Why You Shouldn't Aerate Your Lawn in the Spring
When spring has sprung, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of potential gardening and home improvement projects to take on. As flowers bloom and you get ready to enjoy the spring sunshine in your backyard, you may start to notice the imperfections in your landscape.
If a long winter has you scrambling to boost your lawn’s health at the last minute, you’re not alone. Luckily, there’s one spring lawn chore you can skip this year – Aeration!
What is Aeration?
When we ask homeowners the last time they had their lawn aerated, we find that many of them don’t know what core aeration is, or why aeration and seeding is beneficial.
Over time, your soil naturally becomes compacted. Hot sun, hard rain, and months of mowing can lead to a layer of thatch – organic matter made up of dead grass and roots that collects at the base of the living grass on your lawn – making it difficult for oxygen, water, and other nutrients to get to the roots of your grass.
Yard aeration can improve the health of your grass, allowing roots to grow deeper and stronger. By punching through thatch build-up and improving your grass' access to nutrients, aeration can protect your landscape from disease and harsh weather, promoting fresh growth that gives you a healthier, more resilient lawn.
Most importantly, aeration makes seeding more effective, allowing for better seed-to-soil contact for better germination and growth.
It sounds great – right? But if you live in Maryland or Virginia, aerating and seeding your lawn in spring can actually do more harm than good!
Why is Spring Aeration Less Effective For My Lawn?
Aerating and seeding your Maryland or Virginia lawn in the spring can actually make your spring and summer lawn care more difficult! Seeding after aeration in the spring can be less effective for several reasons:
- Your lawn is more vulnerable to disease in the spring. With April showers (or May showers!) comes increased spread of fungus and disease. Aerating in the spring opens the roots of your grass up to a host of moisture-related problems.
- Spring aeration helps everything grow – even weeds! Grassy weeds thrive under the same conditions as grass seed, meaning you’re not just creating an environment where grass can grow quickly – you’re opening your lawn up to a free-for-all!
When Should I Aerate My Lawn Instead?
The best time to aerate and seed your lawn is in late summer or early fall since it will give you thicker, denser grass – which is why we recommend fall seeding be done between mid-August and October 1.
Most grass in Maryland and Northern Virginia is cool season turf. These grasses slow their growth in the fall before becoming dormant in winter. We get a lot of questions from our clients about the role fall aeration and seeding can play in their overall lawn health, but there are lots of benefits, including:
Fall Aeration and Seeding Improves Healthy Root Growth
Cool season grasses may slow down in fall, but here in Maryland and Northern Virginia, the soil stays warm into November. This means that below the surface, grass roots will continue to grow. When you seed in the fall, your grass has easier access to fertilizer, nutrients, and water, so the roots can grow deeper into the soil and give you a stronger, more resilient lawn.
Fall Aeration and Seeding Prepares Your Lawn for Winter
We’re no strangers to snow and ice during the wintertime, but if you’re not giving your lawn the tools it needs to survive, our cold weather can take a toll on your grass. Lawns that are tired and dry after a long summer of use often don’t survive the cold, meaning you have to invest even more money in spring to revive your grass and fix brown patches.
Aerating your Maryland or Virginia lawn in the fall revitalizes it before dormancy, making new seedlings better equipped to handle chilly winters and setting your lawn up to thrive when next spring arrives!
Fall Aeration and Seeding Encourages Fresh Growth
Grass can survive for a few years, but fresh growth is still important to the overall look and feel of your lawn. Without fresh growth, large sections of your grass can die off all at once, leaving bare patches. Seeding in the fall encourages fresh growth of healthy grass, keeping your lawn thicker and healthier from year to year.
Additional Benefits Provided by Core Aeration
- Helps to prevent the buildup of harmful elements and toxins in the soil and root system
- Protects plants from diseases and pathogens that are caused by poor aeration
- Leads to increased activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil that promote plant health
- Helps to prevent fertilizer and pesticides from running off due to soil compaction
Can I Get Seeding in the Spring Without Aeration?
Yes! Due to advancements in our products and technology, Blades of Green is now available to seed and provide weed control at the same time. Although aeration is not recommended in the spring due to the potential of disease and weeds, seeding is just fine! If there are bare spots in the lawn, we certainly understand not wanting to wait until the fall to get it covered.
Benefits of overseeding your lawn include the following:
- Helps fight insects and disease by growing stronger roots to stand against them.
- Thickens the density of thinner lawns to give them a softer feel.
- Fills in areas of grass damaged by insects, disease, stress, and winter damage.
- Improves the overall appearance of the lawn.
There's a 40-50% chance that the grass will die off during the summer stress, especially if follow-up practices like mowing and watering aren't adhered to. We still recommend fall aeration and seeding even with spring seeding.
Lawn overseeding services in Maryland can improve bare and thin patches of grass and thicken the lawn. This improves the lawn's health and appearance tremendously; the thicker the grass grows, the better able it is to withstand stressors in the future.
If you are interested in improving the appearance and health of your Maryland lawn, Blades of Green can help with our aeration and overseeding services. Our highly trained professionals are prepared to ensure that your lawn gets the maximum amount of coverage for optimum benefit. If you still have questions about aeration and seeding or how to choose a provider, the technicians at Blades of Green can point you in the right direction.
Where Can I Get Aeration & Seeding in Maryland?
Blades of Green offers aeration and overseeding services in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Here are some of the locations we offer these services:
- Aeration & Overseeding in Crofton, MD
- Aeration & Overseeding in Severn, MD
- Aeration & Overseeding in Arnold, MD
- Aeration & Overseeding in Severna Park, MD
- Aeration & Overseeding in Rockville, MD
- Aeration & Overseeding in Arlington, VA
- Aeration & Overseeding in Annandale, VA
- Aeration & Overseeding in Alexandria, VA
- Aeration & Overseeding in Herndon, VA
- And More!