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Lawn Aeration Do's and Don'ts for the Fall Season

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

As any knowledgeable green thumb may tell you, lawn aeration is the key to lush, durable grass. September, October, and November should be ideal months for getting this cumbersome project off your plate. Here's a list of lawn aeration do's and don'ts that can ensure your project goes off without a hitch.

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Lawn Aeration Do's

There's much to be said for handling a lawn project the right way the first time. Despite the seemingly simple nature of lawn aeration, it's good to know the proper methods for preparing your lawn for optimal seeding and growth. Here's what to do:

  • Do it on time: Aerate in the fall. In arid climates, aerate at least twice per year.
  • Do water well. Water heavily the night before you aerate to ensure soft, pliable soil for the spikes to dig into.
  • Do core aerate. Spike aerators simply make holes. Core aerators pull out plugs of earth and create a perfect nest for new seeds.
  • Do leave plugs. After core aeration, leave the plugs on the lawn to assist in the build-up of microorganisms that help to fertilize new seedlings.
Lawn Aeration Don'ts

Knowing how to aerate means knowing what not to do. Stay away from these common, harmful practices:

  • Don't aerate your hose: A lawn aerator will mash holes into your garden hose and render it useless.
  • Don't use spike shoes. Spike-shoed aerators are a waste of time and money.
  • Don't spike, aerate. Spike aerators don't pull out the plugs of earth that help provide nutrients to developing lawns.

Armed with some know-how, lawn aeration should be a simple step in creating a beautiful and green lawn.

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About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.



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