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mtdman
01-12-2004, 05:50 AM
What is everyone's thoughts on aerating in the spring? I have done a few in the spring in the past, but usually try to sell aerations in the fall. And push for aerating in the fall over the spring. Is there really any drawbacks to aeating in the spring, or is it more or less the same? I am trying to concentrate on doing improvements to grass in the fall, but I'm wondering if it's worth it to do extensive advertising this spring for aerating.

Thanks in advance.

:D

Grassmechanic
01-12-2004, 07:43 AM
Common practice on golf courses is spring and fall aerating. Should work just fine on residential/commercial.

rodfather
01-12-2004, 07:55 AM
I actually try for Spring or Fall so I have a balance in the number and/or size we have to do. I don't want too many in the Spring that it carries over into Summer nor do I want too many in the Fall to the point I can't get them all finished either.

Hope that helps some...

turfmower
01-12-2004, 08:07 AM
Don't do spring aeration it helps the weeds out. If you seed you can't do your pre emergent. If a golf course has problem they just use more herbicides. Will your customers pay you for an extra round?

Grassmechanic
01-12-2004, 08:29 AM
Originally posted by turfmower
Don't do spring aeration it helps the weeds out. If you seed you can't do your pre emergent. If a golf course has problem they just use more herbicides. Will your customers pay you for an extra round? Now that is just plain bunk. Spring aeration does not increase the weeds. I know this from many years of experience. Now, if you're aerating a weed infested lawn, you can apply a pre-emerg. after aeration to control weeds, but it is not necessary in a well maintained lawn. And, golf courses use very little herbicides, as most are harmful to the desirable turf that they are trying to grow.

twins_lawn_care
01-12-2004, 08:50 AM
Good question mtdmaster,
I was wondering the same thing. I actually had a customer last fall ASK to have it done again in the spring, and I won't turn that down. So since I'd be doing one, I figured why not push to do a few or more at that time. So this year I am going to try for both Spring and Fall aerations, with putting a bit more emphasis on the fall time.

mtdman
01-12-2004, 10:02 AM
I had a lot of people ask me in the fall which was better, in the spring or in the fall? I didn't really know, I can't see that either one is necessarily better, but I don't know it all. What I told them was doing it in the fall gave them a head start on developing a better root system for next summer. But I really don't know that is true. Mostly I wanted to seal the deal in the fall and get their money then, in an effort to break even on the purchase of the aerator, though.

I think I will advertise for it in the spring this year. Can't hurt to make some extra money, and I think a lot of people weren't thinking about it last fall with all the green grass due to the rain we got. Outta sight outta mind kinda thing. People might be more into it in the spring while they look at their less than beautiful lawn.

As far as pre-emergence goes, I don't do ferts, so it's not my problem quite frankly. I suppose I could ask if they want seeding as well if they've had a pre-em done. I've never noticed an increase in weeds in a lawn that's been aerated myself.

Westbrooklawn
01-12-2004, 10:58 AM
I have heavy clay soil conditions in my area so aerating in both the spring and the fall is beneficial.......I try to sell both. The only thing i would do is make sure that spring aerations are completed before putting out a pre-emergence herbicide.

Expert Lawns
01-12-2004, 11:41 AM
Is there anything wrong with aerating twice a year? Once in the spring and once in the fall? I thought that was normal practice around here.

hole in one lco
01-12-2004, 12:03 PM
I aerate in spring and fall. Every body around her follows the same schedule.

DJL
01-12-2004, 12:19 PM
If you are trying to sell aeration for the fall....another good selling point is soil compaction. Commercial mowers are usually much heavier than the lawn tractors/push mowers and the soil gets compacted because of this. Aeration helps with soil compaction as well as all of the roots going deeper, fertilizer working better, and helping to overseed a lawn.

Jason Rose
01-12-2004, 12:57 PM
Oh no! Don't TELL your customers that YOUR equipment is causing compaction and now they need to pay YOU to areate it! You will be mowing with a 21" or looking for work soon. I do know from experance of driving my Z through wet/saturated ground that the big wide tires float over the ground and don't sink better than my 33" w/b or my skinny tired 21". I know Z's are heavy but I would think that given the speed of travel and the good weight distribution that they don't actually cause much compaction at all. Right?

