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Quick question - Can you aerate in the rain?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Krimick, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. Krimick

    Krimick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Can you aerate when it's raining or ground that is fairly wet?

    It's been raining since Friday afternoon (and still is right now) and I had two customers who wanted to be aerated today. Will it work out alright or will everything just turn out a muddy mess.

  2. Harvestman

    Harvestman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I actually prefer the ground to be good and moist, you pull a better plug. But if its to wet you will not pull a plug, just put a hole in the ground. Use your own judgement as to how wet it is.Hope this helps Harvestman.
  3. Krimick

    Krimick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I really don't do much aeration, so I'm not quite sure what is "too" wet. But I"m going to go and rent the 2 aerators this morning and see what happens. One place is fairly high ground.....hills etc so the rain should have helped. The other is entirely flat with some low spots.

    On the brightside of things........atleast after today I'll know what is too wet :D
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    It might be a real mess if it rained too much. I usually try and wait at least a full day after any rain in excess of about 1/2 inch. But I am in heavy clay soil and it is an absolute nightmare to clean things up not to mention that it holds moisture very well.
    It all depends on the soil conditions that you have along with the moisture. What type of aerator are you using?

    You also have to be aware of the upcoming weather conditions. You will probably be safe as it sounds like you have the miosture but aerating opens the ground to more drainage and air penetration which can dry the soil quite well should you get a spell of dry and hot weather. Your conditions dictate what your action should be. Good Luck.
  5. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    two issues:

    1) Can you aerate in the rain? Sure. But wet grass and slippery mud will make for dangerous footing. I would be very careful if I was aerating a hill in the rain. Your judgement, but be careful.

    2) Will the soil be too wet? Good soil moisture improves your ability to penetrate heavy soils or severly compacted soils, especially with a roller style of aerator. But, you should never perform a tilling operation on wet soils (including aeration). Wet soils clump and form clods. Clods are very bad. Aerating a wet soil will cause the formation of clods along the side of the aerated holes. This clodding or glazing will actually inhibit air infiltration into the surrounding soil and defeat the prime purpose of aeration. Mowed's advice is right on. Wait one full day after a heavy rain to allow the soil to drain.

  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    You may very well do more damage aerating mud than you think. You'll also be compacting the clay. Wait until it stops raining. Moisture is good, mud isn't.
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Ask and you shall receive....good advice and info.

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