September 7, 2016

Lawn aerationMaintaining a great lawn is a matter of timing. You wouldn’t mow your lawn just after you watered it–likewise, it’s important to time your lawn aeration properly. Let’s examine how to determine the ideal time to aerate your lawn.

Knowing Your Grass

There are two categories of lawn grasses: cool-season and warm-season grasses.

Warm-season grass begins to grow early in the Summer. This means that aerating these types of grass in the late Spring or early Summer will ensure that grass will ensure that growth will fill the holes left by aeration.

Some common kinds of warm-season grasses are:

  • Bermuda
  • Buffalo
  • St. Augustine
  • Zoysia

Cool-season grasses begin to grow in the early fall; they grow more vigorously in low temperatures. The ideal time to aerate cool-season grasses is in the late summer or early fall. The most common kinds of cool-season grasses are:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Ryegrass
  • Fescue
  • Creeping Bentgrass

Different Varieties of Soil

Different types of soil also determine the ideal time and frequency of lawn aeration. Because clay soil compacts so easily, it should be aerated once a year or more. Since most people in Ann Arbor MI have clay soil, aeration is especially important there.

Homeowners who have sandier soil can aerate their lawns once a year, or even every other year. In drier climates, aerating your lawn twice a year will help your lawn grow faster and stay healthy.

Why Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Aeration is the best weapon against the inevitable process of soil compaction. Aeration is the simple process of perforating your lawn’s soil with many small holes that allow water, air, and nutrients the ability to penetrate to the grass’s roots. In turn, this helps the roots grow deeper, which produces a healthier, more vibrant lawn.

Aeration is especially important if your lawn:

  • Is used heavily–if you’ve got children who play in the lawn a lot, your soil is probably compacted
  • Has a spongy feel, or dries out quickly
  • Is part of a newly-constructed home. Construction plays a huge impact on soil compaction
  • Started from sod–in this case, “soil layering” probably exists. Soil layering is what happens when soil that has a finer texture gets layered over a coarser type of soil. This condition makes it harder for grass roots to develop.

Choosing the Right Type of Aeration

If you live in Ann Arbor MI, you should be aerating your lawn at least once a year. Whether you choose a spike aerator or a plug aerator, you’ll help your grass have healthier roots. While the middle of the Summer isn’t the best time to aerate, depending on your grass, early or late Summer is the ideal time.