Should I Aerate My Lawn in Summer? Warm Season Grass Aeration

Want to know one of the secrets to a lush and healthy lawn? Lawn aeration!

The truth is, fantastic-looking lawns don’t just happen. Thriving and healthy lawns are the result of a lot of attention and care, including proper aeration.

Aeration is one of the most neglected but critical tasks that can be performed on your lawn. If you’ve ever wondered why a golf course looks so amazing, it’s because they are investing in lawn aeration.

Of course, proper aeration is key. One important factor is the timing. So many lawns here in Memphis, TN are made up of warm-season grasses. If you are wondering when to aerate warm-season grass, the answer is summer.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the timing of lawn aeration in summer as well as why it’s so important that you don’t overlook this important service.

Should I Aerate My Lawn in Summer?

The answer to this depends upon what type of grass you have.

The time to aerate a warm-season lawn is in the early summer. And as we mentioned, most homeowners here in Memphis, TN do have warm-season grass, like Bermudagrass, so the summer (or late spring) will be their optimal time for lawn aeration.

lawn care technician aerates lawn

You might have heard that lawn aeration helps a lawn to “breathe.” What that means is that the process of making small holes (by pulling cores of soil) throughout your lawn will help to break up compaction and create more favorable growing conditions for your grass.

The early summer is when your warm-season lawn is going to be growing most rapidly, making it an optimal time to relieve compaction and allow oxygen, nutrients, and water to better penetrate the soil and reach the root zone. By performing lawn aeration in the summer, you are giving your warm-season lawn the best chance to perform optimally and thrive as it grows.

As you might have guessed, if you had a lawn made up of primarily cool-season grass, then lawn aeration would be best performed in the fall.

Understanding the Benefits of Lawn Aeration

Now that you have a good understanding of when to aerate warm-season grass, you might be wondering more about why it’s so important.

As we mentioned above, aeration helps to relieve compacted soil and allows your lawn’s roots to receive more of what they need to thrive (oxygen, water, and nutrients). Aeration also helps to break up thatch, which is a naturally-occurring, dead organic material that can build up on top of the soil.

aeration plugs in grass

Having a layer of thatch can also make your lawn more susceptible to pest and disease problems.

People are often surprised to learn that the cores of soil left in the lawn are also an important part of the lawn aeration process. The holes definitely help to relieve compaction but those soil cores (what is pulled out) are also helpful. When left to lay in the yard they will eventually break down and recycle valuable nutrients back into the soil.

This will allow more beneficial microorganisms in your soil to thrive, helping it to build resiliency.

A Word on DIY Aeration

Since aerator rentals are available to homeowners, we sometimes get asked about whether this is something homeowners can just tackle on their own. The truth is, aeration can be a bit more arduous than people tend to realize.

lawn care technician aerates lawn with walk behind machine

Before you go and perform lawn aeration in summer, on your own, we’d suggest you keep these points in mind.

  • Equipment rental availability and transport: If you are thinking about DIY aeration, you’ll need to be responsible for finding time to rent the equipment. Just because you have a free weekend does not mean a rental will be available. And once you do get the rental, you’ll need to be responsible for transporting it to your home (and then back to the rental site). This will require access to a pick-up truck or a trailer. You’ll also need to think about safely unloading and loading the aerator. There are often just more logistics involved with the process than people tend to realize.
  • Subpar equipment: Another important consideration is the quality of the equipment. A lawn aeration service is ultimately only as good as the equipment it’s being completed with. Unfortunately, if you’re using an aerator rental, you’re using a piece of equipment that has been used by hundreds before you.
  • An arduous and even risky task: We also want to caution homeowners that aeration is a lot of work—particularly with a push aerator which is most likely what you will be renting. It can actually be exhausting and probably not how you want to spend a free weekend. You also have to keep in mind that this is heavy machinery and there is some risk involved. If operated improperly, you could wind up tearing up your lawn or possibly damaging irrigation or invisible dog fence lines. You assume that risk yourself if you are tackling this on your own.

We make these points not to worry anyone but rather to ensure that you feel like you have a good sense of what you’re getting into if you tackle DIY aeration. For as important as a service as it is, we never want to see homeowners discouraged people things went wrong for them.

With the hassles and headaches involved in DIY aeration, oftentimes, homeowners find that hiring a pro just takes the burden off of their shoulders and is worth the investment.

lawn care technician talks with homeowner about lawn

While professional aeration isn’t cheap, you have to weigh the cost vs. the value.

DIY aeration certainly isn’t free—you still have to pay for the aerator rental and possibly even rent a trailer if you don’t have a way to transport the equipment. You also have to give up your time, which is certainly worth something. But most importantly, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get as good results as you would by hiring a professional.

Making Your Lawn Aeration Wish Our Command

If you truly want the best for your lawn, we suggest you consider professional help. Here at Master Lawn, we are serious about your lawn wishes. That’s why you can continue to count on us to steer you in the best direction.

Don’t get stuck with a lawn that falls short of your expectations. By choosing Master Lawn, you’ll be on your way to the lawn that you desire.

Ready to have a lawn that you love at your Tennessee or Northern Mississippi home? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

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