If you have high-traffic areas or heavy clay soils, you'll want to aerate every year. If you have sandy soil or your grass is growing well, you can aerate your lawn every 2 or 3 years. Aeration should be done once a year for healthy lawns and twice a year for lawns with compacted soil and accumulation of straw. The best time of year is just before the high-growth season, which, for cool-season lawns, is the beginning of spring and fall, and for warm-season lawns, it's late spring.
There's no need to hire a landscaping company to air out every spring. Instead, add a lawn inspection to your to-do list every year. Pay close attention to worn areas, low-lying areas where puddles form, discolored spots, and areas of irregular growth, and perform the screwdriver test as described above. If your lawn doesn't pass the screwdriver test, it's time to aerate your lawn.
If you don't know when or how to aerate your lawn and prefer not to have to figure it out, hire a lawn aeration service. Whether you use a barbed lawn aerator equipped with solid wedge-shaped barbs that drill holes in the ground or a central aerator equipped with hollow spikes that remove dirt, your lawn aerator will penetrate more easily and can create deeper holes when the soil is wet. It's definitely worth aerating your lawn and the expense if your lawn needs aeration.
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