Aerating Your Lawn – How, Why, When
A lot of questions come up when aerating your lawn and Doc answers many of them. Aerating your lawn is a critical step in a great lawn. It helps relieve compacted soil, adds oxygen, and allows for water and nutrients to penetrate deeper. See the lawn aeration Q&A below.
NOTE: Always mark sprinkler heads before aerating your lawn.
Lawn Aeration Video
Lawn Aerating Q&A
When should I aerate my lawn?
Lawns should be CORE aerated during the ACTIVE GROWING season. Most core aerate in the spring and fall. Spike aeration is often done during the warmer months.
Should I pick my aerator plugs up?
Yes, many will tell you to leave them because the add “nutrition” back to your lawn. The nutrition and benefits added are minimal to none, and the mess created far exceeds the benefits. HOWEVER… it’s not easy to pick them up. See Sweeper Link.
Which is better core or spike aeration?
Core aeration should be done at least once a year. Spike aeration is usually done by golf courses because it’s less DISTURBING to the play of golf. (Doesn’t leave large holes) Core holes last longer as well.
Will aerating impact my pre-emergent?
No. Studies have been done and the impact is minimal.
Should I water my lawn before?
Yes, if your soil is DRY… then water heavy the night BEFORE you aerate your lawn. Remember, if you’ve had recent rains you may not need to water.
Related Lawn Products
Lawn Sweeper used by Doc
Free Bermuda Lawn Guide.
Click the book to see the free Bermuda lawn guide.
PGF Complete lawn fertilizer
Sold in 18 and 40 lb bags. Great for all lawns warm and cool season.
PGF Complete is the PERFECT fertilizer for established spring lawns, new lawns, and new turf.
Note: 40 lb bags not always in stock.
Super Juice Supplement Spray
New Spray Bottles for Super Juice
Spring lawn preemergent is critical to get down now.
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Lawn and Turf Aeration
Core aeration involves physically removing small soil cores from the turf and is the most common type of aeration. Aeration holes allow excess moisture to evaporate and promote gas exchange in the soil, resulting in stronger root systems and turf that is better able to tolerate traffic.
Proper timing of aeration will ensure the fastest possible recovery and return to smooth surface conditions. The key to a quick recovery is to perform aeration when the turf is healthy and actively growing.
The articles, Core Cultivation: Timing is Everything and Easing the Pain of Core Aeration expand on proper aeration timing. There are many types of aeration that superintendents use throughout the season; some are more labor-intensive and disruptive to playing surfaces than others.
Less-disruptive forms of aeration, including venting aeration with small-diameter, solid tines, also are beneficial because they can alleviate turf stress by promoting oxygen levels in the soil. Aeration programs that have a small impact on a playing surface generally can be performed throughout the season with little or no disruption to play.
“While most herbicide labels do not recommend aeration after pre emergence herbicide application, university-conducted research has not shown an adverse effect on crabgrass control. Results can vary between research plots and commercial turf grass sites and there may be situations where core aeration after pre emergence herbicide application could stimulate crabgrass and goose grass emergence. But, if the site requires aeration to encourage turf grass growth and development, then it should be done. If crabgrass or goose grass emerges, there are excellent post emergence herbicides that can be used.”