When is the Best Time to Aerate?
Aeration is best performed just before or during periods of high growth, but not immediately preceding or during periods of stress to the lawn, whether from heat or drought. The type of grasses that make up your lawn will determine the best time of year to aerate.
If you’re working with cool-season grasses, including bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass, it’s best to aerate during the growth periods in the spring and fall.
In the spring, wait until you’ve mowed the lawn a few times before aerating. This will ensure the lawn is growing fast enough to recover and take advantage of the increased pore space and air exchange at the root zone that aeration creates.
What To Do Before or After Aeration
Watering after aeration is always a good idea, as Friell said aeration should never be performed when turf is wet, or the dirt contains enough moisture to be muddy.
As mentioned earlier, the application of fertilizer and weed killer is beneficial shortly following aeration, but be sure to skip the weed killer if you’re going to overseed following aeration.
Friell said overseeding following aeration makes sense because seeds can take advantage of the disturbed surface to create better seed-to-soil contact.
“Better seed-to-soil contact means better conditions for successful germination.”