June 21, 2013

When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Is it really necessary to poke holes in your lawn? You've seen plenty of landscapers do it, but honestly does it really make that much of a difference? Of course it does! Aerating your lawn reduces soil compaction, which allows for more efficient watering and fertilizing. It also enhances deeper root growth for a stronger lawn and prevents water runoff. Now for the good part: When is the best time to aerate?

When to Aerate – The best time to aerate your lawn depends on both the soil and the type of grass you have. Since we can’t discuss every individual grass species, we will discuss the differences between warm season grasses and cool season grasses. Since all grasses fall into one of these two categories, it will be an easy way to determine when a species should be aerated. 

Warm Season Grasses Warm season grasses typically grow the most during the summer, since they thrive in the heat. If you have warm season grasses, we recommend aerating at the tail end of spring or the very beginning of summer. If you’re going to poke holes in your lawn, you want the grass to fill them back in quickly. If you aerate at the end of summer, your grass won't have a chances to fill in the holes before it goes dormant.

Cool season Grasses – Cool season grasses thrive in cool temperatures, and it is best to aerate these species at least four weeks before an expected first frost. As we stated above, aerating is incredibly beneficial to your grass; however, if you wait too long to aerate cool species and the frost moves in too quickly, your grass won't reap any of the benefits. Don’t waste your efforts; instead, aerate at the end of summer or early in the fall.  


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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