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The proper time to aerate your lawn is determined by the type of soil and grass you have. Clay and mostly-clay soils have to be aerated more frequently than loose sediment soils. This is due to water saturation properties.
The area of the country and climate you live in will determine how often you need to aerate your lawn, as well. Warm, wet climates will have to be aerated less frequently than cold, dry climates. Times of drought are typically not times of aeration either, contrary to logic. Aerating in these conditions can actually release moisture in the soil needed to retain life in the grass. Aerating a lawn while you have a weed infestation is also not advisable, as this may actually spread weeds across your lawn.
Lawn Aeration Tricks and Tips
When reseeding or resodding your lawn, allow the grass roots to fully develop before the first aeration. This may take several months, depending on the time of year and the climate in which you live. Aerate right before you reseed or resod as this will quicken the pace at which the roots will take hold. When aerating your lawn, also try wetting the soil the day prior to allow for better air circulation and penetration. Try aerating clay soils twice a year, in mild climates approximately 6 months apart. Silty, sandy soils can be aerated once a year, preferably in the spring before temperatures get too hot and new roots start taking place.
Lawn Aerating Costs
Having a professional aerating company come in and aerate your lawn can cost $40 to $70 for a small lawn. It can cost upwards of $150 for a large lawn. In addition, the cost is somewhat dependant on the slope of your lawn. Make sure you let the company know if you have any underground sprinklers or electrical wires to avoid an accident.