plug aerating

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Capemay Eagle, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    Well aerating is something new to me this fall and I have a question. I am getting a new plug style aerator soon and I was not too sure how to go about it. Now, should I aerate now??. I read somewhere on the board that it is beneficial to leave the plugs on the lawn to break down naturally, is this true?.Or should I rake up the plugs??. It would make sense to aerate now let the plugs work back in and then dethatch and seed...Any thoughts fellas
     
  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Depends on your grass. If you're dealing with cool season grass (blue, rye, TTTF), I would wait a few weeks. If you have a warm season lawn, it is time to get busy. Work across the lawn in two directions and get a bunch of plugs in it. I find it helpful to mow the lawn pretty short before plugging.

    The conventional wisdom is to leave the plugs where they drop. They will disappear eventually, but it takes a loooooong time and they glop up your mower pretty bad for a few mowings if you leave them out.

    I let them dry and crumble for a couple days, and then run a mechanical sweeper over the yard with the brushes set right at the top surface of the grass. That catches about 70 percent of the plugs, which this year I have used (very successfully) to fill in some low spots and tweak some grades I didn't quite like.

    I've done mine twice this summer, and I am getting ready to do #3. It amazes me how quickly the hole disappear and how fast the lawn responds to getting plugged.
     
  3. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    Wow you have done this twice already, I thought that you only done this once in the fall and maybe again in the spring. What brand of plugger are you using??. I just plan on buying a cheap tow behind at Lowe's..
     
  4. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Again, it depends on your lawn species. You don't aerate when the grass is dormant. Hence the traditional recommendation for Spring & Fall only aerating. For cool season grasses, that's the right approach. But, I have zoysia, and if I punch it in early Spring, I am only inviting weeds. If I punch it in the Fall, I'm inviting weeds and stressing the turf just before it goes into dormancy. But my zoysia stays active all summer, unlike most cool season grasses that go dormant in the heat. If I were paying someone to do it, about twice a year is all I could justify, but since I have my own aerator, I do it when the mood strikes and/or when I am going to fertilize.

    I have a 3 point hitch Turfco 42" aerator. If you have a 3pt hitch on anything, it is much easier to use a 3pt aerator than a tow behind. Every turn-around and sharp corner and sprinkler head you have to lift a tow behind onto its wheels and then let it back down again before you go. With a 3pt, you just raise the hitch, make your turn (or pass over the head), drop it and keep going.
     

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