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Aerating in winter?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogetter, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I was watching Gardening By The Yard with Paul James on HGTV over the weekend.
    He was talking about what people (homeowners) could be doing in the winter to get their yard ready for spring.

    And he said that winter is a great time to aerate your lawn so that it will be ready for fert (and whatever else) in the spring.

    Since spring is a pretty busy time for people in our industry, and winter often means sitting around doing nothing (I know, not everybody), seems like a good way to spread out your work load.
    This would certainly free up some of your time in the spring and allow you to take on other work (mulching, etc.).

    Any thoughts? Just thought I'd throw it out here for discussion.

    BTW, obviously we're not talking about when the ground is frozen or snow covered. For the last couple days it's been fairly warm around my way. Gound is soft and damp.
  2. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    You mentioned spreading out the work load. I spread lime when it's cold outside. The best time to do it is in november or december. jan and feb is good too. It takes 4-6 months to break down, so if applied in november, it's pretty much broken down in march and by may, it has completely fixed the pH. I like to aerate before applying any pre-M or POST for broadleaf control.
  3. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Ok, but is there a reason it couldn't (or shouldn't) be done ahead of time? For example, Pre-M would be going down within the next few weeks for most people. So if they could start aerating now and get a head start on their season, seems like it would be a good thing.
    Plus if they were aerating now, they could send out the first bills at the end of the month and start getting payments in sooner. Sort of extending their season by a few weeks or so.

    And now they've just freed up a couple weeks in the spring to take on other work.

    Just sorta thinking out loud. I realize it wouldn't fit into everyones practice (for example, some may only aerate in fall).

    But the question is, is there a reason NOT to aerate in the winter?
  4. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    One of the main reasons to aerate is to relieve soil compaction. Since this is happening naturally with the freeze / thaw cycle during the winter months, I'm not sure there's much benefit to aerating during the winter.
  5. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    I have met Paul James in tulsa.What a great guy he is.He is really a down to earth guy
  6. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Just to reiterate, I'm talking about near the end of winter. Like around this time (late Feb). Temps have been fairly warm lately. Ground really softened up.
    But it could certainly get cold again.

    With all that said, still feel it wouldn't be beneficial?
  7. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    Do you aerate in the spring at all or do you wait till fall? I've already mentioned that i do in the spring, but my thoughts are, if it's late jan here and it hits 40 for a few days i wouldn't think it would hurt anything to aerate. The plugs are still gonna be on top of the soil, so when the freeze/thaw effects take place, you are still gonna have an aerated lawn.
  8. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    when do you normally aerate gogetter? I see you are in PA so you are gonna be aerating later than me anyway, so what are the air temps usually when you do this?

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