What About Aeration?
We received this question from a SafeLawns reader from Michigan. It’s timely, so we’ll post the answer here. “Hi Paul, I have been keeping up to date on your website for almost a year now. I live in Michigan I want to aerate and dethatch my lawn, however all the professionals in the area are saying it is too late to aerate. They said I could dethatch but I would have to put some tender love and care in at this time of season to make sure the grass does not brown out from the heat. Should I wait until fall or early spring to aerate and dethatch? Or do you think its OK to at least aerate right now?
I’m happy to hear another province in Canada has banned harmful fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. I hope to see that happen here soon.
The quick answer is that you can aerate and dethatch anytime you’d like. In your climate, though, I’d agree that late June is not the best time. Anything you do to disturb the surface of the soil at this point can promote the germination of weed seeds and make the soil more prone to dessication (drying out). I would be inclined to wait until fall.
Now, the good news is that if you embrace organic lawn care and utilize composts and natural fertilizers, you will soon not have a thatch problem and the soil will self aerate due to the arrival of earth worms and other microorganisms in the soil. Lawns that have been tended organically for more than a year typically never need to see those two machines (aerator and dethatcher) ever again.
Hope this helps.