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Still time to aerate the lawn

By Northern Plains News

BROOKINGS — Take advantage of the few nice days left this fall to take care of fall lawn and garden tasks, an expert advises.

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“One of those tasks that we try to do each year at McCrory Gardens is to core aerate our turf in the high traffic areas,” said David Graper, SDSU Extension horticulture specialist and director of McCrory Gardens.

Graper said that core aerating lawns helps revive areas of the lawn where the grass doesn’t grow well or bare areas that get hard because of foot traffic.

“Compacted soils make it difficult for grass roots to grow and penetrate the soil,” he said. “Water infiltration is also reduced, which adds more stress to the grass. You may also notice that you have more weeds in these areas, particularly a very common annual weed known as prostrate knotweed.

Graper said fall is a good time to do core aeration in the lawn because most cool season grasses are still actively growing in the cool fall weather and will quickly recover from the core aeration treatment. The best time is about Labor Day, but it can still be done later, if the weather stays warm. Spring is another good time to core aerate a lawn.