Updated/Fact-Chacked on August 14, 2021 by John
To know when you aerate a lawn, you must first understand why you aerate it. For a plethora of reasons that we’re going to discuss, your lawn and the soil beneath it both get clogged up with different elements.
Additionally, they’re also subjected to external factors that pressure them over time. As a result, nutrients and oxygen don’t reach the roots and a large part of the grass’ stems, causing it to die gradually.
Lawn aeration helps elevate the pressure and open up new paths for nutrients and oxygen to find their way to the roots, it’s an essential part of improving your lawn. Now that that’s clear, let’s speak about the factors that influence when you should aerate a lawn.
1. Soil Needs
Before getting into the specifics, you need to have a feel for your lawn/soil. If your grass isn’t growing as well as it should be, thinning out, getting yellower by the day, or has water puddles forming without being absorbed as they should be, then your grass isn’t living its best life.
Also, if the soil is too spongy, compact, and suffering from various imprints, then a proper session of aeration is definitely in order.
A test that you can carry out to examine your soil’s compactness is to shove a screwdriver into it. If the screwdriver goes in without resistance, then everything is perfect. Yet, if it’s met with counter-pressure, you need to rethink your aeration schedule.
Your lifestyle and everyday happenstances should also give you an idea about how frequently you need to aerate your lawn. If you continually have any vehicle driving over your lawn, kids playing regularly, or pets roaming around, then you need to aerate your soil more frequently.
3. Seasonal Grass
Another factor that affects your soil aeration needs is the type of lawn that you have and when it blooms. In general, the perfect time to aerate your lawn will be right before it reaches its peak growth. This way, it still has the chance to heal and recover as quickly as possible and continue thriving.
For cool grasses, you have two openings to aerate: early spring or early fall.
On the other hand, to aerate warm grasses, you should move towards late spring or the very beginnings of summer.
Thatching is the process of removing thatches, the pieces of fallen grass that tend to intertwine with the soil and the plants, restricting their access to nutrients and air. Thatching and aerating go hand-in-hand as they boost each other’s effect and efficiency.
There’s hardly an absolute answer to the question “when do you aerate a lawn?” Nevertheless, to reach the best results, you should gather the outcome of all of the previously mentioned points and correlate them.
Also, don’t forget that mid-spring isn’t a good time for lawn aerating as there’s a high chance the newly formed holes will be full of misplaced pollen and seeds that’ll negate the main objective of the process.
Mary shares a passion for gardening with her husband John, though she is more focused on growing veg on their allotment at St. Margaret’s Allotments, Durham. Mary also works in the lawn care industry and manages the lawns for the Durham University campus.