When to aerate a lawn: for a beautiful lawn

When it comes to maintaining a lawn, there is perhaps no task more crucial than aeration. Knowing when to aerate a lawn can mean the difference between a beautiful lawn and a bare garden.

Once you know how to aerate a lawn, it is recommended to learn when to air to achieve the best effect. Aerating your lawn at the right time can have a positive impact on your lawn and garden ideas for the rest of the year, and even prevent and resolve major lawn disasters such as waterlogged lawns and repair stains in the grass.

Here, experts have offered their tips for aerating your lawn at the right time of year for best results.


Chiana Dickson

Chiana has written numerous articles for Homes & Gardens, many of which focus on garden maintenance. She spends her days chatting with gardening experts to learn from their advice so she can educate the H&G audience through her articles.

As fall approaches, Chiana turns her attention to seasonal changes in design and gardening so that readers’ homes are prepared for the year ahead.

When to aerate a lawn

“Spring and fall provide the best conditions for aerating your lawn,” says Rachel Crow, garden editor for Homes & Gardens. “The ground is naturally moist during these seasons, but not too wet, making it easy to drill holes without much effort.”

Aerate in the spring

Lawn and flowerbed with blooming magnolia next to an open gate

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Spring is often the most common time to aerate a lawn as it coincides with the growing season for most grasses. Aerating your lawn during this vital growth period allows the grass to heal properly from winter.

“Spring aeration prepares your lawn for the long, hot summer months and the dry weather they bring,” says Rachel. “It is important to only aerate your lawn in the spring when the soil is not too wet but moist, because aerating moist soil will not allow water or air to reach the roots effectively.”

March through the early summer months of June, before the intense heat is the perfect time to start spring aerating, ready for summer. “The better quality and better maintained a lawn is, the longer it can withstand drought and the faster it will recover,” adds Jonathan Hill, sales manager and lawn expert at Rolawn (opens in a new tab).

Ventilate in autumn

Victorian cottage exterior with the lawn in the foreground and climbing plants.

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

“Aeration can help the lawn recover from arid conditions, so fall is a good time to start,” says Jonathan. “It’s always best to aerate your lawn when the grass is growing and especially before applying lawn food or topdressing. Autumn usually provides good conditions for aerating your lawn – it’s growing season and the soil is likely to be naturally wetter, which will produce the best results.

“During an extended period without water, the grass will go dormant to conserve energy. As a result, a lawn will turn brown and dry, but roots are unlikely to die,” adds Jonathan, making aeration the ideal activity in early fall to restore your soil health during the cooler months. colder. “In the majority of cases, turf will begin to recover within a few weeks once the rains return.”

Fall is the best time for more intense aeration, as your lawn will have more time to recover during the winter. Consider doing this more invasive aeration from late September to mid-October before bitter frosts and in a period of little to no rain for best results. Aeration during times when frosts are likely to cause your lawn to heave, ruining your garden design ideas.

Aeration in the fall also comes at a similar time to overseed your lawn in the fallso the combination of these tasks will help ensure a strong, lush lawn the following year.

Why aerating a lawn is important

Lawn with beech trees at the end beside a stone wall with views of the valley beyond.

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

“Scarifying or aerating grass is essential to keeping your lawn healthy because it removes thatch and moss, which if left behind can prevent dense grass from growing properly,” Paul Hicks, product and marketing manager at STIHL (opens in a new tab) Explain. “By penetrating the soil surface, scarification allows light, moisture and essential nutrients to be absorbed by the base. You can scarify with a rake or, for a more thorough approach, use a dedicated machine such as the STIHL RLA 240 cordless scarifier which has been specially designed to gently remove any growth inhibiting moss, thatch and weeds.

Do I really need to aerate my lawn?

Although you don’t have to aerate your lawn, your garden may face adverse conditions and poor growth if you don’t. Compacted soils or heavy, non-draining soils such as clay-based soils can inhibit lawn growth and grass can become more prone to disease, pests and the negative consequences of drought or rain. engorgement.

Can I air in early spring?

You can aerate your lawn in early spring as long as the cold winter frosts and frequent rains have subsided. When aerating in early spring, however, watch for weeds because ideal grass growing conditions also breed weeds.

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