Since most lawns need to be aerated every year, homeowners typically choose between spring aeration and fall aeration. These are the two best times to aerate. Times vary slightly by location, but between March and May (April is often best spring aeration) and September to October (late September is usually ideal for fall aeration) are the best conditions for a aerating your lawn.
As a landscaper, people often ask me if they should aerate in the fall. As a professional landscaper, I know fall aeration provides benefits not seen in the spring. Consider whether your lawn would be improved by the benefits of fall aeration.
Better dirt plugs when core aerating
The ground in fall is usually soft enough to get decent plugs but not too soft. In the spring many areas are so wet, aerating would be a waste of the time. Aerating when the ground is too soft results in holes that close-up quickly and don’t provide improved access to nutrients, water, air and fertilizer for very long.
Best time for over seeding
Because aeration creates extra space in the soil and reduces compaction, it is a good idea to overseed after aerating. Fall is the best time for overseeding because there is plenty of rain to help the new seed come in with little effort and without spring weeds.
Improved lawn drainage
Lawn Aeration is vital for good lawn drainage and helps reduce runoff. Fall aerating can be done with lime or sand to further improve drainage.
More benefits from fertilizer
It is a good idea to fertilize your lawn after aerating as more will reach the roots. Fall aeration increases the benefits your lawn with get from both fall and winter fertilizing.
Great as part of winterizing your lawn
Fall aeration makes it easier for your lawn to do well over the winter months and come back beautiful in the spring. A great hint for over seeding in the fall is to use a good shade seed to prevent moss growth over the winter.