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Another aeration question

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Chugbug, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Chugbug

    Chugbug LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I been reading the different discussions about aeration and I'm still unclear if and when you need to aerate. We built our home in 2006 and finally planted roughly 2 acres of yard last spring. This spring grass came up and the yard looks better that what I was expecting but since its all pretty new growth do I need to aerate, ground is pretty hard I've rolled it a couple of times which I understand now that was problably not a good idea. There are bare spots and I have already fertilized and will be spraying for weeds within the next month or so. Is aeration needed on a yearly basis? If not how often should it be done, when is the best time to....If it is only needed when the yard needs it what should I be looking for. Anything anyone could pass on would be much appreciated.
  2. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Usually with new sod or if you just seeded your lawn, you need to wait 12 months before aerating it.

    Best time I would say is spring, because their is more rainfall in spring, that will help the cores dissolve with the water. But fall is also a good time to aerate it.

    Some people do it every 2 year, but the best imo is every year. The golf courses here aerate 6-8 times a year!

    It all goes on how already is your lawn, if you have a big layer of thatch, if your soil is really compacted. If yes, then you should consider aerating it in spring and fall, then next year maybe just in the spring.

    Also the best time is about 18 or so hours after rainfall, when the soil is already damped, it will be pulling some nice plugs.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    When I took the Master Gardner's course, it was suggested to aerate in the fall and the reason being is that you'll help your lawn create a better root system going into winter.

    Once a year should be enough, but with your new lawn you might want to do it twice a year for a few years. Once in the spring, and once in the fall.

    I would follow the above advice and make sure your grass is semi-established first so you aren't damaging what you already have. If you can do it sometime this summer to help relieve compaction then I would do it if you can. Just wait till it rains so you pull a good plug, and also look at the 10 day forecast and make sure there is a couple good chances of rain so that the lawn doesn't dry out after aeration.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,568

    Two acres is a lot of area to cover. Costly or a lot of work. Spend the money on water, fertilizer and weed control (a professional can probably do it cheaper). I would wait until I saw symptoms of oxygen deficiency in the root zone.
  5. Chugbug

    Chugbug LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    2 acres is alot of work but its work I enjoy doing. Picked up a small tractor last year, purchased a 3pt spayer, getting a broadcaster for fertilizing, seeding, etc. and now looking for a aerator. A professional may be able to do it a little bit cheaper, but I'm enjoying it more :clapping:

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  6. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Lawn looks good. I would aerate it several times a year for all the reasons / benefits that aeration provide. Especially if you have dense or clay based soil that tends to close up get tight and shut out water movement. Aeration will help to drive the roots deeper, get food to the plant better / faster, fracture the soil to improve water / air movement, tear roots to stimulate new root growth, help to slow down thatch development and generally improve root conditions.

    Another benefit of aeration is levelling and smooting out the lawn. Let the cores dry till they can be crumbled in your hand the drag the lawn with a professional drag mat ( keystone mat) or you can make one out of chain link fence about 5 to 6 feet long and two posts. Dragging the lawn when the cores are in crumble mode will break them up and drag them into the low spots. Also this is a good time to spread seed before you drag as it will drag the seed and dirt into the low spots and help fill in the lawn.
    This seeding part I would do in the fall for best results. The aeration you can do early sping, late spring and fall. Do not do it during heat of season unless you have good irrigation to keep grass alive.
  7. Chugbug

    Chugbug LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks, we've put alot of work in to it in the last year but we're starting to see results. We built on old farm land, no clay thank goodness a little more sandy in texture. I didn't know whether to invest in a core aerator or not but it sounds like I should. If I was only going to do it 1 time a year or 1 every couple of years it may have been cheaper to rent.
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Aerate in the spring and summer only if CRABGRASS doesnt bother you........Secondly...leave the plugs..they go a long way towards reducing thatch if you have any. DO you need to do it?....only if your having problems with underperformance or are trying for perfection. If it's really bad (compact)..do it in the early spring...like at least 2 weeks before you put down a crab preventer and again in the fall...or only in the fall. On a side note...that grass looks a little too lush...summer might be a tough one if it gets hot. Take it easy on the nitro.
  9. Chugbug

    Chugbug LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    No to the crabgrass. Thanks for all the great replies. Around the 1st week of March I did a light fertilization and put down some lime. I will probalby spray for weeds before June and that will be it until Fall. Looks like I will be doing a little aeration this fall. Thanks again for all the great comments
  10. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    Either aerate now or wait until fall, you do not aerate suring summer.

    You want to aerate when you grass is growing vigorously, in the spring or preferably in the falll when it is really kicking.

    If you aerate during summer and you get a hot spell it will not fill back in as well like it would in ideal growing conditions.

    And looking at that lawn it needs a good aeration, very thich and lush.

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