Time to aerate the lawn! | Gardener Joe

When the rains slow down and the lawn is not so wet and soggy, it is time to get your lawn aerated. Aerating is the preferred means of putting holes in the turf. There are many ways but the easiest is renting a machine.

I like to aerate after the first of May and again before the rains return in the fall. To begin, if you have an irrigation system it is important to locate all the heads. This would be the time to fix, locate, clean all heads and make sure they are in top working order. I like to have the system turned off and wait to water until the long dry weeks of summer arrive. Aerating is the second step in getting your lawn in great growing condition. You should thatch first.

In my past column, I went over the steps in thatching. Aerating is the same premise. You want to do your perimeter first then go back and forth in a straight line. Don’t worry about cleaning up the plugs because they will get absorbed back into the lawn in a couple of weeks. If you just thatched your lawn, wait to aerate until your seeds germinated and the turf is growing regularly. You don’t want to have the aerator destroy your fresh thatched lawn. It may be a few weeks to a month after thatching to start aerating.

It also is time to fertilize your lawn with an organic lawn food. Stay away from weed and feeds, which will destroy your soil’s developed food web. If weeds are taking hold of your lawn get to the root of the problem. In a past column, I mentioned that weeds will tell you what kind of soil you may have.

Things to start doing now would be prune plants that just got done blooming. In my next column I will go over pruning again.

happy gardening, Gardener Joe





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