When to Aerate Your Lawn

Monday, January 28, 2013 9:44:00 AM

lawn aeration benefitsAlong with fertilization, watering, and proper grass selection; lawn aeration is a vital step to having that green lush lawn you always wanted. You’ll get several benefits when you aerate your lawn.

Lawn aeration benefits include:

  • Dethatching
  • Preventing soil compaction
  • Increasing root growth
  • Increasing water absorption


However, the month when you aerate your lawn is as important as the act itself. Simply put, grass is not simply just grass. There are a number of grass varieties and special blends for lawns. Grass varieties that are more common include:

Warm Weather Grasses

Cool Weather Grasses

Bermuda

Kentucky Bluegrass

Zoysia

Tall and Fine Fescues

Buffalo

Rye Grass

Bahiagrass

Bentgrass

Carpetgrass

 

Centipede Grass

 

St Augustine

 

These varieties are divided into two categories, warm weather grasses and cool weather grasses. It is this distinction, between cool and warm weather grasses, that will determine when you need to aerate your lawn.

Warm weather grasses should be aerated when the weather begins to warm. This means that aeration should occur between late spring and through the summer. Anytime during this season will help your lawn, as long as it is not during heat waves or drought. Aerating during a heat wave or drought can do more harm than good because it can increase water evaporation.

Cool weather grasses should be aerated when the weather begins to cool. This means that aeration should occur between late summer and through the fall. Aerating these grasses during the summer heat can put stress the grass.

Grass Seed PhotoFinally, it is important to remember that you aerate according to the type of grass you have and not according to the region you live in. Typically, when we think warm weather we think of areas in the Southern half of the US and vice versa. However, your location has no impact on when to aerate your lawn. Therefore, if you live in the South but have a cool weather grass you still need to aerate your lawn at some point between the late summer and the early fall. The chart below lists common grass types and the best aeration times.

Additional Tips

  • Know your grass type
  • Don’t aerate your lawn during droughts or heat waves
  • Aerate according to your grass type and not your specific climate
  • Water the grass the day prior to aeration
  • Do not aerate any grass during the winter months
  • Do not aerate your lawn if it has been seeded or sodded within one year of planting