When to Aerate Lawn in NC?

Aerating your lawn is very beneficial as it allows you to penetrate compacted soil and provide air to the roots of your grass. It also helps to break up thatching and improves the overall health of your lawn.  Here’s our guide to when to aerate a lawn in NC.  The time is going to depend on the type of grass that you are trying to grow.

In North Carolina, the time of year you need to aerate your lawn will depend on which type of grass is growing. Most homeowners aerate their lawns either in the early spring or fall, depending on whether they have warm-season or cool-season grass. Aerating should be done at the beginning of the growing season for your grass type.

When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Aerate Lawn NC

The precise season that your lawn requires aerating will depend on which type of grass is growing in your yard.

Cool-season grasses

Most homeowners in North Carolina will have cool-season grass such as bluegrass or fescue growing in their lawns. These types of grasses are hardy and can cope with the cold winter nights in NC. It’s best to aerate cool-season grasses in the early fall at the start of their growing season. At the beginning of September, the air temperature will start to get slightly cooler. You can aerate your lawn in September or early October.

Warm-season grasses

Some homeowners in NC will have warm-season grass such as Bermuda grass (here’s how to make Bermuda grass thicker). If this is the case, it’s best to aerate in the early spring. Warm-season grasses produce rapid growth in the spring and summer when the temperatures are warmer. It’s best to aerate in the early spring at the beginning of the growing season.

Signs That Your Lawn Needs to be Aerated

Bermuda Needs Aerated in Spring in NC

As a general rule, cool-season grasses should be aerated in the fall and warm-season grasses in the early spring. There are also a few things that you can look out for, which would indicate that your lawn needs to be aerated.

When your lawn is used very often, it may be very compacted and need regular aerating to help keep the grass healthy. If your children and pets play in your yard a lot, it’s likely to need frequent aerating. If you’ve recently had construction work done on your home, the soil may have become compacted due to heavy footfall.  You need to avoid walking on grass after aerating.

If the grass in your yard feels dry or spongy, it’s likely to have excess thatch, requiring breaking up. Thatch is made up of dead grass, plants, and roots tangled with the new growth. If thatch is left to build up, it can suffocate your grass. Aerating your lawn can help break up the thatch and avoid any issues.  Overseeding after cleaning up the thatch can really help too.

The Benefits of Aerating Your Lawn

Texas Best time to aerate cool season grasses NC

Regular aeration can help keep both your lawn and soil in good condition. It’s best to work with the growing seasons as this will allow your grass to thrive and grow more efficiently. Aeration allows you to loosen compacted soil, improving the supply of air, nutrients, and water to the grass’s roots. It also helps break up thatch that may have started to build up on top of your grass.

Your lawn will look denser, thicker, and greener if it’s regularly aerated. If you have problems with compacted soil in your lawn, it’s best to aerate the lawn to improve its condition. Many homeowners make the mistake of fertilizing the grass without first aerating it. You can provide lots of care, fertilizer (here’s when to fertilize a lawn in NC), and water to your grass, but if the soil is compacted, it will have little effect. The grassroots won’t be able to receive the correct nutrient unless it’s been aerated.

Bottom Line

The best time to aerate your lawn in NC is likely to be the fall. Most yards have cool-season grass in NC due to the cooler winter climate. If you have warm-season grass, early spring will be best. To determine when to aerate your lawn, you’ll need to find out which type of grass is growing. Aerate your lawn right before the growing season. When to aerate a lawn in Texas is going to be different than North Carolina.

Regular aeration can help your lawn to flourish with healthy looking, green grass that you can be proud of!