How much is too much when it comes to areating

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Jeffd1979, May 1, 2004.

  1. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    I recently just bought an areator from home depot.. it is one i pull behind the 4 wheeler and it pulls plugs.. I areated this week.. I only went over the areas 1 time with it.. WHen looking at the lawn it definatly pulled plugs but i am thinking i may have been able to do it more.. Would it be ok to do it again in a month? or should i wait till next fall.. This is a new house since last sept. The ground in very hard in some places now. So should i do it again or would that be overkill?
     
  2. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Aerating is one of few things where too much of a good thing isn't really bad. I've aerated my yard 4 times in one season once trying to break up some bad thatch but I think you will eventually reach a point of wasted labor and diminishing return. I aerate usually once but no more than twice a season normally.

    I can picture a yard being aerated so much that it might as well been tilled lol.

    I'd be curious to see what the plugs look like coming from a Home Depot aerator. Do you happen to have a camera so you can post some pics? Any plug is better than no plug but I'd be dissappointed if I couldn't get at least 1.5" to 2" :)
     
  3. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Posts: 1,878

    I would have gone over the areas 3 times on the same day. All from different directions. That'll do it.
     
  4. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    They accually are not bad to be honest.. i will post some pics of them tommorrow.. My father in law accually bought it for me so hey it was free.. Better then nothing.. Put about 150lbs of weight on the back of it so it dug in deep! :)
     
  5. McHouck

    McHouck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Which one did you get from Home Depot and how much?
     
  6. Josey Wales

    Josey Wales LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Cool! Sounds like you have a winner then. :) Nothing stirs the pot like a good aeration and afterward it's a great time to make an application of fertilizer, lime, pre-emergent etc....

    Lookin' forward to the pics :D
     
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    I think that you would wear yourself out first rather than the lawn from over-aerating. You may, however, consider doing a dethatch job every year or two in the spring following aeration.
     
  8. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Well i pull it with a 4 wheeler so it does not take much energy! :D

    How do i dethatch?? i know you guys will probably laugh but i don't have any idea what that is.. i saw something at lowes that had what looked like rake that i could pull with the 4 wheeler that said something about thatch.. what good does it do? will it make my lawn look like crap?
     
  9. Jeffd1979

    Jeffd1979 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Josey Wales: sorry man i was going to take a pic of some of the plugs when i got home today but we got such a heavy rain today it all about destroyed any of the ones that were left.. i plan on areating again in a few weeks.. i will take some pics then..
     
  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Yep, as long as you don't have a bunch of tight areas that you have to get into, the four wheeler is the way to go for aeration.

    If you look at your aeration plugs closely you should see layers to it. Besides seeing grass and dirt, you will probably also see in the middle a layer of thatch that looks and feels like matted dead grass. Thatch acts a bit like a sponge, and too much will hinder the ability of the grass roots to get moisture and nutrients. Thatch also is like a breeding ground for many turf diseases. If you only mulch your lawn, chances are you’re building up thatch quicker than it will decompose. Is it more than .5” thick? When you take a hard rake and run it back and forth several times on your grass do you pull up thatch?

    Thatching done wrong can tear up a lawn, especially with a power rake, but done right the lawn could really appreciate it.
     

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