Fall Aerating: Let’s Get to (Yard) Work!

The fall growing season is just around the corner, and soon you’ll be inundated with requests to give your clients’ yards a boost. Sure, we think of fall as the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials, and even flower bulbs, but it’s also prime time to ensure your customers have lush, green lawns through the fall and into the following spring.

As the fall brings milder weather and more rain, grass goes through a major growing period, making it a great time to aerate. For this same reason, it’s also the best season to seed a customer’s yard. And the worst season for people who have a phobia of pumpkins, but that’s neither here nor there.

Aeration is the perfect way to make room for water, air, and nutrients to get under the soil’s surface and reach a lawn’s roots. Especially in Georgia, where red clay soil is heavy and dense and quickly becomes compacted, aerating a lawn is a great way to give grass a little room to breathe. It’s a great solution in high-traffic areas (think I-285 but a yard) where soil is frequently trampled down, making it hard for roots to grow deep into the soil to support healthy, resilient grass. 

Here’s what you need to know about aerating the soil for homes and commercial properties, and how to make it happen:

How to Tell If It’s Time to Aerate the Soil

Firstly, is it early spring or fall? These seasons are the peak times to aerate the soil, while grass is actively growing, temperatures are cool, and there’s plenty of rain to be had. Since grass is in its prime growing season, it will recover faster. 

Secondly, high-traffic areas and clay-based soil should be aerated annually. Your clients will appreciate the extra care, and their lawns will benefit from the space. 

Another way to determine if it’s time to aerate a lawn is by using a shovel to dig up a square section of turf that’s about one foot across and six inches deep. If the roots don’t extend further than two inches deep, aeration can help get those roots growing. But, if the roots extend more than like a yard, be careful, you might have just discovered some sort of plant monster.

Like other plants, grass lets you know what it needs. (Feed me Seymour! Remember that movie?) If it starts to turn brown, that’s probably a sign that the turf needs water, which will have a hard time flowing through heavy, compacted soil. If much of your customer’s yard is brown, or their grass is looking a little thin, aeration will help the growing process so they end up with a thick, lush carpet of green grass. 

One thing to keep in mind here is that a lawn that has been seeded within the past year, or a lawn with fresh sod that’s less than a year old should not be aerated. These root systems are still delicate and aren’t ready for the force of a powerful aerator, and you are certainly a powerful aerator. So, check with your client to see if their lawn has new seed or sod before aerating.

Tools You’ll Need

Rather than spend money buying a new aerator that only gets used a few weeks out of the year and pay to store it, the much better option is to rent. You get to offer your clients a new, useful service without the major overhead costs of owning, servicing, and storing an aerator.

Aerating is an easy task, but be prepared to transport your rented aerator in the back of your truck or on your trailer, just like you would your lawnmower, or your kids if they’re misbehaving. Here are the aerators we recommend for commercial jobs and client homes:

A Few Pointers, From One Pro to Another

  • Compacted soil is always easier to work with when it’s moist. Give your client’s yard a good soak 1-2 days before aerating for optimal results. The lawn should get at least 1 inch of water.
  • Always check with your clients about where their sprinkler heads are located, as well as any power or cable lines that lurk just below the soil’s surface. To protect your business, it may be a good idea to have your clients call 811 to have the service mark all their lines, just as you would before digging for a new tree or shrub. Flag any sprinkler heads so you don’t clip them with the aerator!
  • If a client really could benefit from having their lawn aerated, but wants to avoid the look of soil plugs, you can rent our towable aerator. This aerator hooks up to your mower, and collects the soil plugs so you don’t have to spend hours raking them up yourself!
  • If you’re installing new landscaping or planting a new bed you can bundle your services and make each job a bit more profitable. Offer lawn dethatching or aerating, fertilizing or seeding, or even leaf collection alongside your regular fall planting work for an even more successful season and happier customers.

At Northside Tool Rental, we proudly support contractors and professionals every season of the year. When it’s aerating season, we have the heavy equipment you need to ensure your clients always love your work and love their lawns. 

To further assist the professionals we work with each day, Northside Tool Rental has commercial credit programs available to make sure you never have to worry about finding the tools you need to get the job done right. These credit programs come with regular use discounts, Net30 billing cycles, and early pay discounts to help you maintain your beloved business and retain your hard-earned profits. 

If you have questions about our wide array of tools, our credit program, or just want to enjoy the dulcet tones of our voices, we’re here for you. Contact us today!