Fall is the perfect time for many things and definitely the best time of the year for aerating and seeding your lawn. The reason behind this is obvious – the soil in the fall season is warm, the nights are cool and the dying weeds make this season the perfect time for aeration (as well as overseeding and general lawn seeding).
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn In Fall?
The benefits of lawn aeration take many forms and shapes.
First of them comes in the form of stronger turfgrass roots, improved resiliency and a healthy-looking lawn. Thanks to the soil compaction and the condition of the weeds, a healthy root system can benefit from aeration in the fall season and keep the water/fertilizer from reaching the roots.
On top of this, any lawn is a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Is heavily used and there is immense foot traffic on it – contributing to soil compaction
- Was established in a newly constructed home, where the topsoil is usually stripped or buried and the grass established in the subsoil has been compacted by the construction traffic
- Is dry or dries out easily, having a spongy feel
- Was established by sod (with soil layering existing in it) meaning that soil of finer texture is layered over the existing coarser soil, disrupting the drainage
When To Aerate Your Lawn?
As we already mentioned in the beginning of this guide, the best time to aerate your lawn is the fall season. Specifically, this means the months between late August and November. However, heavily used turf (especially the one growing on heavy clay or subsoils) may also need aeration in the spring.
During the fall season, the grass has room to heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Plus, aerating it in fall ensures that there is no immediate foot traffic on it, giving your turf time to grow and develop stronger.
Most importantly, aerating in the fall lets your grass prepare for the spring, turning out much greener and thicker in the following season.
The Most Important Aspects Of Core Aeration
Core aeration is a process that pulls out plugs of soil in your lawn, leaving pockets for air and water to get through and leaving proper space for root growth. This is why it is important to use all the core aeration methods – especially for breaking down and giving more nutrients to your lawn.
Basically, the cost of aerating your lawn depends on your specific needs. Aside from a grass aerator, your lawn may also need overseeding and/or fertilizing, which are briefly described below.
One of the greatest treatments that you can do along with your fall or spring lawn aeration is overseeding. In short, reseeding your lawn means putting seed down on top of your existing grass.
The seed will fill in all of the bare spots, helping your lawn grow thicker and stronger. When it is paired with aeration, it will give your new seeds a direct contact with the soil.
The lawn fertilizer service is another treatment that goes in line with aeration and (over)seeding. In a nutshell, fertilizing is being used to give your grass all the nutrients it needs – including the ones that are not naturally supplied by the soil.
Even though the early spring is a great time for fertilizing your lawn, it can be as well done with fall lawn aeration, feeding your grass throughout the winter and giving you a lush green lawn in the springtime.
A Quick DIY Lawn Aeration Checklist
If you are into DIY lawn care and want to make most of your fall lawn aeration, you should follow this checklist to aerate your yard in the best way possible.
- Before starting, you should make sure that the soil is moist enough. Aerating the day after a rain or watering your lawn before you aerate it is also advised.
- Most of the aeration tools cover a small percentage of your soil surface – which is why you must make several passes over the areas that need aeration the most.
- Your (excavated) soil plugs need to dry and be broken up, all in order to give your lawn a uniform and clean appearance. So, you should break them by running them over with a mower or pounding them with the back of a rake.
- After aerating, it is important to continue the basic lawn care practices which include fertilizing, mowing and watering.
As you can see, fall lawn aeration is a process that is quite complex and demands some attention. This is why many homeowners decide to hire professionals for a proper lawn treatment service, resulting in quality lawn care.
Lawn Aeration Is Best When Left To Professionals
In the end, it is safe to say that most turf will benefit from annual aeration. Even though you should not expect miracles from aeration (especially with poor soil), doing the process continually will definitely give you a healthier, greener and stronger turf that is easy to maintain and has fewer pest problems.
Because of this, many homeowners decide to leave lawn aeration in fall (and spring) to professionals who know all of the best nutrients to use and take samples of the soil to see what level of aeration (fertilization and overseeding) your lawn needs.
At Green Turf Care, we are among the most reliable experts for local lawn care. Our lawn maintenance service will not only aerate your turf – it will also restore your grass through fertilizing and overseeding, resulting in a greener backyard and a natural lawn care process that you can depend on.
For more information about our seasonal lawn care services, contact us today by phone or email!