots, rhizomes and stolons at the soil surface, better known as thatch.

Aerating the lawn addresses thin and bare spots associated with soil compaction, and helps to correct thatch buildup caused by shallow rooting. Aerating the lawn loosens the soil surface and breaks up the thatch layer, which fosters deeper root development. It also lets water and nutrients penetrate deeper.

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Consider Dethatching Prior To Aeration And Overseeding

Dethatching and aerating are technically two different projects but using them together provides even more health benefits for your lawn prior to overseeding. Thatch is the dead layer of organic matter that sits just between the soil and grass. Rent a power rake to remove this layer that can cause further nutrient restriction to your lawn.

Before dethatching, always cut your grass to half its normal height. Next, get started using your power rake rental. Variable speeds and self-propulsion make this model easy to maneuver in yards of any size. Once finished, your lawn will look a bit ragged, so use a leaf rake to collect and dispose of the loosened thatch.

How To Aerate A Lawn By Hand

Why and When You Should Aerate Your Lawn

Large stretches of turf require gas-powered aerator tools, but if you have a fairly small patch of grass, a handheld aerator will work. There are several types of manual aerators.

  • Aerator shoes have sharp spikes on the bottom. Just strap them on over your regular shoes and walk across your grass, making multiple passes in different directions to thoroughly penetrate the turf. If you’re looking for one of the least expensive and most popular aerator tools, consider getting lawn aerator shoes with strong metal buckles like .
  • Handheld aerators come in a variety of configurations but most somewhat resemble a pitchfork. Most are spike aerators, but there are versions that remove plugs. Using a handheld aerator is simple but tiring: Stab the spikes deeply into the grass, pull out, and repeat, taking care to cover the entire lawn. If you have a smaller yard with tiny patches of grass, consider investing in a aerator with a foot bar for extra leverage like the .
  • Manual drum aeratorssometimes called lawn spikersare a spike- or blade-covered heavy drum with a long handle. To use, push a drum aerator like the across your lawn, making at least two complete circuits in different directions. Most manual drum aerators are spike lawn tools, but some are plug aerators.

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Hammonds Lawn Aeration Treatments In Charlotte

Implementing lawn aeration treatments into your lawn care routine can benefit your lawn in many ways. Lawn aeration can be laborious and time-consuming. The licensed professionals at Hammonds take care of everything for you. Our core aeration services loosen the soil beneath the surface to allow roots to grow deeper and absorb more nutrients. Contact the Charlotte NC Lawn Care Professionals for more information.

Things To Do After Aerating Your Lawn:

  • Watering after aeration is always a good idea. As Friell said, lawns should not be aerated when turf is wet, or the dirt contains enough moisture to be muddy.
  • Apply an application of fertilizer and weed killer shortly following aeration. However, be sure to skip the weed killer if youre going to overseed following aeration.
  • Overseed after aeration so seeds can take advantage of the disturbed surface. This creates better seed-to-soil contact, which encourages successful germination.
  • When to Aerate Your Lawn, Bayer Advanced, Web. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016

    Day, Julie, Spring Lawn Care Guide,, Web. Accessed Jan. 28, 2016

    Fresenburg, Brad S. Spring Lawn Care Aeration, Fertility and Crabgrass Control, University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management, Web. March 15, 2012

    Juror, Richard and Wallace, Greg, Properly Aerating Lawns, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Web. Aug. 12, 2015

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    It Enables Allergic To Cultivate Strong And Robust

    Grassroots do not grow In the dirt, they push into the openings between them.

    So, when there are no openings, grassroots fight each other. However, by aerating your yard with a fork and aerating machines, you are providing openings for your roots to develop, allowing your yard lawn grass to develop stronger and healthy.

    When To Aerate Your Lawn

    How to aerate your lawn with a core / plug aerator

    You want to aerate the lawn when your grass is in its peak growing period so it can recover quicklythink early spring or fall for cool-season grasses, and late spring through early summer for warm-season grasses. If you have high-traffic areas or heavy clay soil, you will want to aerate every year. If you have sandy soil or your lawn is growing well, aerating the lawn can happen every 2-3 years.

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    When Do You Need To Aerate Your Lawn

    Ideally, the best time for lawn aeration in the UK is either in autumn or spring. This is when the soil is mostly likely to be naturally moist and it is suitable for the holes to be set effectively.

    Ideally you would aerate in the spring when it is just coming into growing season for the grass, as this gives the grass the opportunity to heal properly. Keep in mind that the weather in the UK varies a great deal and aeration is very condition dependent. If it is too wet then the holes will not let water and air through as the sides of the holes will seal up.When it comes to frequency of lawn aeration it is dependent on the lawn.

    New lawns should be aerated more often as they have a less matured root system, and aerating helps this develop and grow. We would recommend you aerate your lawn twice a year for a new non-established lawn. Lawns with hard or clay soil should be aerated once a year as they have more difficulty getting air and water to the roots. For all other types of soil and lawn you should aerate at least every 3 years, but more frequent if the grass is looking unhealthy or not growing well.

    The Basics Of Aerating A Lawn

    Whatever type of yard aerator you choose, the basics of how to aerate a lawn are the same.

    • A few days before you aerate the lawn, mow it to about half its usual height, and then water it well.
    • Rake up any fallen leaves or debris.
    • Aerate the lawn using your chosen tool. If it’s a spike aerator, make at least two passes over the lawn, each in a different direction. If using a plug aerator, just one pass is needed.
    • Leave any soil plugs on the lawn they will return nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
    • Fertilize your lawn or apply a top dressing of compost. This is also a good time to reseed any bare patches.
    • Return to watering and mowing your grass on its regular schedule.

    To keep your grass looking its best, make sure you aerate annually in addition to watering, fertilizing, and weeding on a regular schedule.

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    Why And When You Should Aerate Your Lawn

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    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.

    Thatch And Compaction: 2 Problems You Can Fix

    Lessons for Aerating Your Lawn

    Over time, little bits and pieces of grass die and gather just above the soil. This is called thatch. A little bit of thatch can be beneficial. It’s organic material that is broken down by microbes in the soil. But sometimes, thatch builds up too fast for natural processes to break it down. It forms a barrier, keeping moisture and air from going where your grass needs it. A half-inch or more of thatch can weaken your lawn. You have 2 ways to remove it: dethatching and aerating.

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