Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
4/25/13 3:47 p.m.

I have had it done in the past - I have also taken a pass some years. Some do it in the fall - some do it in the spring. Sometimes it looks like a lot of dog poop on my lawn. Does anybody ever see a difference?

Lawn guys - please speak up. Lawn aerating.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
4/25/13 3:48 p.m.

Nope -we're not even going here.

yamaha
yamaha UltraDork
4/25/13 3:49 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy:

I just let the giant earthworms aerate mine.....

Even golf courses look like what you've posted, so I'm going to just say thats normal.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
4/25/13 4:47 p.m.

I have never Aerated or Dethatched. I mow with a mulching mower. My lawn looks pretty good. Its incredibly green. Its not all grass, but its all green.

My lawn in TX I tried to make really nice since it was so small. I wasted so much effort and money on chemicals, a bagging mower, even bought a tiller so I could fix a few spots. In the end it was just a chase and it became some weird obsession.

Now I have an acre and its green. I mow it. Done.

curtis73
curtis73 UltraDork
4/25/13 4:57 p.m.
yamaha wrote: I just let the giant earthworms aerate mine.....

I just let the freeze of winter Aerate mine. The ground heaves up an inch or so from the freezing. In the spring my lawn is so soft I could dig a hole with my hands.... and that's in western PA clay-ish soil.

Datsun310guy...

You can't hurt a lawn by Aerating it. I work for a rental company that rents Aerators. while I have no personal experience with it, my education on the process suggests this: If you have to choose spring or fall, Aerate in the spring. Way more benefit. You aerate, the rains swell the dirt, and that is also the time when the grass is coming out of dormancy and growing new roots. In the fall, you get the benefit of aeration and the freezes allow for that swelling, but there is no new growth. After a full winter of weight, freezing, and settling, you can see that aeration does much less in the fall.

Basically, from what I learned, Aerate in the spring, Dethatch in the fall. If you want to overseed in the spring there is nothing wrong with Dethatching then as well. General consensus for spring overseeding is that you should Aerate first, let the ground take a few rains (a couple weeks), then rent a dethatcher, then overseed.

iceracer
iceracer UberDork
4/25/13 5:33 p.m.

I rake my lawn in the spring in order to get rid of all of the junk that collected in the winter.

I mow with a rotary mower and let the cut grass fertilize the lawn. works great, grass keeps growing and I have to keep mowing it and on an on.

jere
jere Reader
4/25/13 5:40 p.m.

I was thinking about renting some kind of aeration solution but then I came across the idea of no mow Fescue grass (something like this. ) If I ever start caring about what the yard looks like again, I am going to till it all under and dump Fescue mix around and never think about yard care again.

FranktheTank
FranktheTank Reader
4/25/13 5:59 p.m.

I can tell you right now that every lawn service is nothing but a huge ripoff.

If you get too obsessive hit it with a tiller every ten years or so. Choose a good hardy grass and now it with sharp blades at a reasonable height.

I like dead spots in my yard... It's just less I have to mow. My yard is 3 acres on a massive hill.

btabacchi
btabacchi New Reader
4/25/13 6:08 p.m.

My wife and I used to operate a lawn service and we did a ton of aeration.The primary purpose is to relieve compaction of the soil. Soil compaction is bad news for grass. The tines on a plug type aerator (vs blades on a slice type) leave small holes allow water, air, nutrients to get to the root system, and the soil plugs left on the ground help to break up thatch when they decompose. A lot of people aerate in the spring but the fall is really the best time, at least here in the clay filled mid-west.

If you rent a machine look for the newer types that offer easy to use hydro controls vs the drum and roller type that will beat you to death.

yamaha
yamaha UltraDork
4/25/13 7:25 p.m.

In reply to curtis73: My house is on a good 'ol Indiana clay hill......and it does the same thing. I have to roll it every spring, but the earthworms are going to town raising it again.....idk wtf is going on.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
4/25/13 8:37 p.m.
btabacchi wrote: the fall is really the best time, at least here in the clay filled mid-west. If you rent a machine look for the newer types that offer easy to use hydro controls vs the drum and roller type that will beat you to death.

I will wait until the fall. A local guy walks door-to-door and does everyone's lawn. $45. I can rent it for $35 + tax. It's well worth the $7 extra.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
4/25/13 9:01 p.m.

Dethathching is a good idea, probably more so than areating. I'm currently restarting a lawn which had zero care for the last 8 or so years, around here pine needles crumble and turn into an acidic thatch that stunts grass growth. I raked all mine up (no fun) then put down lime, fertilizer and ryegrass seed 2 weeks ago. It's growing so fast right now you nearly have to jump out of the way. Growing a lawn's sorta like growing a beard: let it grow like crazy so that it looks like hell and then mow it. I figure sometime in May I'll cut it the first time.

turboswede
turboswede PowerDork
4/25/13 9:12 p.m.

Sounds like its time to practice your 1-inch punch.

btabacchi
btabacchi New Reader
4/25/13 9:42 p.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote: I will wait until the fall. A local guy walks door-to-door and does everyone's lawn. $45. I can rent it for $35 + tax. It's well worth the $7 extra.

That's not a bad idea either. Just make sure that he's pulling at least 2-3" cores so that you're not wasting your money.

drainoil
drainoil Reader
4/26/13 7:55 p.m.

I quit aerating after I figured out it spread quackgrass seeds. Anyone know of something that selectively kills quackgrass without killing the good grass??

Mitchell
Mitchell SuperDork
4/27/13 8:50 p.m.

I like my dad's philosophy to lawn care: throw out a bunch of seed of different species and be happy with whatever grows.

Our Preferred Partners
DuV7jFN9hk78GFcUon4Ud0iFNSDYnVIG1nCtYoOjT88ucHlkG4sRJNHFgLHszjiy