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The Best Time to Aerate Lawn

Manual lawn aeration with a pitch fork
Last updated: 04/15/2021
Estimated read time: 4 minutes


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. There’s one spring chore that could help bring your lawn back to life—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.

Aeration can improve the health of your grass, allowing roots to grow deeper and stronger. Core aeration is the best type of lawn aeration. 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.

The Benefits of 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.
  • Makes seeding more effective, allowing for better seed-to-soil contact and better germination & growth.

When Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Knowing when to aerate lawn will provide you with the proper knowledge so you know when to contact your lawn care professionals. While late summer/early fall is the best time to aerate lawn, spring is the second-best time.

Fall Aeration and Seeding

We recommend aeration in late summer and seeding in the fall before the turf becomes dormant in the winter months. This is because here in Maryland and Northern Virginia, soil stays warm into November, meaning the roots will continue to grow. 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!

Spring Aeration and Seeding

If you’re looking to aerate your lawn in the spring, the best time would be between March and May. While we recommend aerating your lawn in the fall, spring core aeration may be beneficial if your lawn is so compacted it refuses to grow. If this is the case, our professionals will use our advanced technology to remove the thatch buildup, and then overseed your lawn to promote growth. If you aerate your yard in the spring, be warned that this may also promote weed growth and other moisture-related problems (such as fungus and disease) as the seed and spring showers create an environment for all types of growth.

Unsure which is best for you? Give us a call!

Lawn Seeding to Complement Aeration

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 encourages fresh growth of healthy grass, keeping your lawn thicker and healthier from year to year.

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.

When Should I Seed My Lawn?

Due to advancements in our products and technology, Blades of Green is now available to seed and provide weed control at the same time in the spring, no matter what time of year you aerate your lawn. If there are bare spots in the lawn, we certainly understand not wanting to wait until the fall to get it covered.

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.

Are You in Maryland & Northern Virginia and need Aeration & Seeding?

If you are interested in improving the appearance and health of your 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.


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