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Aerate during summer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roscioli, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Can you aerate during the hot summer months, or should it only be done during spring and fall? Thanks
  2. Rodney Johns

    Rodney Johns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    It is not a good idea to aerate in the summer but some people will still try. First reason is that on a chemically treated lawn you totally destroy the chemical barrier once you aerate. This is why aeration is typically performed in early spring before all crabgrass controls are applied or in Sept after the barrier is shot anyway. Another reason is that unless the ground is soft it would be hard to get any penatration in the soil surface. Also anytime the soil is disturbed this can increase the chance for weed germination. I would avoid doing it unless it is purely demanded by the homeowner and the money is good.
  3. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    Aerating in the summer is fine, as long as the ground is soft enough to pull plugs. There really isn't a good reason not to, but then again there isn't a good reason not to wait till fall. It's just more advantagous to do it when you'll be fertilizing and overseeding.
  4. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 276

    I do alot of aerating. Rodney Johns hit the nail on the head. Very good advice.
  5. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    I agree with Rodney.

    I'd also like to point out:
    The chemical barrier thing is a 1970's theory, which was pretty much proven untrue by University tests at Cornell, MSU and Texas A&M.
  6. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    If I have a property that needs to be aerated during the summer months, then I don't hesitate to do so. I have properties that I have aerated due to constustion etc. that I have aerated with good results. Like previously posted, be sure that the soil is hydrated enough to allow you to pull good plugs.
    I wouldn't aerate all of my properties during the summer, simply because I normally overseed when I aerate my properties, and you will have poor to rotten results overseeding in the summer.
    The chemical barrier argument makes good sense though.
    Why are you contemplating aeration in the summer?

    Take care, Bill Craig
  7. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 121

    If you are just aerating, then you are OK. If you are wanting to seed, then now is not the time. The warm temperatures will get the grass to grow up nicely, but prevent the grass from forming a nice root system. Wait til fall to aerate and seed. Of course if there are unusual circumstances you should do what is best to make the lawn look nice as quickly as possible. The ideal time to overseed is in the fall, then spring.
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    If you are aerating just to make $$, aerate any time.

    If you want to enhance your clients' turf, summer aeration is usually not beneficial in cool season grasses. The main reason for aeration is to loosen the soil for better root growth; in the summer there is little root growth in cool season grasses. Aeration in the summer opens the surface to allow faster drying of soil - usually not beneficial.

    In heavy, pure clay soils, aeration is done 3-4 times a year. This is one of the few uses for summer aeration. Another would be a heavy thatch layer that causes runoff of irrigation - in this case aeration allows better water percolation, and that benefit outweighs the increased drying effect.

    Numerous university studies over the last 15 years have shown that aeration after preemergent application had no effect on the efficacy of the preemergent.
  9. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    Keep in mind aeration does damage the turf. While this is beneficial for the lawn when it can recover quickly, doing it in the summer is like kicking the lawn when it is down. Optimally aerating should be done when the lawn will see several weeks of vigorous growth following the procedure. This is why it is typically done in the spring and fall. Certainly special circumstances do arise, but I would prefer to do this when it is best for the turf.
  10. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

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