Hard freeze coming up, when to aerate?


Old 10-01-12, 04:31 PM
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Hard freeze coming up, when to aerate?

Here in WI we will be having a hard freeze coming up this weekend. The temps have been in the high 60's lately. I have a small yard so I just manually aerate. The last rain that we had was over a week ago. When would be a good time to aerate? I know that it's usually a day or two after a rainstorm, but in my case there's no rain and a hard freeze coming up. Help!

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Old 10-01-12, 05:11 PM
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I don't know about your forecast, but I am just 300 miles west of you and we have a prediction of a hard FROST (28F to 32F) coming up, but I a am sure there will be colder local spots. But, that is air temperature and NOT soil temperature.

Aerating is not an immediate thing to cause soil to grow, but it can do a good job to improves the soil and the ability of the soil to absorb and hold moisture later on. You aerate for the following months and years and not really for the short term.

The are two types of aeration"

1. Spike aeration that just makes holes and tightens the surrounding soil since the spikes poke in. The only thing less desirable is wearing golf shoes when walking on the lawn. The holes fill in a few days when the moisture returns.

2. Core aeration takes out plugs of grass and leaves them on the lawn to decompose. In some cases, some sand is spread on the area. An alternate treatment after the aeration is spreading some sand and then going over the aerated area to get the sand into the holes (allows more water penetration) and break up the plugs to increase the natural physical deterioration.

It all depends what you want in the end, what you want to go through and how fussy you choose to be.

I belonged to golf club that was aerating on a twice a year basis. Some problem areas with poor soil were aerated more frequently. All aeration was core aeration. Since a golf course relies on uniformly healthy turf it was very big and important thing to do. There they had complete control over moisture and obviously, watered areas in advance of aeration and afterward to help break up the cores quickly. In some areas, they would water one night and then late the next day, they would aerate (and sand, if necessary) and they use wires early the next morning to break any materials up.

It is a slow, long ongoing term grass improvement that is determined by the soil conditions, the degree of concern and the desired grass quality.


Last edited by Concretemasonry; 10-01-12 at 07:08 PM.
Old 10-01-12, 05:15 PM
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I use this to manually aerate i fall every year and I can honestly say my lawn is one of the best looking lawns. Review: Lawn Aeration Tool - Lawn Butler D-6C - YouTube

I have a very small yard, but it still takes me about 2 hours. What worries me this year is the bad drought that we had, not enough rain when we need it and when precisely to aerate now in October because I need to also put down some Scott's Winterguard fertilzer.
Old 10-02-12, 05:51 AM
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You want to aerate when your lawn is actively growing - late summer/early fall for cool season grasses and late spring for warm season grasses is typically best.

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