Best time of year to aerate?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Barefoot James, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    What is the best time of year to aerate and why?

    I have head and read Spring and Fall are good - and many use fall to aerate and seed - so the roots have room to grow in the newly created air space and water/nutrients/biology/food can get to the roots better.

    That said what about summer aeration? Like July. Are there benefits to doing it in July on fescue grass?

    Some say you can aerate anytime of year.

    Please tell use your experiences with aeration and improvements you have seen based on when you did the aeration.
  2. BCarlson

    BCarlson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Your right, I've heard both spring and fall for aeration too. The general idea for a fall aeration and reseeding is that with fall seeding you get a deeper root system. I have heard the same for thatching too. Fall, spring or anytime.
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    In the golf course days, we aerated every 6 weeks. Our main concern was to alleviate compaction due to the heavy play of the course. On a home turf, spring or fall is best as it the time grass is growing the fastest, but summer aeration is OK as long as temps aren't too extreme.
  4. 1.2.3. green

    1.2.3. green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    AERATE any time if lawn needs it as long as your not in a long hot spell.Aerate, seed @ 4-6lbs per k, spray with liquid tea , watch it grow

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    in july its too dry to do it here so i do it in the fall for the most part
  6. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,961

    We aerate fescue grass in the Fall. I've had customers insist on aerating and seeding in the Spring, against my recommendation. If you seed, you can't apply a pre-emergent weed control. If you don't apply a pre-, you'll nothing but crabgrass. If you apply a pre,(no seed), and then aerate, you'll disturb the pre, and you'll have plenty of crab grass.
  7. cmlandscapeconstruction

    cmlandscapeconstruction LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    aerate not by calender but by necessity.
    is soil compacted,are the roots so matted that new growth is beeing inhibited,are you alleviating a wet condition ,making soil ammendments,is the area not absorbing water.etc.
  8. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    I agree with cmlandscapeconstruction, aerate when need be, but the best times are during the spring or fall. The reason why spring or fall for cool season grasses is because during that timeframe the turf can recover quicker. In spring you aerate to build root system. In fall you aerate to relieve thatch and recover the root system that was lost during the summer. If your going to aerate in summer make sure its not on a hott day, and use a smaller tine if you want to pull cores like a needle tine. For cool season bunch type grass you should only aerate to relieve thatch every 2 years because bunch type grasses dont produce much thatch at all. If your lawn consists of bluegrass aerate or verticut 2 times a year spring and fall to relieve thatch. If your lawn consists of warm season grasses your fine to aerate whenever, because the hotter it is the faster they grow. After you do aerate this is the best time to apply fertilzers/seed/lime to have a direct impact on the plants root system and soil profile in terms of fertilizing and lime.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  9. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    tombo - whats your take on vibratory types of aeraters like the aerovator - no plugs! Ever used one?
  10. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    no plugs, meaning it doesnt pull a core? or it just collects the cores?

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