Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Best Times to Aerate a Lawn

By Damon Hildebrand
Aerating a lawn provides a means for vital necessities to penetrate the ground.
grass image by palms from Fotolia.com

One of the most important treatments for enhancing a lawn is to improve the soil. Allowing adequate moisture, nutrients and fertilizers to reach the lawn’s root bed improves the grass’ growth rate and health. Aerating the soil provides a means for vital necessities to penetrate the ground and feed the lawn. Both seasons and soil conditions determine the optimum times to perforate the ground.

Warm Season Grasses

After a long winter of dormancy, warm season grasses begin greening up in early spring. A plug aerator run through the lawn’s soil in spring will jump-start new growth and help prevent weeds.

Cool Season Grasses

Cooling temperatures with the approaching fall season brings out wintering grasses. Permeating the ground just before fall relieves soil compaction and allows rain and irrigated water to penetrate throughout the soil.

Clay Soil

Tightly-knit clay becomes impenetrable to moisture and necessary elements that promote vigorous lawn growth. Plug aeration applied twice yearly in these conditions aid in alleviating soil tension and creates paths for fall fertilizers and water to reach their mark.

Sandy Loam Soils

Generally loose and acceptable to minerals and oxygen, sandy soils need to be aerated every only three to four years or more. Nonetheless, occasionally running a plug aerator through sandy loam soils helps to improve distribution of minerals and moisture and encourages microbial growth.


About the Author


Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.