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Landscaping Lawn aeration

Published on August 5th, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


The essential August/September to do for a healthy lawn

Lawn aeration, as hinted in the name, is the natural process of air exchange between the soil and the atmosphere around it. It plays an important role in the healthy growth of grass by enabling more microorganisms, worms, fertilizer and water to reach lawn root systems. The more aeration occurring, the healthier, more drought-resistant a lawn will be.

By late summer, it’s common for lawns to have developed thatch, a mix of dead grass, stems, leaves and other debris. This makes it more difficult for aeration to occur naturally.

For most parts of the U.S. and Canada, August and September are ideal months to aerate lawns prior to fall fertilization, before temperatures drop and soil hardens. This will maximize the benefits of the fertilizer, strengthen the root system and foster a healthier spring lawn.

Note: Ideal timing for aeration/fertilization timing may differ in your region, as it depends on the grass type. Call your local university’s horticulture or turfgrass department or speak with staff at your local garden center about when aeration is best for your grass type.

Most landscaping businesses offer lawn aeration services but it definitely can be a do-it-yourself project, too. It’s commonly called “core aeration” in the landscaping – lawn service industry. It’s also frequently referred to as lawn cultivation, lawn or soil coring, spiking and slicing.

Do-it-yourself aeration can be done using a simple garden fork to remove small plugs of thatch and soil. For more expansive lawns, you should consider renting a lawn dethatcher and/or core aeration tool from a local home improvement store or garden center. A professional tool will enable you to cover more lawn, faster.

Professional lawn dethatcher - lawn care tool

Lawn dethatcher tool

Lawn core aeration tool

Lawn core aeration tool

Happy lawn aerating!

Equipment photos courtesy of  Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.

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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

6 Responses to The essential August/September to do for a healthy lawn

  1. Tanya says:

    My husband and I are looking into putting grass in our front yard. Its so hot here though that I wondering if it will work out. I will keep this tip in mind for next year when we will hopefully have our lawn.

    • Hi Tanya! Thanks for reading. Exciting about the lawn plans! What part of the country is your home located? You should definitely talk to your local garden center before installing the sod or seeding. Procedures vary by region greatly. Let us know how it goes!

  2. Sierra Bell says:

    Jeff..informative read.. Lawn is only as healthy as the ground it is grown upon and garden and Landscape ideas to create a beautiful backyard that is good for the environment through conservation of natural resources. You have to exert an effort to make it beautiful and more to keep it in good condition. Remember, proper maintenance is the key. It may seem like a big challenge, but once you learn how to do it, you’ll be able to take good care of your lawn easily.

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