Based in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, provides patient-centered occupational and preventive care and remains active with the OK State Medical Association. In his free time, William D. Jones, MD, enjoys playing slow-pitch softball and doing outside work at home, including lawn care.
One of the keys to keeping a lawn in healthy condition is to aerate, particularly with clay soils and areas that receive heavy traffic. This allows water to penetrate the surface of the soil and nourish the grass roots. To determine whether aeration is in order, dig up a section of grass of approximately one square foot and a half foot deep. If the roots extend two inches or less in the soil, aeration is recommended.
Preparing the lawn begins with a thorough watering in the two days leading up to the aeration, such that the aerator will be able to easily penetrate the surface and retrieve soil cores. For cool-season grasses, the period from August through mid-autumn is best for aeration, as the grasses have left dormancy behind and are at their most active point. By contrast, it’s best to aerate warm-season grass during the spring months before intense heat arrives.