Core Aeration in Spring?

tbonejonesFebruary 25, 2009

Is there any value to this? I live in central Ohio and my 3.5 year old sod Blue-Rye lawn has never been cored; I only mulch my clippings and never bag them.

Most things I've read say its only worthwhile to core aerate in the autumn. My soil beneath the sod is clay/loam.

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If you always mulch mow, you may not need to core aerate at all. I've lived in my current home for more than 10 years and I've only core aerated once. And our soil is clay with almost no organic matter. When I moved in, I could only water for a short time before the water started running off, but I can now water for a long time with no runoff.

I think that the mulch mowing and used coffee grounds that I've added have increased the organic content (and the worm population) so that the soil is now naturally aerated.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:17PM
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I think if you are willing to put forth the necessary resources, it is a good idea to aerate. Core aerating is the best method in my opinion because it actually removes part of the soil. This will give your soil access to more oxygen and water, which will almost always help the health of your lawn. I would give it a try.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:16PM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

The whole purpose of core aerating is to relieve compaction which is denying the deeper soil of air, water, and nutrients. If you can push (not pound) a screwdriver 6 inches into the soil, then itÂs not compacted. If after the screwdriver test, you decide to aerate, be sure to do so before any pre-emergent herbicide is put down to avoid disturbing the herbicide barrier. Bill Hill

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:43PM
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We have a lot of clay in our soil so I aerate in Fall and Spring. Of course I have a core aerator so I don't have to rent one.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:52PM
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You can aerate at any time except in the heat of summer and get some benefit from doing so. Your lawn is new and you could possibly get away without aerating for several more years, The soil in Ohio is usually good soil for grass. Eventually your going to need to aerate, one year all them clippings aren't going to return to the soil and the thatch begins to show up then compaction begins to appear. Myself I would aerate lightly and overseed over the holes in the soil every year rather than wait for the lawn to get old and problems appear . Grass clippings and coffee grounds isn't going to change the composition of the soil much. It takes a lot of organic matter applied to the soil to seriously change the soil. When I was farming we used to return organic matter by the truck loads. Myself, I aerate two times a year and the amount of holes in a square foot of soil is incredible so I won't get into that discussion again this year. It does a lot of good but sometimes it's un necessary.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 1:25AM
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Aeration gives your soil relief from compaction. Soil gets hard and it becomes tough for grass roots to develop. Aerating gives the soil some relief. Oxygen is then readily available directly to the roots; water is more easily absorbed. In your zone it's probably best done in either early spring, like March, or in late June or even late September. In Northeast Ohio, during these months you are less likely to find weed seed propagating and aerating only creates a perfect environment for these weeds to germinate and establish roots. The KEY is to aerate BEFORE your perennial weeds blossom. In Ohio, some dandelions blossom two to three times a growing season. Dandelions are a great time-frame reference tool. As long as they're not in your yard!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:35AM
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theaerator(East TN)

It's pretty beneficial. I generally aerate before overseeding anyway for better germination. Kill to birds with one stone.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 4:13PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

If you have many earthworms, you don't need it. They do the job for you anyway.

If you've used all kinds of chemicals, you probably don't have enough earthworms to make it worthwhile. I've been on organic program and I couldn't believe how many earthworms I have despite living on limestone rubbles which used to be like trying to dig a hole in a concrete slab. Now it's much more workable. I've helped neighbors plant trees and they almost never have earthworms. If they did, it wasn't very many. The ones with no earthworms tend to be the most compacted soil and it was very tough to dig.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 5:42PM
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