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. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Snow Mold is a 'non-issue' in the sense it creates no problem that I've noticed(pink snow mold is all I've ever seen) but it is like STDs/AIDS... 100% preventable...
    I'm blowing lawns as soon as the snow is gone and the mold gets blown away with it...

    I don't believe that germ killers in the dirt really wok that well... they can't even kill germs in hospitals, so why would it work in the dirt... :)
  2. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    It is for the benefit of the customer who just spent a bunch of money on something he has never done before. Like I said first time customers.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean? Are you saying that we should assume that aeration is necessary for the lawn, IF it has never been done before??

    I know of propery managed turf that never requires aeration... in fact aerators were developed because of poor cultural habits over "More is Better" attitude of people when they are given synferts and irrigation...

    What am I missing??? :)
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Too much to write.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    More snotty tedium... what a joke...
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Okay for the local area I'm stuck with....top leading reasons for Spring aeration over Fall.

    #6. Late Autumn to Fall aerations requires sprinkler flagging while every Joe six pack is doing $15-$25 blowouts. I've missed a number of Fall aerations since Harry Homeowner forgot about that factoid. So because of Fall blow outs plug quality is horrid due to often inadequate soil moisture. Unless you can time it around rain storms. Don't hold your breath.

    #5. If you are running a reciprocating Plugr 800 series or Ryan recip 28....yes the up and down tine action going on....you are in fact pulling a significant greater number of plugs per square foot and all the extra soil volume helps break down thatch layer. I call it the dirt top dress effect. The rolling tine units just are not popping the plugs up in the grass tops like my Plugrs do....so the mower blades can break them up as well as they can since there just are not as many plugs [rolling tine] and they tend to lay further down in the grass. And for the record I dread having to mow over my Plugr 850 aerations. It is a nasty dirty choke fest np95 type job. Mowing over a rolling tine aeration is a dream come true yes even a double pass....still dreamy. Check out my Youtube video for proof.

    #4. For the largely stubborn pool of people who insist on drowning their lawns 2-3 times a day then over fertilize on top of that then scratch their skulls wondering why they’re are issues with the grass....I'd much rather plug their lawn in the Spring than pretend a power raking will do much good. Many of them still rake up the plugs or bag them with a mower. And this is after telling them 2-4 times not to do this.

    #3. I get fairly burned out in the Fall since I work solo. I still need to find some female personal trainer types to help me market and do these aerations then maybe I won't dread them as much and we can can all make a pile of loot in the process.

    #2. All the big application Co. do more Spring than Fall.

    #1. People here loose interest in the grass in the Fall. Some even blow out sprinklers and it's still hot out. They also skip the fertilizer as well. The most important one of the season.
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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  7. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Good thread, I had a call on "power raking" today. I asked them what it was they were trying to accomplish and they said, "trying to make my grass grow, I heard it was the best thing for my lawn." It turned into a fairly long conversation and I now have a new full service client. I could have just said, "yeah I'll come verticut it'll be $100." Instead they're now worth about $1600. Sometimes telling them they're wrong works out in your favor.
  8. kennc38

    kennc38 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    Rub 2 ideas together and form a concept... what is the important context of the previous train of thought in this discussion???
    Once you have a concept, within the parameters of the context,,, then you may say that spring aeration is good while the grasses are still waking from dormancy,,, but that would still violate the life patterns of Cool Season Turf...
    In that case you would have an answer to your question...

    But the answer is not the issue is it??? :)
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    We do blowouts in Oct., so we are able to aerate b4 the leaves fall, in Sept. which coincides with fertilizer application also...(takes care of issue #1) The grass is actively growing(roots) and the fert is in the holes, collecting water and soaking(leeching) deeper into the profile...

    Spring starts with a muddy mess and even though I wanted to switch a client over to Spring to get air to the roots after Spring rains, before they drown it again for the Summer,,, he gave one of the best reason AGAINST Spring aeration that has been ever been uttered: He didn't want the mess early in the season, and deal with the perpetual mud... he was smart enough to NOT rake up the plugs...

    My Springtime thatch removal system is a topdressing of compost,,, for Round 1... I realize that Squirt&Fert guys can't do compost,,, but there's no reason that us Full Maintenance guys have to act like the big boys,,, and THAT removes the excuse from issue #2... :)
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    One of the biggest problems with generalized 'lawncare' ideas, is the transfer from warm-season to cool-season grasses... everyone see how wonderful something is in warm turf and therefore BELIEVE it is also the best thing for cool turf,,, and vice-versa...
    I don't know if the warm-season folks have a good reason to power-rake, but even our Ext. Offices are backing away from the idea now...
    Excellent job, BTW, educating a client as you did... congratulations... :)

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