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Time to Aerate?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wacamaster, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 198

    I'm located in SE Michigan and have about 8 aeration jobs to do. I'm renting an aerator and was wondering what the best time to do it would be. When the grass starts growing? or before? after?
  2. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I think the Spring time is the best time to aerate. If the grass is growing or not, I do not think that makes a big difference. if you are overseeding when done then make sure the ground temp is at least in the 50s or the seed may not germinate.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Wait until the grass is actively growing.

    When you aerate, you open up the root zone to potential weed infestation. If the grass isn't growing, the weeds have too great a chance to take hold and thus, you are doing more harm than good for the lawn.

    And as mentioned, I prefer to wait until the soil temperature is a constant 50 or more to help with the germination process. Lower than that and your seed will just lay there and probably rot...or whatever is not in your core holes, eaten by the birds IMO.
  4. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Grass is beginning to come out of dormancy here. I just aerated our campus today.

    Tomorrow, overseed our athletic field and fertilize other areas.
  5. KZ Lawn Care

    KZ Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 11


    What kind of grass seed do you use and what kind of applicator do you use. Broadcast spreader??? Just wondering, looking for some tips.
  6. Lohr Equipment & Wel

    Lohr Equipment & Wel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Just some advice do not aerate when the soil is too wet,when it is wet and you aerate you get a condition called glazing,the combination of wettness and the pressure from the tines actually smears the soil in the hole and makes it hard for roots to penetrate this glazed area.Just let the soil dry a bit.Good luck.
  7. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    We have several grass types here. But lets talk fescue. I have always advised my accounts to wait until Fall for the cool season grasses. I was under the impression Fall was optimal.

    I know im being lazy & could search, but were on the subject.....

    That was interesting about the "glazing". There truly is no substitute for a walk behind core aerator with an engine and weights for those who want true results...true or not?
  8. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I do my aerations in the spring as soon as the grass is greened-up. I'm going to start aerations next week and the first week of May. Thats when I usually do them. Bermuda and Zoysia grasses here,mostly, a few are St.Augustine and Centipede, with a handful being tall Fescue (these are done in the fall). I aerate, then apply may second app of pre-m/fert.
  9. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    In regards to the seed I use for overseeding, the athletic field (used for recess, gym class, football, and soccer) has an extreme amount of wear every year. The field is in complete sunlight and relies only on mother nature for water. Ryegrass mixed with a little bluegrass is my seed of choice.

    Attached is a pic of what it looked like last fall.

    Give me a week or two for an update pic for spring. :)

  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    there are two times to aerate..once in spring and the other is late summer early fall.

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