Why is the fall the best time to aerate?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by KingOfCupCar20, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. KingOfCupCar20

    KingOfCupCar20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Title says it all, just trying to get an answer prepared since i have just sent out letters strongly recommending aeration and i know that i will be getting asked why exactly is fall the best time to aerate...I explained exactly what it does and how it will be bennificial but when someone asks me why is it better to do it now when winter is coming...what do i tell them? Thanks!
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Results in frost wedging during the winter which increases the reduction of soil compaction?
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Should also promote below the surface root development since fall is when energy goes back down to the roots. Turf pros, pls correct me if I am wrong....
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Roots grow more in the fall because the soil is warm and the air is colder. Many plants actually canniblise the leaves for motile nutrients and send them to the roots for storage and/or root growth.
    Typically fall is best because the overseeding is generally done along with aeration. Heavily compacted and over watered turf could easily benefit with an aeration in early summer as well.
  5. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,503

    i do some troubled lawns in the spring as well,
    but there is very little weed competition in the fall,
    and less issues with heat/drought stress conditions
  6. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Root growth I've had some luck using a fert with phosphorus as well. Also helps with soil compaction in traffic areas and thinning lawns, also more aerating in high traffic areas i.e. sports fields is needed.
  7. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,585

    also if you aerate in spring you open up more aera for weeds to come through espically crab grass pre m really wont work as well on. i almost never aerate in spring we work on the weeds all season then in late summer early fall lawn renovate
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Your'e all wrong :hammerhead: Aerating damages roots I mean destroys some roots. So just when the roots are beginning to store energy for the winter to provide that spring green up you count on. You go and rip plugs out of it :hammerhead: So now the grass not only has to green up in the spring but it has to repair the roots you damaged in the fall with fewer stored starches to do it with. There by weakening the grass.

    Mid summer when the grass is actively growing is the best time to aerate and verticut as the turf will quickly repair itself.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Wow, try and tell this to all the guys on here doing late season aerations now.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Mid summer turf is barely able to survive let alone repair root damage. Besides turf is not one big plant.

    Plugging is similar to thinning your carrots in the garden. The biggest danger is the perimeter of those holes drying out and killing the individual plants next to it.

    That is why you do not plug in excessive heat and why it is a good idea to topdress with compost.

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