Should you aerate your lawn in the spring? Should you aerate at all? This practice has somewhat fallen out of favor over the years as new products have attempted to create similar results. Unfortunately, most homeowners discover the differences between physical and faux aeration too late. Most Georgia homeowners need to aerate their lawns with a machine to keep them as healthy as possible. The question is, when and how should you aerate your lawn?
Consider these factors before you aerate your lawn:
Liquid aeration is little more than a fad.
There’s simply no replacement for pulling a plug of earth out of the ground. Applying a liquid product may help break down thatch, but dethatching is a small benefit of aerating a lawn. Liquid aeration is a wasted effort in areas with soil like Georgia’s.
Core aeration improves oxygen flow.
Georgia soil tends to have a high clay content. By the end of fall, the earth is packed down after a whole summer of kids and pets playing on the lawn, not to mention the impact of your weekly mowing. This compression often keeps air from circulating among your grassroots, stifling the process of nutrients and stunting growth. Core plugging removes small sections of the ground, allowing oxygen to reach the root system at a time when – for some varieties of grass – it’s needed the most. Nearly all lawns benefit from core aeration. Now, all you have to determine is the appropriate timing.
Aeration complements several other lawn care activities.
As it opens up space in the ground, core aeration can potentially maximize specific other treatments. Fertilizer applied after aeration reaches the root system of your lawn easier. Grass seed laid down after aerating gets a head start as well. You may want to time your aeration before or simultaneously with other chores.
Cool-season grasses easily shoulder fall abuse.
Along with plugs of soil, aeration rips up a portion of your lawn’s root system. For healthy grass, this isn’t a problem. The roots will grow back soon enough. Cool-season grasses are healthiest in the fall. They can handle the damage without struggling to rebuild. For owners with a cool-season lawn, fall is the perfect time for aeration. These grasses include fescue, bluegrass, ryegrass, and others.
Warm-season grasses best weather damage in spring.
Neighbors may bicker over the best time to aerate, and a difference in lawn type is generally the reason why. Warm grasses aren’t the heartiest in fall. They’re vulnerable to damage as winter sets in, and the stress of aeration could lead to problems. So instead, it’s best to aerate these varieties in spring when they are their strongest. Warm-season grasses include Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia, and centipede.
Make sure to aerate your lawn at the time best suited to your lawn type, and stay mindful of how it will impact your other lawn care tasks. You can also simplify the process by hiring experts to handle it. If you are interested in Think Green’s core aeration service, please call our Nashville lawn care office at (615) 439-3113.