Spring Aeration Is the Best Time to Aerate Your Yard

Aerating the lawn opens up the soil, allowing oxygen, water and fertilizer to make their way down to the grass roots. Lawns can begin to develop dry or bald spots if they aren’t kept aerated. Most lawns benefit from annual treatment, so it’s important to understand and recognize the signs of a struggling lawn and following our Spring aeration tips will keep your grass become healthier and greener.

Don’t ignore the other factors in creating a healthy lawn. For more details on other tools to renovate your turf, talk to our equipment specialist about dethatching and overseeding.

Signs That a Lawn Needs Aerated

Aeration is often overlooked during the course of normal weekly lawn care. Yet, it can be the key to maintaining a healthy, green lawn. All the water and fertilizer in the world can’t help the lawn stay healthy if it can’t make its way into the soil. Lawns require aerating when:

  • The soil has become compacted. Heavy use, such as pets or children playing or heavy equipment, can lead to compacted soil.
  • Thatch has built up on top the soil. This thick layer of dead and decaying plant material gives the ground a spongy feel and doesn’t allow water to penetrate into the ground.
  • Dry soil that won’t absorb water. If water stands on the soil surface after rain or irrigation, but won’t soak in, it’s time to aerate.
  • Naturally heavy, clay-based soil requires yearly aeration. Clay particles become compact more easily than sandy soil particles.
  • Sod established lawns require aeration more frequently than seed-grown lawns, because the sod creates soil layers that can inhibit water absorption.

Timing the Treatment

Although you can aerate your lawn at any time, Spring is the preferred time for warm season grasses and it also works well for cool season varieties. The lawn needs to resume growth after winter dormancy before it is aerated, but it should be done before it gets too warm in Summer. The plugs of soil have time to dissolve before Summer heat leads to drying. This also ensures that Spring moisture and fertilizer treatments find their way down to the grass roots, where the lawn can reap the benefits.

Aeration Method

We stock four different style aerators, we’ll recommend the best aerator to match you lawn. Ask us about 4 hour rates, overnight rates and weekend rates.  These tools are driven across the lawn, where they leave behind 2- to 3-inch deep holes in the soil. Spike aerators poke holes without removing soil, while plug aerators remove small plugs of soil and deposit them on the lawn.

Generally, plug lawn aerators do a better job, because they actually loosen up the soil. The plugs dissolve over time, so they don’t cause any issues. Most lawn care professionals use plug aerators. Plug and spike aerator rentals are also another option for the do-it-yourselfer and may also be rented from our local equipment rental stores in Gastonia, Mooresville, Hickory and Shelby, NC.  When you finish your aeration there will be plugs remaining on the surface, don’t remove the plugs simply rake them into the turf and they will act as a top dressing.

These Spring aeration tips provide a guide for homeowners opting to use an aerator rentals and do the maintenance themselves. Lawn care professionals will assess the health and quality of the lawn, and they may advise a different aeration schedule or additional services, such as dethatching, if the lawn needs more help to look its best.