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Cross post: Who is aerating the south???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mgersib, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. mgersib

    mgersib LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Howdy -- I'd like to hear from some contractors down south who are performing aeration on warm-season grasses like St. Augustine or Bermuda grass down in the southern US.

    If you're aerating these grasses, I'd love some of your perspective on why you aerate them, and how the results have been for you. I've heard a lot of conflicting stories, and would like to get your thoughts on why it works for you.

  2. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Personally,I aerate warm season grass during the growing season.Different reasons.
    1.Warm season grass likes loose soil to run in.(sand,flower beds,etc.,,)
    2.Great way to introduce lime into the soil structure.
    3.Provides dissolved oxygen to the roots,developing a healthier plant.
    4.It's also a great way to fill in bare spots.Most reason warm season grasses aren't growing in a certain area is due to soil compaction.By loosening the soil,the rhizomes can better penetrate.

    I will aerate warm season grass during the fall.Mainly for lime apps.
    As far as results,I had a 5'x10' bare area of lawn(bermuda) that I could never get the bermuda to run in.After aerating 3 times,during the growing season,it filled in completely.
  3. mgersib

    mgersib LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Thanks for your thoughts and experience Nick. It's funny... I've talked to some contractors who say there isn't any market for aeration in the south, and I think they've got to be insane. I think your example of not getting the Bermuda grass to take off until you aerated is a perfect example... just about every type of soil compacts -- even sand. Some guys don't get that, I guess.

    Any others out there that want to chime in on this?

    Thank again Nick!
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    90% of our lawns are St. Aug. ....the others are hard soil, compacted sandy base with non irrigated mix of Bahia, centipede or weeds .... owners with little care of a decent yard (rental units)

    We have such a sandy base that aeration is not needed ... dethatching or power rake yes .... but it's a small .... small market .... we get at most 5 calls yearly fore this service .... so we pass

    Years ago we ADVO the %^$# fore this service and was a very small return

    Easier to sell fert or pest sprays ..... irrigation tweaks .... mulch n the such
  5. mgersib

    mgersib LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I guess there's no sense trying to foist services on a community that doesn't see the value in them. Good perspective...

    Thanks Steve!
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    we dont aerate too many yards mostly fescue. some small bermuda that get packed from mowing. bermuda we usually just scalp or dethatch. we dont really push either service though, just when someone calls up.
  7. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    IMHO, every Bermuda lawn should be aerated at least once per year. Preferably in May/June when the growth rate is on the upswing. This can be followed by a topdressing if necessary.

    We also aerate and overseed Fescue in September. Almost every Fescue lawn requires it.

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