When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

It is common knowledge that one must aerate their lawn in order to keep the soil and grass in good shape for the growing season. When you aerate, you ensure that you get the ideal amount of air between your soil and the environment. When you aerate, you also perform the vital task of removing thatch. A potential source of confusion, however, involves how often you should aerate your lawn. In this post, we tackle this question, and also discuss the role that one’s grass type plays in affecting aeration frequency.

Are You Aerating When You Should Be?

Grass species matters

The most important factor to consider when determining how often to aerate is the species of grass you have in your lawn. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to aerate every year, although you may not need to do so this often if your lawn does not suffer from heavy use. With warm season grasses, such as bahia, bermudagrass, buffalograss, and St. Augustine, you should aerate during the late spring and early summer—at the advent of the warm season. On the other hand, if you have cool season grass—such as fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, or ryegrass—it is most beneficial to aerate during the fall.

Conditions that require frequent aeration

No matter which type of grass you have, there are certain conditions that mandate that you should aerate on an annual basis. In particular, if you live in an arid climate, this can cause your soil to compact easily, making aeration particularly essential. Clay soil has a propensity to compact, and if your lawn has a particularly high amount of traffic on it (this is especially common during the summer months), you will absolutely need to aerate at least annually.

Tips for successful aerating

In order to aerate properly, you need to make sure that weeds are eliminated. If you aerate and you have a patch of weeds, the act of aerating will spread the weeds elsewhere on your lawn. With new lawns, wait around a year before aerating. In general, only aerate when the soil is moist—when you mow during dry periods or times of drought, you only wind up stressing the lawn.

The heat of summer is not the right time to aerate.  To improve the air circulation of your soil, be sure to incorporate the tips offered in this post when you aerate your lawn.

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