If you’re a homeowner, you’re likely aware of the importance of regular lawn maintenance. One of the many routines that are essential for your lawn is aeration, a process that helps loosen the soil.
One of the most common questions we receive is when to aerate a bermuda grass lawn. If your lawn primarily consists of strong, lush bermuda grass, it’s critical to understand when to aerate it and which seasons you should avoid.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about bermuda grass aeration and when is the best time to do it so that you can continue having the best lawn in the neighborhood.
What is Lawn Aeration?
Because soil compaction is a common issue in lawns, aeration is important for providing nutrients, moisture and air circulation in the soil. Lawn aeration is a simple process that punches holes a few inches deep into the lawn’s surface. Lawns of all types, including bermuda grass lawns, greatly benefit from lawn aeration every year.
A common question homeowners may wonder about is whether to dethatch or aerate their lawn. While lawn aeration and lawn dethatching are both quite similar, there are also some major differences.
In short, dethatching is the process of removing layers of dead organic matter, also known as thatch. It is best done during the winter when lawns contain more than half an inch of thatch.
Aeration, on the other hand, creates holes in the sod to promote better circulation of air and nutrients. Lawn aeration is typically done in the spring or fall, although certain grass species such as bermuda grass should only be aerated in the spring. Learn more in Aerating vs. Dethatching.
The Benefits of Aerating a Bermuda Grass
There are countless benefits of aerating a bermuda grass lawn or any lawn for that matter. As previously mentioned, lawn aeration helps break up the soil to encourage air and moisture circulation as well as the delivery of vital nutrients.
Other advantages to aerating bermuda turf are as follows:
- Decompact the soil.
- Prevent water runoff.
- Reduce lawn thatch.
- Prepare the sod for seeding.
- Allow nutrients to reach the root zone.
- Encourage grass roots to expand.
- Improve the lawn’s health.
The Best Time to Aerate Bermuda Grass
Similar to many other warm season turfgrasses (including zoysia and St. Augustine), the best time of year to aerate bermuda grass is in the spring—specifically April through July depending on where you live.
Aerating your lawn during these months allows you to loosen the soil before the bermuda grass reaches its peak growing season. Thus, the grass can benefit from the aeration while also receiving a boost in growth.
How to Aerate Bermuda Grass
While there are many aeration services available for homeowners, it’s also possible to aerate bermuda grass yourself. You may feel like an aeration project is daunting—but it’s not.
The best method for aerating your lawn is by renting an aerator from your local hardware store. Craig Ransavage, project manager for RYAN®, explains how to do this in Why Aeration is More Important and Less Daunting Than You Think. You can also visit the RYAN website to rent an aerator from a store near you.
In addition to core aerators, there are also manual aerator tools that can be purchased online. While these tools may be less powerful than core and spike aerators, they are still effective and easy to use on bermuda lawns. A core aerator will get you the best results, though.
Tip: The optimal time to aerate bermuda grass is after a rain or watering routine. Be sure to aerate your entire lawn by either using a criss-cross pattern or by returning to the same areas multiple times.
To further improve your lawn’s health, apply fertilizer to your bermuda grass immediately after aeration. Lawnifi® fertilizer is an excellent fertilizer program with both liquid and granular options. Both use Catalyst TechnologyTM to nano-size nutrients for increased uptake.
As a result of the increased uptake, more fertilizer gets into the lawn’s system instead of getting tangled with other charged ions in the soil. Less fertilizer is actually needed due to Lawnifi’s overall effectiveness.
Post-aeration is also an excellent time to overseed your lawn as the deep holes from aeration will protect the seeds and allow them to enter the soil more effectively.
We hope this article helped answer the common question “when to aerate a lawn” and how to aerate bermuda grass. Aerating your bermuda grass each spring is just one of the many ways to promote healthy growth and a beautiful, lush lawn.