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 too late the differences between physical and faux aeration. To keep your lawn as healthy as possible, it’s important for most Georgia homeowners to aerate their lawns with a machine. 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 to pulling a plug of earth out of the ground. Applying a liquid product may help in breaking down thatch, but dethatching is a small benefit involved with aerating a lawn. In areas with soil like Georgia’s, liquid aeration is a wasted effort.
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 full 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 grass roots, 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 has the potential to maximize certain 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 at the same time as other chores.
Cool-season grasses easily shoulder fall abuse.
Along with plugs of soil, aeration rips up 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, rye grass 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 heartiest in fall. They’re vulnerable to damage as winter sets in, and the stress of aeration could lead to problems. 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.
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 on your behalf. Contact Think Green Lawn Care for a free quote and for advice regarding when to aerate your lawn, or call us at (678) 648-2556.