Posts Tagged ‘aeration’

Should You Aerate This Spring?

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Regardless of where you live and what type of turf grass you’re working with, aeration can help your lawn be healthier and more beautiful. The trick is knowing when it’s best to aerate, what equipment to use, and what else you can do to encourage the vigor of your grasses, while limiting weeds’ ability to gain a foothold in the lawn.

Exmark core aerator

Core aeration can be beneficial for most lawns if performed at the right time for the type of turf grass you’re working with.

According to Josh Friell, Ph. D, of The Toro Company’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology, aeration introduces temporary stress to the turf, and recovery time is closely linked to growing conditions and annual growth cycles. As a result, it’s important to keep those considerations in mind when determining an annual aerification plan.

When is the Best Time to Aerate?

Aeration is best performed just before or during periods of high growth, but not immediately preceding or during periods of stress to the lawn, whether from heat or drought. The type of grasses that make up your lawn will determine the best time of year to aerate.

If you’re working with cool season grasses, including bluegrass, creeping bent grass, fescue and ryegrass, it’s best to aerate during the growth periods in the spring and fall.

In the spring, wait until you’ve mowed the lawn a few times before aerating. This will ensure the lawn is growing fast enough to recover and take advantage of the increased pore space and air exchange at the root zone that aeration creates.

Exmark Spreader Sprayer

It’s a good idea to apply fertilizer and weed killer just after aeration to minimize the opportunity for weeds to take advantage of the short-term turf stress from aeration.

One caveat, says Friell, is that any disturbance of the root zone in the spring can increase weed competition by bringing buried seeds to the surface.

“You can reduce the potential for weed competition and increase the hardiness of the grasses by applying fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed killer following aeration. But don’t apply a weed killer if you plan to overseed following aeration, as it will prevent germination of the seed you put down.”

For warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, St. Augustine and zoysia grass, aeration can take place during warm times of the year between late-spring and early-autumn.

“Aeration should be performed early enough in the fall that the turf can recover before it needs to prepare for winter dormancy,” Friell said.

As for frequency, Friell said aeration should be performed at least once per year on most lawns, while twice annually is best for lawns with compacted soil, or soil with high clay content.

What To Do Before or After Aeration

Watering after aeration is always a good idea, as Friell said aeration should never be performed when turf is wet, or the dirt contains enough moisture to be muddy.

As mentioned earlier, the application of fertilizer and weed killer is beneficial shortly following aeration, but be sure to skip the weed killer if you’re going to overseed following aeration.

Friell said overseeding following aeration makes sense because seeds can take advantage of the disturbed surface to create better seed-to-soil contact.

“Better seed-to-soil contact means better conditions for successful germination.”

Learn More:

Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn this Fall

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

(StatePoint) Fall is a great time to aerate the lawn. Whether you do it yourself or hire a lawn care professional to do it for you, aeration at least once per year provides a number of benefits to your lawn, say experts.

Exmark Aerator

An increasing number of landscape professionals are turning to productivity-enhancing machines like this Exmark 30-inch Stand-On Aerator. The stand-on design also reduces operator wear and tear significantly.

The main benefit is to relieve compaction and increase pore space, which promotes gas exchange and microbial activity in the soil and creates a better, more supportive environment for lawn health and vitality. Aeration also promotes better soil drainage, which helps keep disease at bay and allows more water to percolate into the soil from rain or irrigation, meaning less runoff and more water getting where it needs to go.

“Ideal aeration timing depends on turf type and geography,” says Lloyd Von Scheliha of Exmark Manufacturing, a manufacturer of turf care equipment. “But annual aeration provides valuable agronomic benefits to virtually any turfgrass.”

With that in mind, here are some tips from the experts at Exmark to get the most benefits from aeration:

• Timing: Ideally, aeration should take place during times of active growth to help with recovery. Avoid aeration during times of heat stress or times preceding dormancy. It’s typically best to aerate cool season grasses in the spring or fall, while with warm season grasses, it’s best to aerate in late spring or early fall.

• Proper equipment: Use gear that meets the needs of your lawn. For example, Exmark offers a 30-inch Stand-On aerator that makes quick work of even large properties with the ability to easily maneuver around landscape features.

• Follow-up: After aeration, it’s a good idea to water the lawn, as well as a good time to apply fertilizer or overseed if needed. Be careful not to apply a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed, however, as it will prevent the new seed from growing.

Don’t let this important, but often overlooked lawn care task escape your attention this season. At the ideal time for your lawn, either take it upon yourself or hire a professional to give your grass a better chance at thriving.

Spotlight: Exmark 30-inch Stand-On Aerator

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Exmark 30inchStandOnAerator_smHR

With an efficient stand-on design and the ability to aerate at up to 7 mph with fingertip control, the Exmark 30-inch Stand-On Aerator product page raises the bar for aerating productivity and ease-of-use.

Productivity is the key to profitability, and the Exmark 30-inch Stand-On Aerator delivers for your business. The stand-on design, cushioned operator platform and intuitive controls reduce operator fatigue and maximize productivity for every operator, every day.

Exmark Coring Tines

1,200 pounds of hydraulic pressure drives the 48 coring tines into the ground with incredible consistency.

The hydraulic tine actuation system delivers an incredible 1,200 pounds of down force for consistent core depth and the ability to pull up to 5-inch plugs. Hydraulics are fully-integrated, so there’s zero hoses to break or replace, and a clean, purposeful and ergonomic control layout is incredibly easy to use.

Free-floating center tines allow turning with tines engaged without damaging turf, with the ability to perform zero-turns with the tines raised. The Exmark design also offers incredible traction on a wide variety of turf, courtesy of a combined wheel- and tine-drive system that delivers infinite speed control up to 7mph.

Here’s Exmark Product Manager, Lloyd VonScheliha, with more on the 30-inch Stand-On Aerator:

Learn more about the opportunity lawn care services could represent for your business with our Lawn Care Services White Paper (Adobe PDF format), or visit Exmark Turf Management Products.