Because we have cool season grasses in Northeast Ohio, the best time to aerate your lawn is early spring or early fall. Timing aeration during the active growing season in your region ensures grass grows where the soil has been exposed.
Why Aerate Your Lawn?
Compacted soil from frequent activity and thatch, or the appearance of brown and gray buildup from dead roots, stems, and grass, leaves less room for water to flow to your lawn’s roots. Aeration breaks up soil compaction and thatch by removing small plugs or “cores” from the soil, allowing essential nutrients like air, water, and fertilizer to penetrate the root system, which creates a stronger, healthier lawn.
If you are struggling with thinning grass, the perfect time to overseed, or add seed to existing grass, is right after core aeration. This ensures the new grass seeds make good contact with the nutrient rich soil, allowing for optimal growing conditions. In addition to a fuller, healthier lawn, as the grass thickens, it makes it harder for weeds to grow. You can read more about the benefits of aerating and overseeding your lawn here.
How to Aerate Your Lawn
If you are planning a DIY lawn aeration, you can typically rent an aerator from a local lawn and garden store. Before starting, note where any sprinkler heads are in your lawn so you do not run them over and cause damage. Keep in mind it is best to water your lawn one to two days before you aerate to soften the soil. Be sure to follow the equipment instructions carefully and go over sections in a perpendicular direction to ensure you are breaking up the right amount of soil. Finally, once you have completed aerating, water your lawn.
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