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TAZ
09-30-2007, 08:05 AM
I just starting aerating this week. The ground around here is clay based and with the lack of rain was like cement up until we got 3/4 of rain last week. I had allot of weight on the unit and it seemed to be pulling consistent 2- 2 1/2" cores. The ground is still hard though. I dunno if I should add more weight, hold off a bit as more rain is forecast for later in the week or if I am going deep enough.

My question is on the average hard to medium ground how deep of plug are you guys actually pulling?

All these aerators claim 3 1/2" to 4" capability but I rarely see any plugs on mine or other peoples lots that deep. Most are in the 2"-3" range.

-TAZ

mojob
09-30-2007, 11:37 AM
What brand of aerator claims 3 1/2 - 4" plugs?

ExclusiveLawnCare
09-30-2007, 01:13 PM
If your seeing plugs that are 2- 2 1/2" thats pretty good Taz. And yeah what aerator are you using?

Scarlawnturf
09-30-2007, 05:07 PM
I see this talked about all the time. I don't care if your punching good holes or not, if you are in a dry spell, like we're in here in Maryland, you shouldn't be aerating until there's a good stretch of rain. If you aerate and it doesn't rain for a couple of weeks, you'll do more damage than you can imagine. I've only aerated my customers that have irrigation or that are watering. Everyone else is on hold. October is still plenty good for aeration and seeding in the Transition Zone.This comes from experience working at the golf course for a number of years. I've seen parts of the rough aerated where there is no irrigation and without rain it turns to hardpan much faster than if it were left alone. Being able to punch good holes is only part of the equation. I keep my eye on the weather channel before I commit to my fall aerations. I make sure that plenty of rain is coming afterward as well. Just my 2 cents from personal experience.

TAZ
10-01-2007, 06:07 AM
If your seeing plugs that are 2- 2 1/2" thats pretty good Taz. And yeah what aerator are you using?

Turf-Vent....

TAZ
10-01-2007, 06:07 AM
What brand of aerator claims 3 1/2 - 4" plugs?

The just claim maximum coring depth..... most claim that in that range.

-TAZ

TAZ
10-01-2007, 06:09 AM
I see this talked about all the time. I don't care if your punching good holes or not, if you are in a dry spell, like we're in here in Maryland, you shouldn't be aerating until there's a good stretch of rain. If you aerate and it doesn't rain for a couple of weeks, you'll do more damage than you can imagine. I've only aerated my customers that have irrigation or that are watering. Everyone else is on hold. October is still plenty good for aeration and seeding in the Transition Zone.This comes from experience working at the golf course for a number of years. I've seen parts of the rough aerated where there is no irrigation and without rain it turns to hardpan much faster than if it were left alone. Being able to punch good holes is only part of the equation. I keep my eye on the weather channel before I commit to my fall aerations. I make sure that plenty of rain is coming afterward as well. Just my 2 cents from personal experience.

We are not really coming out of a dry spell.... Yes the ground is hard but that is the way it is here most of the summer. the turf here is in good shape and rain is forecast for the first 3 days this week... ;)
-TAZ

avnorm
10-01-2007, 12:47 PM
TAZ,

See turfcobob's response in the thread "Tine Replacement on aerator."

....Says 1.5" is okay for most lawn grasses, as long as thatch is no more than 0.5".

I'm waiting for my Turf-Aire aerator - anyday now.

My thatch was about 0.25", but layered firmly over 17 years of mowing. I wondered how water seeped thru to my clay-like ground, especially on 5-6% slope. I have dethatched twice a week apart for something to do. One day I criss-crossed at 90 degrees; next time, back & forth on same strip. Both were very productive, but 1st attempt wasn't adequate.

Drought has stressed, if not singed fescue in sporadic areas. So over-seeding will be final step.

TAZ
10-01-2007, 01:46 PM
TAZ,

See turfcobob's response in the thread "Tine Replacement on aerator."

....Says 1.5" is okay for most lawn grasses, as long as thatch is no more than 0.5".

I'm waiting for my Turf-Aire aerator - anyday now.

My thatch was about 0.25", but layered firmly over 17 years of mowing. I wondered how water seeped thru to my clay-like ground, especially on 5-6% slope. I have dethatched twice a week apart for something to do. One day I criss-crossed at 90 degrees; next time, back & forth on same strip. Both were very productive, but 1st attempt wasn't adequate.

Drought has stressed, if not singed fescue in sporadic areas. So over-seeding will be final step.

Yeah I read that. The thing I was a little confused about is the university studies indicate that compaction that aerations ellivatiates is in the top 4" of soil. that combined with the specs on the units i was unsure of the depth required to be benificial.

The drought here this summer hit the bluegrass hard also which with the conditions of the lawns has gotten me into aerations. I am seeing people do it that have never in the past. It's a growing market.
-TAZ

avnorm
10-01-2007, 01:56 PM
I hear you on that.

