Spring aeration...and the ideal time of Spring to pull plugs....? Plus fert...?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    My take has always been late spring is more ideal than too early. There are always those who prefer to aerate in March and the plugs just sit there for weeks and weeks before the grass perks up. Or they rake them up :nono:

    Then there is the issue of a heavy Spring application of fert to launch the grass. :rolleyes:

    Your input?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,847

    Well with last year's drought, I will probably be doing some slice seeding in the spring. I will simply time any plugging I do with proper timing for slicing. Plug double pass first, then slice seed 2x directions next, followed by starter fert app.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The black thatch, that looks like dirt, would have to pretty thickbefore I'd bother aerating in the Spring...

    Spring must be a Southern thing, that became a "Good Idea", becuz I can't see the value for cool-season grasses at all...
    In fact I'd rather seed in the Spring and aerating makes such a mess, that getting the seed in a correct mixture of soil in the bare spots, just became harder...

    In extremely compacted lawns, I might aerate after Memorial Day, but no one wants to deal with plugs for the Summer...
     
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Yes. Many home owners aerate since they believe it's a good thing to do...and this is the crowd that is easiest to market to...and again most in this area believe it's a spring issue. A few of my clients have acted surprised that Fall was even a option....?

    My own inherited lawn with thatch gets aerated 4-5 times through out the entire season.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I know its a strange thing that has happened...

    Your own lawn should clear up of the thatch issue as you progress in your organic/natural lawncare endeavors... :)
     
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    When I first moved here thatch was 3/4" pushing almost an a full inch in places. Prior caretaker was and still is a chronic and habitual over watering fiend. :(

    At this point ...I'm thinking it has to be a high percentage of KBG. And the lawn has been divided up into test sections for different products.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    As long as we're talking about this,,, have you noticed an increase in root mass below the surface(say 3-5 inches deep) since you've taken over???

    I imagine with all your aerating, it must have gotten a lot more water into the rootzone, w/out saturation levels... what kind of texture are you working with??? clay, sand or good combination loam???
     
  8. boss75

    boss75 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I used to plug and then renovate, fert. Plugging was a waste of time. I crossed paths with a slit seeder and then applied a 19-19-19, looked great. however i guess if the ground was rock hard aeration could be used.
     
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,847

    I do aerate cause we have hardpan clay soil and I really need to try and bust that up some to give new overseeding a chance.
     
  10. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    OK, you asked for it.
    when home lawn aeration first got started in the 60 /70s it was thought that Spring was the only time to do it and it had to be done before Pre-emerge went down. This was a good service, made some money but was a real hardship due to the time squeeze and small window. So as Aeration profits grew and more studies were done it was determinded that that fall even late fall up to freeze was a better time. Because this gave the grass / soil time to loosen up, roots to form and fertilizer time to get down to the new root level before spring. When doing this with a fert app right behind it the grass got a real jump start in the spring. This also allows you to have billings later into the fall right up to snow plow time, BUT, (there is always a but) new customers that do not understand the value of aeration will be very slow to spend $150 to see a bunch of cores on the lawn and grass going dormant. So it is best to do NEW AERATION CUSTOMERS, in the spring this way they see a quick response and value for the dollar spent. Just mow the lawn very short, aerate and apply fert. Water and mother nature and sun will do the rest. In a week or so the new customer comes out in the morning and goes WooooW, that guy really knew what he was talking about. Then move the new customer to the fall program to make room for more new customers in the spring. If you want I have a lecture called "What is Aeration and How Do I Sell It" takes about and hour.
    Guys have a Great Spring
    Turfcobob
     

Share This Page