When to Aerate Your Lawn in North Carolina

When to Aerate Your Lawn in North Carolina?

It is agreed upon by many that aerating your lawn is a beneficial and worthwhile practice that will do wonderful things for your grass. This process allows the compacted soil to break apart and alleviate issues that may be present.

The best time to aerate your lawn in North Carolina depends on the type of grass that you have in your lawn, but for most homeowners, the best time would be right around the early fall or spring, or whenever the growing season for your particular type of grass is.

Learn more about why these are the best times to aerate your lawn, as well as the benefits of aeration as you read on.

Knowing When to Aerate

What is Aeration?

The process of aeration involves making holes in the soil, through perforation. This allows air and water, as well as various nutrients, to penetrate the soil and get right down to the roots of the grass.

This process allows the roots of the grass to grow deeper and bring forth a stronger and more sturdy and robust lawn.

Aeration is done, most of the time, in order to alleviate the issue of soil compaction. Once the soil becomes compacted and has too many solid sections within one area, then the circulation of air, water, and nutrients will be hindered and the grass will suffer.

Plant debris and lawn thatch that lies under the soil can also serve as an issue. These things may serve to starve out the roots of your grass by hindering it from receiving the nutrients and sustenance that it requires to thrive.

When Should You Aerate?

As stated previously, the best time to aerate your lawn all depends on the type of grass that you have present in your lawn. For the majority of homeowners in North Carolina, Kentucky Bluegrass or Fescue is the type of grass that is present in their lawns.

These types of grass are considered cool-season grass and will benefit from aeration around early fall, or just as the air begins to get cooler after summer begins to wind down. Cool-season grasses are those which thrive and do very well in the fall weather. 

Homeowners who have grass that is considered to be warm-season grass will most likely want to wait until spring rolls back around before aerating their lawn. Warm-season grass is grasses such as Bermuda, which thrive when temperatures are warmer.

For those who need to wait until spring to aerate their lawns, make sure that you first mow the lawn and then begin aerating. You want to do this in order to allow the grass to recover after being aerated.

Aerating and then mowing the grass may traumatize it and cause unwanted outcomes such as patches dying off or not growing back properly.

Signs That You Should Aerate Your Lawn

Knowing when your lawn is in need of some aeration and could benefit quite a bit from it is key to ensuring it stays happy and healthy. Some telltale signs that it is time to aerate your lawn and revitalize the grass present within it are as follows:

  • If your lawn sees heavy use then it could benefit from aeration. Heavy use could include things such as serving as a playground, or a place where children and pets frequently play.
  • Your home has recently been constructed and completed. The topsoil of houses that have been newly constructed tend to be stripped or buried due to traffic, and the soil beneath that has been further compacted down. Grass on this compacted soil will not thrive as well as the grass on looser soil.
  • Your grass is dry and feels spongy. This is a telltale sign that your grass is suffering from problems of excessive thatching. To check for this, take a shovel and then cut out a piece of your lawn that is around four inches in depth. If you notice that the layer of thatch is over half an inch then it is recommended that you aerate your lawn.
  • You notice soil layering happening. This can happen when sod that has been imported into the lawn is layered over the natural soil that is present in your yard. This is an issue as the layering of the soil will prevent proper drainage from occurring. Water will be trapped within the sod and unable to reach the roots of the grass. Aerating your lawn will break up the layering that has occurred and allow water to flow through the soil down to the roots much easier.

The Benefits of Aerating Your Lawn

There are many benefits to aerating your lawn regularly, and each of them is recommended and advantageous to your grass’s growth and health throughout the years.

Regularly aerating your lawn each growing season will help your lawn to thrive and grow much more efficiently. That is because the loosened soil allows for more nutrients, water, and oxygen to penetrate down to the roots of the plant.

Grass that receives more nutrients and needed elements for growth are more inclined to thrive and stay healthy for longer periods than grass that suffers from compacted soil.

Also, aerating your lawn regularly will help the grass to look fuller and more luscious. Forgoing aerating for too long can cause the grass to die off during the growing season rather than flourish.

Breaking up the compacted soil present in your lawn is a key step in keeping your grass healthy. No matter how much fertilizer, water, and care that you give to your lawn, if the soil beneath it is compact and dense the grass will never receive the proper nutrients that it requires and your efforts will be wasted.


You now know when the best time to aerate your lawn is if you live in North Carolina. Make sure to take into account the type of grass that is in your yard so that you can aerate it at the proper time of year – right before growing season.

Doing this will give you the best results and produce a flourishing, healthy looking, and fuller lawn that is sure to make any homeowner proud.