My guess is that the aeration process biannually and over time loosens the soil as good as possible (short of an earthquake).

I see a huge difference between my home Club golf course and the municipal course. The muni just started aerating last year after 30 yrs of benign neglect. Their season this year was much more enjoable, despite the drought, because of their new practices. But it is a LONG way to the loamy soil of the Club.

Time, good overall management, and worms.... Kidding aside, that's why I don't like the insecticides.

Scarlawnturf
10-01-2007, 02:49 PM
We are not really coming out of a dry spell.... Yes the ground is hard but that is the way it is here most of the summer. the turf here is in good shape and rain is forecast for the first 3 days this week...
-TAZ

I understand, thought you might be as dry as we've been. It's a frustrating fall season. I suppose it's gotta rain soon.

Alan Oncken
10-01-2007, 07:47 PM
I see this talked about all the time. I don't care if your punching good holes or not, if you are in a dry spell, like we're in here in Maryland, you shouldn't be aerating until there's a good stretch of rain. If you aerate and it doesn't rain for a couple of weeks, you'll do more damage than you can imagine. I've only aerated my customers that have irrigation or that are watering. Everyone else is on hold. October is still plenty good for aeration and seeding in the Transition Zone.This comes from experience working at the golf course for a number of years. I've seen parts of the rough aerated where there is no irrigation and without rain it turns to hardpan much faster than if it were left alone. Being able to punch good holes is only part of the equation. I keep my eye on the weather channel before I commit to my fall aerations. I make sure that plenty of rain is coming afterward as well. Just my 2 cents from personal experience.

I totally agree with the possible damage. Also, the depth of plugs is a shame. Aeration machines were going in my neighborhood this past week without rain in several weeks. I walked over to look at the jobs and the jobs were really bad, barely half inch plugs, which I don't call a lawn aeration at all. Our customers, without irrigation, are also on hold. Next week we go into "panic" mode and will have customers start watering their lawns.

Liberty Lawn & Landscape
10-02-2007, 12:25 AM
I totally agree with the possible damage. Also, the depth of plugs is a shame. Aeration machines were going in my neighborhood this past week without rain in several weeks. I walked over to look at the jobs and the jobs were really bad, barely half inch plugs, which I don't call a lawn aeration at all. Our customers, without irrigation, are also on hold. Next week we go into "panic" mode and will have customers start watering their lawns.

At least your customers can water. We have a complete water ban in effect.:cry:

TAZ
10-02-2007, 06:45 AM
Damn you guys to the east do have it bad.... We were in that drought mode until Erin came through and that dropped about 6" here.. after that we have been ok. Got an inch last wednesday/thursday and another 3/4" last night.....

I have seen the hardpan 1/2" plugs done before on renovations done by truegreen. That is why I posted the question. I knew that was a waste at best. :)


-TAZ

Gators_Aerator
10-02-2007, 07:22 AM
I have toi agree - On Hold here in Columbus.

turfcobob
10-02-2007, 12:11 PM
Turfcobob. Aeration depth is a way of measuring the hole not what you are doing. Golf aerators use a vertical driving motion to get depth. 3 inches is about the best you will get with most of them. Some deeper but not many. This action tends to compact the hole at the bottom. Thus there is layering below the 3 inch mark. Rolling aerators are designed to perform an "X" movement under the ground. The X movement not only keeps the hole from compacting on the bottom but causes fractures all around the hole as the tine moves in the ground. This fracturing does almost as much good as the hole. The fracturing breaks roots and loosens the soil. If the soils are only damp as they should be when you aerate then you will get this fracturing even in clay soils. Too wet and you get little just a hole. Also you should always measure the hole not the core. The core is usually some what compacted or falls apart. If they stick together so you can ball up the soil it is too wet. Measure the hole not the core. I could go on my usual lecture goes over an hour. I have been testing and researching aerators for over 30 years.

avnorm
10-02-2007, 12:19 PM
Thanks turfcobob! This helps me understand better.

As far as when to aerate in the coming days, is the day after an average rain ok?

TAZ
10-02-2007, 12:29 PM
Teah thanks TCbob.... I had read the X deal before and most the cores I was pulling where falling apart. The soil was exactly as you described. Damp but falling apart. Now I know what I am looking for going forward. That was the exact answer to my question... :)

-TAZ

Ramairfreak98ss
10-04-2007, 07:09 PM
What brand of aerator claims 3 1/2 - 4" plugs?


my 60" 3pt hitch mount Landpride states this.. Ive never pulled a 4" plug though, even with good weight and softer ground. MOST times though the ground is a lot of clay and hard packed. As long as im pulling at least 2" im happy. Ive seen 1" plugs pulled with the 60" aerator weight of 485lbs, plus 300lbs on top of it too :/ Clay is like cement and james up the cores so clay stays in the cores pluggers and then soft soil cant go through the spoons.