The Grounds Guys
Aerial view of a landscape professional using a machine to aerate a residential lawn.

When You Should Aerate Your Lawn This Spring

The best time to aerate your lawn is when it is actively growing. It sounds pretty straightforward, right? But what complicates things a little is that the active growth period is different for different kinds of grasses. For cool-season grasses, the best time to aerate is both in spring and in fall. For warm-season grasses, however, the right time is spring through summer. To know when you should aerate your own lawn this spring, it’s important to know what type of grass you have and when each type should be aerated. 

Warm Versus Cool Season Grass 

The main difference between warm season and cool season grass is that each type exhibits active growth at different times. In most parts of the U.S., warm season grasses grow actively between April and October. Warm season grasses are heat and drought tolerant, making them ideal for warmer climates. During the cooler months, most warm season grasses will go dormant, turning brown or yellow until the warmer temperatures return. Cool season grasses, on the other hand, are ideal for areas that experience both hot summers and freezing winters. These grasses grow most actively in the spring and fall, when temperatures are moderate, and may go dormant in the hottest months. You can see a full list of warm and cool season grass varieties by visiting this link

When to Aerate Warm-Season Grass 

Aeration is the process of breaking up the soil and thatch on a lawn, allowing water and nutrients to better reach the roots of your grass. This process can help grass grow faster and will improve its overall health. For warm-season grasses, including Bermuda, Buffalo, and Zoysia varieties, the best time to aerate is during the spring and summer months. This corresponds with the most active growing season for these grasses. 

Related Topic: Residential Turf Enhancement Services 

When to Aerate Cool-Season Grass 

For cool-season grasses, including Ryegrass, Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass, the best time to aerate is spring and fall each year. These grasses are actively growing during the seasons with more moderate temperatures and can go dormant in the summertime. That makes it important to aerate while the roots are still active so that you achieve the healthy, green lawn you want. 

How Frequently Should You Aerate Your Lawn? 

For most residential lawns, it’s best to aerate about once a year. As long as you are aerating at about the same time each year, an annual aeration should be all you need to support healthy lawn growth throughout the growing season. At the same time, if your lawn gets a lot of foot traffic or the grass just doesn’t seem to thrive throughout the year, you may need to aerate twice a year until healthy growth is restored. 

How to Tell if Your Lawn Needs Aerating 

There are several signs that a lawn is in need of aeration. In addition to making aeration a regular part of your annual yard prep and/or clean-up, watch for indications that water is not penetrating the soil properly. If, after watering, you notice puddles forming or soil that seems to dry out very quickly, these are both signs that your soil is compacted which will prevent water from reaching the roots of your lawn. Other signs to look for include brown or dead spots, thin and dull grass, or grass that just doesn’t seem to grow much (if at all). These may all be symptoms of compacted soil, best remedied with regular aeration. 

When Not to Aerate Your Lawn 

Knowing when to aerate your lawn is important, but it is equally important to know when you should avoid aeration. Aerating a lawn during times when the grass is dormant is never a good idea because it can open your lawn up to weed growth or other problems. You should also avoid aerating when your lawn is wet or when it has enough moisture on it to be muddy. While it may be tempting to aerate before the warm weather arrives, it really is best to wait until the grass is actively growing before scheduling your aeration service

Get Professional Lawn Aeration Advice 

As you can see, knowing when the time is right to aerate depends on a range of different factors. Even with good information, it can be difficult to know what is right for your lawn type and climate. But The Grounds Guys are here to help! We provide quality aeration services that can help your lawn reach its lush, green potential. Visit us here to learn about our full range of residential landscape services.