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Aerating lawns

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Shuter, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    When I aerate lawns I go over the lawns with starter fertilizer and grass seed. Does anyone els do the same?? Sometimes I only use regular fertilizer if it is a very full and thick lawn. What do you guys do when it comes to aerating??
  2. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    We do most of our aerating in the spring, and just use a high quality granular fert. 25-4-10. It works great for us in this area.
  3. Shannon Phillips

    Shannon Phillips LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 34

  4. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I will not be advocating aerating at all. I am in favor of using organic fertilizers that boost the respiration rate of the soil by encouraging biological microorganisms to multiply. They will take care of the aeration no problem. You will NOT have to add costly corrective procedures such as core aeration and dethatching for your lawn because they are completely unnecessary! These services are “Band-Aid” solutions to problems that are directly caused or worsened by the repetitive use of synthetic chemicals. As the soil life rejuvenates, the soil compaction will be naturally alleviated and any heavy thatch will be naturally digested. It’s that simple, the biological activity in a healthy soil is the most effective aerator and dethatcher that exists, and it does not charge you to do it. Why pay extra to have machines do a fraction of the work nature does for free! But if one of my customers really insists, I might still aerate. After all, there is good money in it.
  5. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    ORGANIC MANS post made me think about the promos for core punching I've read lately. Seems a big core punching propaganda is on the move.

    Nothing wrong with "core-holing", but too many companies get on a bandwagon.

    Many companies go on missions of "extremist" on certain methods.

    Coring is fine for where it is fine. But it is mainly fine when the entire lawn is at the same level of moisture in the soil.

    What about high areas and low areas - the low may still me soggy.

    Some companies offer set prices claiming to come through on a certain weekend for the whole area - is every yard equally drained and moist?

    We believe in PRESCRIBED METHODS. In other words, professional care based on experience. One yard with get the core method. Another, may get lime to chemically fracture the soil open. Another may get oganic compounds.

    Other yards may get all three in individual areas of the same yard.
  6. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Exactly. Customization is the key here. What will work on one place may not work on another. Every place is different, especially if your accounts were maintained separately by different LCO's before .
  7. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    But any real organic oriented person NEEDS to understand that core aeration is the SINGLE BEST thing you can do for "almost" any lawn. It goes HAND IN HAND with organic principles. You need to do some more reading or hook up with some real soil scientists. Try Bio-Green in Wauconda,IL if they're still around. I could go to lengths to explain WHY aeration is a part of any good organic program, but you really need to learn it yourself, so do the reading.
    (first year?)
  8. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Yes, this is my first year in the application business. I was always a fan of no-till farming, and from the materials I have read over the years I have deduced that aeration is not necessary with a proper soil balance. There are many organic turf people who will swear aeration is unneccessary. One of my friends runs a thriving lawn co in PA and has not needed to aerate for 18 years with his organic program. He has been so successful and his organic methods so proven that the US Botanical Gardens and Central Park (NYC) uses his methods now, under his supervision.
  9. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Horse hockey!! (as Col.Potter would say). Aeration is close to a miracle cure all and CAN'T be oversold. Most every lawn would benefit from annual aeration and problem lawns can see miraculous results from spring AND fall aeration. Especially compacted soils, thin turf, wet spots, etc You can FEEL the difference in compaction just walking on it after aeration. You can SEE the difference in turf quality in a few weeks. If you added the total area of all the plugs pulled you'd have dug a decent hole that water can drain to. ECT ECT ECT
    I've personally achieved a reduction in thatch from 2+" to a livable 1/2" in TWO seasons with twice annual aeration and topdressing with biologically active dressings. Have you ever LOOKED at the holes a couple weeks after aeration? They fill up with roots migrating to the holes from existing turfgrass plants. They migrate there due to the easy access of OXYGEN,NUTRIENTS, and WATER (add sunlight and you've got it ALL). Think that might be a good thing? Of course any time you stimulate root growth, you achieve a corresponding top growth! (thickening the turf, which shades out germinating weed seeds, shade the soil from the sun, etc etc:
    There may be soil condition that it isn't helpful (sand?). But for 90% (at least) of lawns, it's the single best thing you can do for it!:blob2: :blob2:
  10. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Maybe the SINGLE BEST thing to do for lawns is not core aeration - although it helps, but provide proper care.

    Most lawn services in our area, mow until the bags are full of heavy grass. The pressure per square inch exceeds foot traffic or vehicle traffic.

    That's due to the mass of the grass clippings, and the fact that the rear bag shifts the fulcrum of balance to the rear wheels.

    A mower is balance on 4 wheels. But when the bag is full, the center of gravity is on the rear wheels, literally shifting even the weight of the engine and deck to that point.

    A real pro for grass care, will empty the bags when they are half full, rather that all the way full. Full bags cause tremendous soil compaction.

    Also, too many companies mow when the soil is saturated. They would provide much better service by mowing much longer on dryer days, to avoid the rainy, or wet soil days.

    That's in much of the Oregon, Washington area.

    Much of the coring, liming, etc., is done to conteract the damage from mowing.

    Better mowing practices ( mower traffic ) is more crucial than anything like core-holing.

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