Aeration – When Is The Time?

Q: I talked to a landscaper a month ago who said I should core aerate Bermuda grass in mid-June through the end of July. I just called my lawn treatment company who said that the time to core
aerate Bermuda grass has already passed. Which source is correct?

A: Both might be, depending on their point of view. When your soil is hard, a good working-over with an aerator can soften it and allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate better. Since a good aeration results in thousands of holes in your lawn, the best time to do it is when the grass is actively growing, in early- to mid-summer. The landscaper is accurate on that count.

However, a good aeration depends on the soil being at least soft enough for the hollow tines to penetrate the soil two inches. Lawn maintenance companies typically schedule aeration on Bermuda lawns in early June, when the chances are high that the soil will still be moist and easy to penetrate. With the ground as hard as it is now, your lawn company is right to be concerned that their efforts will be in vain.

IF the ground is really hard now and IF you can water it enough to soften the soil before aeration, I think you can aerate any time between now and July 30. Whatever water you are able to apply, aeration helps it penetrate to the roots better. If you can’t water, forgo the aeration until next year.