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Aerateing twice in the summer???


Millenium Member
Was just wondering if any of you have tried this?

The past 2 seasons we have had weeks without rain, on my lawn when this "great" clay soil dries out, it gets rock hard. When it is watered the water just washes off, heading down the street. I do limit the time the sprinklers run at each spot to about 15 min, then water another spot 15 min, then eventually each spot is watered about 1.5 hours total each week.

For the past 2 years during this dry time, I pulled out the aerator and aerated my lawn, so far twice this summer. The theory being, with 2-3" deep holes in the ground, water now has an entry point into the soil which will alleviate run off and promote absorption. Guess what, it works VERY WELL! So well in fact, that I'm considering advertising and really promoting this service next year during the summer when things start to dry out.

Ideas, comments, or suggestions?

Kent Lawns

LawnSite Senior Member
I always had a tough time GETTING the 3" holes in the rock-hard clay.

Great concept, but you need a high-performance aerator.


LawnSite Senior Member
Columbus Ga
Great Money maker but why stop there afetr you areate sell a top dressing to increase the break up of the clay..
Kirby since you are billing for monthly services I guess the aeration is included as part of the deal.

It makes sence to me that if your mowing is off due to dry conditions that you perform the contracted aeration when your schedule permits.

If your homeowners will water the turf the evening b/4 the aeration that is a real bonus.


LawnSite Silver Member
dirty jersey
ray: sounds good.


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Bend, IN
In Ft Wayne, IN all soil is red clay; very expensive to get topsoil, must be brought in from far away. To keep lawns growing good during the year, they aerate 3 to 4 times a year, so you are on the right track.
Had a new lawn last yr that had heavy thatch in one spot. This area was drying out in June, and realized then that water was running off thatch. Aerated and applied Primer from <a href="http://www.aquatrols.com/">Aquatrols<a>. Primer is a soil wetting agent. Area was fine the rest of the year.


LawnSite Senior Member
South West PA
Here is my experience. Last summer many lawns here suffered because of the drought, my own included. My own lawn has not had the best of care in the past, actually, very little other than mowing.

LAte in the summer, before the drought ended, I areified my lawn twice. I did not wet it before I did it, and the plugs were not as deep as they normally would have been.

The thatch layer was between 3/4 and 1" thick in most places.

When we finally did get the rains in the fall, my lawn was the first to come back. It seemed to come back better than most. I aerified it twice in the very late fall( after the last mowing), and spread my leftover seed from the fall over the lawn. I also hit it with an app of 18-24-12 Fert.

It sat like this all winter. None of the seed seemed to germinate till this spring. This spring, I applied lime @ 50#/1000, (as per PSU soil test), and hit it with another app of 18-24-12. I also did a single pass areification.

About a month after the weather broke for the spring, I had the nicest lawn on the block. It was full, thick, and growing well. IT was a deep green.

I just aerified it again last week. That makes a total of 6 passes in the last 12 months. The main reason I did it last week, and at the end of the summer last year was to make sure that the plugger was in proper working order for the up and coming busy season.

During the last aerification, I took note of the thatch layer in the plugs. The thatch layer is about 3/4" to 1/2" in most places. This tells me that the thatch layer is slowly being reduced.

So, I guess that I agree with Kirby, a late summer areification can be beneficial if your soil is hard packed, and prone to runoff.


Millenium Member
Good to see a few of you have also tried this with success. Good potential for extra $$$ during summer slow growth. Sorry Stone, any aeration is extra charge, not included in yearly contract.