For the matter at hand: Spring areations work good in my area but only if you do them EARLY. you have to get the pre-em down and activated before the crabgrass starts to emerge. doing the spring areation could get you behind. I know crabgrass seed lays dormant in the soil for quite a long time, the areation could bring more to the surface to germ. I have done my lawn spring and fall in the past and have had good results, though it is my lawn.

Comanski
01-12-2004, 02:57 PM
In my experience on golf course rough(tall fecue at 2.5 inches) aerifying prior to spring pre-emergent may have actually increased the control of herbicides on crabgrass and certainly goosegrass which thrives in compacted soils.

ace329
01-12-2004, 03:07 PM
When is the best time to put down the pre-emerge, before aerating or a couple weeks after aerating?

NCSULandscaper
01-12-2004, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Westbrooklawn
I have heavy clay soil conditions in my area so aerating in both the spring and the fall is beneficial.......I try to sell both. The only thing i would do is make sure that spring aerations are completed before putting out a pre-emergence herbicide.

Since i am just a few miles away from Westbrooklawn, our conditions are the same way. I aerate and overseed in the spring and fall because i did not offer pre-emergent. But now that i do offer pre-m i will still aerate but just overseed in the fall. If i have to i will do 2 overseeds in the fall to get a better stand of grass out in a short period of time since i did not do it in spring time. For the ones that still want overseeding in spring and fall you can always do a post emergent selective herbicide program for the weeds. But if you have a thick stand of grass the chances of weed infestation are limited.

John B Laidlaw
01-12-2004, 03:42 PM
You can areate any time but there are considerations to take in mind.

Can be a muddy mess if spring is wet.

Pedestrian traffic- becomes heavier as weather becomes nicer

Mowing can dull blades faster if you have many large plugs still present.

Breaking pre-m barrier or reappling preemergence.

Areation is the start of complete soil augmentation. Top dressing with soil ammendments after areation is a key to a good agronomic program. Over seeding helps to build density after areation but no can do if you apply preemergence.

Time

Lawn raking/dethatching

Probably more but time inhibits me.

Good Luck!
J

:cool:

Grassmechanic
01-12-2004, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by ace329
When is the best time to put down the pre-emerge, before aerating or a couple weeks after aerating? I've put down a pre-emergent right after aeration with good results. Avoid aerating after pre-emergent application. As John Laidlaw said, you'll end up breaking the protective barrier.

Pilgrims' Pride
01-12-2004, 04:34 PM
I do both spring & fall aeration depending on the reason for aerating to begin with.

I don't personally see a problem with crabgrass break through on spring aerated lawns.

I have always believed that crabgrass needs heat and light to germinate. Neither of which can really "reach" into a 3 inch hole.

Just my two cents

Grassmechanic
01-12-2004, 09:10 PM
Pilgrim - you are correct....to a point. Crabgrass does need heat and light to germinate. It also needs bare soil. When you pull a core of soil and leave it on your lawn, you are bringing potential seeds to the surface, right in the ideal environment of heat and light. I'll reinterate that if you are dealing with a thick, healthy lawn, your likelihood of crabgrass germination is minimal.

turfsurfer
01-13-2004, 07:55 PM
I believe the trick is to aerate first, then put down the pre-emergent. The study materials for the test in Ohio specifically states that aeration does not disrupt the pre-emergent barrier but I still play it safe. Another angle for selling spring aeration is to control thatch on lawns that may need a grub treatment.

Cutters Lawn Care
01-13-2004, 08:01 PM
My local Lesco dealer says to aerate warm season grass in spring cool season grass in fall.

PrecisionLandService
01-13-2004, 08:17 PM
If a customer asks I will aerate any time the ground is wet enought to get a good core.... I think any time the ground is soft would be ok... But i usually advertise for fall mostly.