It is often said that people should “take chances and make mistakes,” – but some mistakes are better off avoided if possible. When aerating your lawn in do-it-yourself (DIY) style, some errors can damage not only your yard but could also cause you to injure yourself.
When done correctly, lawn aeration can alleviate soil compaction, increase circulation in soil, and lead to optimal growing conditions for your yard.
However, when mistakes are made in timing, method, or application, your lawn can end up more damaged than when you started. Take our word for it – it’s better to learn from the mistakes of others on this one!
Choosing your aeration method
Mistake: Opting for spike or liquid aeration
Unless the space you’re planning to aerate is tiny (like small garden tiny), spike or liquid aeration are not good options. Spike aeration is just what it sounds like – using spiked shoes or a spiked apparatus to manually punch holes in the ground.
If it sounds like slowly walking across your yard in spiked shoes would take several exhausting hours…you’d be right.
Not to mention, this method of aeration has to shown to be mostly ineffective and can even further compact and stress out your grass.If you’re considering liquid aeration, we recommend you think again.
There is no solid evidence that this “shortcut” aeration method has any benefit to correcting compact soil at all.
Solution: Core Aeration is the best choice for most yards
Core aeration is the top aeration choice for nearly all lawn care experts. For core aeration, an aerator machine (resembles a lawnmower) is pushed across the grass.
As the aerator moves, it pulls out thumb-sized cores of soil and grass that are then left to degrade on the surface.
The process of opening up core-sized holes provides excellent benefits to your soil, root, and grass health. The cores left on the grass also break down over time, providing nutrients to the ground below.
Core aeration is the best technique for the easily compacted clay soils of DFW. Without a doubt, it produces the best results of any lawn aeration technique.
Deciding when to aerate your lawn
Mistake: Aerating in summer or winter
One of the most common amateur mistakes is aerating in the hot and dry conditions of summer. You should never aerate in hot temperatures or dry conditions.
Aeration is designed to alleviate stressed-out lawns after a harsh season and prepare the yard for the next tough one.
Your lawn needs mild temperatures and extra rainfall to help it quickly fill in those core holes and boost root and grass growth. Bottom line:
This treatment will likely only cause further stress if you aerate during a stressful season.
Solution: Aerate every spring and fall
Aerating twice a year is a great way to keep your yard healthy, especially if your lawn grows on Dallas clay soils that are easily compacted. When should those two times be? Spring and fall!
Aerating in spring encourages thick growth during the growing season. Fall’s cool temperatures and extra rain make it another excellent opportunity to aerate.
Autumn aeration helps your lawn recover from summer stress faster and also helps it toughen up before winter dormancy.
Using aeration equipment
Mistake: Improper handling of equipment and poor application
Once you’ve spent the money, rented the machine, loaded and unloaded that heavy equipment, the last problem you want to deal with is user error. Knowing how to use aeration equipment is essential for safety and getting the healthy lawn results you’re seeking.
Aerating at the wrong time or in the wrong way can actually put more stress on your yard. Not only does this worsen soil compaction, but it could lead to your lawn looking and feeling even worse than before all your DIY aeration efforts.
Common aerator handling mistakes include: injuries due to the weight of the machine, having difficulty staying in straight lines, missing spots, not enough moisture, and damaging sprinklers and underground lines.
Solution: Do your research beforehand or hire a company
If DIY aeration is your plan, for your sake and for your lawn’s sake – do your research! Watch some videos, read articles, ask the experts, and be prepared!
And if aerating is starting to sound like too much to handle on your own, you’re probably right.
Deciding whether to aerate on your own or with a company
Mistake: Thinking aeration is easy to manage on your own
Aeration is not a task to be taken lightly. Take the time to do some research to learn all that is involved in aerating on your own. Aeration requires a lot of time, muscle, and skill.
The equipment necessary is large, very heavy, tricky to maneuver, and not the cheapest item to rent. If you think you can handle this mighty chore, start your research here to learn how to aerate your lawn.
Solution: Hire a company to handle this difficult task properly for you
Knowing precisely when, where, and how to aerate is a learned skill that only lawn care professionals typically possess. When the effort, time, and money factors are all broken down – hiring a lawn care company to aerate your lawn is really the only solution that makes sense.
Having a lawn expert manage your lawn is the best way to avoid all of these common lawn aeration mistakes.
Expert Lawn Aeration with Gecko Green
Our professional teams are seasoned in the aeration process and know how to produce the best results for your lawn. Our aeration service invigorates lawn growth and enhances its natural defense against risks.
As layers of thatch are broken through and soil compaction is alleviated, we strengthen your grass’ roots and help protect them against various local threats!