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Best time to aerate the lawn

Aeration promotes a stronger root system and will reduce thatch problems

Core aeration on lawnNow is a great time to aerate the lawn. This aeration will promote a stronger root system and reduce thatch problems.

Core aerators are available from rental stores. Use self-propelled units with vertically operating, hollow tines. Two to four passes are recommended.

Avoid drum rollers (they pull shallower cores) and avoid solid tines (they may actually compact the soil). Do not aerate when the soil is wet since this may compact the ground. 

All lawns benefit from aeration, but most lawns will never need it. Let me repeat: most lawns will never need it.

Spring is another good time to aerate the lawn, but disturbing the soil in spring can lead to weed problems.

Source: J.C. Stier. 2001. Lawn maintenance. Publication A3435. University of Wisconsin: Madison.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in NDSU Yard & Garden Report, September 15, 2014. Photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: Vincent Ma.

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