Wondering when to aerate your lawn in Minnesota? The short answer — Fall, particularly after Labor Day and throughout September.
Now for the long answer — Timing is one of the most important factors when it comes to lawn aeration. If you aerate too early or during the heat of the summer, you can end up harming your lawn instead of helping your grass grow strong and healthy. Whereas, our Minnesota fall weather, ideal for apple picking, football, and pumpkin-flavored everything, is also the best time to get your yard in shape.
Why Aerate in the Fall?
The warm soil and cool air of autumn are the perfect combination for aeration and overseeding, which should go hand-in-hand. (See below for why you should combine these two yard maintenance tasks). September provides enough time for your grass to develop new roots and grow strong before the first frost hits.
When should you avoid aerating your lawn?
If your grass is brown, it’s not the right time! Aerating during the hot summer or during a drought will lead to root damage and suppress grass growth. Make sure your grass is green and moist.
Also, aerating too close to winter will impede strong root development before the freezing temperatures come. Your grass needs time to rejuvenate and grow after the aeration and overseeding process. In short, avoid dry periods, heat waves, or cold snaps so that your grass has the best chance of reaping the benefits of aeration.
Unlike other areas in the country, our Rock Solid team does not recommend spring aeration in Minnesota. “There is too much competition for nutrients; everything is starting to come alive and grow during the Spring. During the Fall you have a lot of the weeds dying off and less competition for the same nutrients,” explains Jim, Rock Solid owner.
Why Aeration is Important
Aeration helps prevent soil compaction and increases water absorption and root development, which results in greener, healthier, stunning lawns.
If your yard receives heavy use as a playground for your kids or your dog running in circles, your soil will be compacted over time. Or if you have a new build, the construction traffic will have compacted the subsoil of your yard. Soil compaction results in poor nutrient uptake and water absorption.
Aeration also helps reduce excess thatch or soil layering. If your yard dries out easily and has a spongy feel, you may have a thatch problem. Soil layering happens when new finer soil, like when installing new sod, is layered on coarser soil. This finer layer traps water and which prevents deep root growth into the lower coarser layer. Aeration helps the water reach the lower layer.
How To Aerate Your Lawn
To make sure the job is done correctly and to save you the hassle of renting the right equipment, we suggest you hire a professional. Rock Solid offers aeration and overseeding as an individual service or part of one of our comprehensive maintenance programs.
To prep your yard, water your lawn the day before so that your soil isn’t dry. Nothing makes the job harder than dry soil. Also, remember to flag your irrigation heads and other hidden objects in the lawn so that you avoid them.
Afterwards, leave the plugs on your yard so that the nutrients will leach back into the soil. And, as we mentioned, overseed. Overseed your lawn by apply a large amount of seed all over your lawn. The freshly aerated lawn provides healthy soil for the seed to germinate. Water abundantly for two weeks after overseeding; you don’t want to let the new seed dry out.
The benefits of overseeding in the fall are that it helps thicken up your lawn, increases drought resistance, and reduces weed presence for the upcoming spring.
So, as the long days of summer come to an end, contact us to learn about our aeration and overseeding services.