Can I aerate?

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  #1  
Old 10-01-10, 07:58 AM
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Can I aerate?

This is my first time core aerating my lawn. So far everything is working against me on getting it done before the weather gets too cold. Can I aerate when the ground is wet? We had just over 2 inches of rain in the last couple days and it is finally tapering off. I would like to get it done this afternoon if possible.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-01-10, 08:15 AM
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You'll make a huge mess doing it when its wet....I'd have to recommend waiting til the top 2 inches of soil have dried out. It won't core as well and you'll smash the cores as you walk...your feet will look like a golems by the time yer done...and it won't be as effective.
 
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Old 10-01-10, 08:32 AM
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Rule of thumb is you can aerate if it rained yesterday but not today

However, lots of rain yesterday or over the last several days and I'd wait another day
 
  #4  
Old 10-01-10, 09:01 AM
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This is a disaster. I don't think I will be aerating this year then.
 
  #5  
Old 10-04-10, 04:06 AM
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I have always questioned core aerating in the fall where the ground freezes, mother nature is doing it for you when the soil freezes and expands, better to do it in mid summer. Just my 2 cents, and I see it being done every fall, snake oil.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-10, 06:24 AM
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You cannot rely on Mother Nature to fix past abuse.

I have a neighbor that just lost 3 flowering crabs because of lack of moisture. The soil has a highly compacted clay/silt that was created by Mother Nature. The previous owners did nothing but live in the townhouse/quad home. The HOA took the easy way out and said they were getting soil aeration, but it was just the spike aeraation, which is worthless. The HOA board is control by cheap residents. We own the land around our units, the HOA is responsible for basic lawn maintenance and minor tree trimming up to the 6' height.

The trees do have a limited life and the neighbor wanted to find the cause and find out what to use for his replanting. The arborist said the trees were fragile but died from a long term lack of moisture. The soil was tighly compacted and the rainfall (we had a wet year) just runs off and never gets to the tree's roots, but the tree still tries to get moisture from the "sealed" soil below and around it. The arborist gave them a list of trees that would work, but said they should have the soil core aerated twice a year, preferably with sand over treatment just like golf courses and let the core dry and deteriorate on the surface. Here, usually fall core aeration is the best time because the core break up during the fall rains and winter freezing. It is surprising how fast the cores break down and the inconvenience only lasts for a few days if it happens to rain.

I live 200' from the guy with the tree problems and have 2 very healthy identical trees, but I pay to get get my own core aeration because I like a lush lawn and did not realize the importance of the supply of surface water to tree roots. At least now, I will be a part of a group of two for getting aeration twice a year.

Dick
 
  #7  
Old 10-04-10, 06:29 AM
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What type of grass are we talking about? You might want to run a "Thatching" machine over the lawn before aeriating. This will remove any old and dead under growth which will help the lawn breath and grow much better.
 
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Old 10-04-10, 07:11 AM
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Thatch is rarely a problem and a core aeration will take care of it anyway

Aerating when the ground is frozen would be problematic, as the best time to do it is when the grass is actively growing - late summer/early fall for cool season grasses, late spring/early summer for warm season grasses
 
  #9  
Old 10-04-10, 05:38 PM
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I live in NJ. We get very little frost heaving.

If having the lawn be able to "breathe" (whatever that means) helped, I should have a great lawn. I can see dirt between my grass.
 
  #10  
Old 10-04-10, 07:16 PM
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They are still aerating the golf courses here (Minnesota) and the golf course must know how to grow grass (mainly bluegrass or fescue except for greens) because that is the main item to make money and friends.

Dick
 
  #11  
Old 10-05-10, 05:50 PM
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I wanted to lime, fertilize, add compost, and seed after I aerated. I did all of that except for the aerating on Sunday. I couldn't wait any longer to plant the seed. It's been a real challenge to get my hands on one so I have no idea when that would occur anyway. I'm going to have to get my own setup when the cash flow is better.
 
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