If you're planning on aerating your lawn, you may be wondering if you should mow your lawn before or after the aeration process. While there is no hard and fast rule, there are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to mow before or after aerating.
Mow Before Aerating
Mowing your lawn before aerating can help to ensure that the soil plugs are properly removed during the aeration process. When you mow the lawn, you remove the top layer of grass blades, which can make it easier for the aerator to penetrate the soil and remove the soil plugs.
Mowing before aerating can also help to create a more even surface for the aerator to work on. If your lawn is too long or uneven, the aerator may not be able to penetrate the soil evenly, resulting in an uneven aeration pattern.
Mow After Aerating
On the other hand, some lawn care experts recommend mowing your lawn after aerating. This can help to break up the soil plugs and distribute them evenly across your lawn. As the soil plugs break down, they release nutrients into the soil, which can help to promote healthy grass growth.
Mowing after aerating can also help to give your lawn a clean and polished look. The aeration process can leave your lawn looking a little rough around the edges, and mowing can help to smooth things out and give your lawn a more polished appearance.
So, Should You Mow Before or After Aerating?
Ultimately, whether you mow your lawn before or after aerating depends on your personal preference and the condition of your lawn. If your lawn is long and uneven, it may be best to mow before aerating to create a more even surface for the aerator to work on. If your lawn is already fairly even and you're looking to distribute the soil plugs more evenly, mowing after aerating may be the better option.
Regardless of whether you mow before or after aerating, it's important to follow some basic lawn care tips to ensure the health of your lawn. Make sure to water your lawn regularly, fertilize as needed, and remove any weeds that may be growing. By taking good care of your lawn, you can enjoy a beautiful and healthy lawn all year round.
How short should I mow my lawn before aerating it?
You should aim to mow your lawn before aerating to a height of 2-3 inches before aerating it. This will help to remove any tall or thick patches of grass that could make it difficult for the aerator to penetrate the soil, while still leaving enough leaf surface to promote healthy grass growth.
What else should I do before aerating my lawn?
Before aerating your lawn, it's a good idea to mark any underground utility lines, sprinkler heads, or other obstacles that could be damaged by the aerator. You should also water your lawn thoroughly a day or two before aerating, as this can help to soften the soil and make it easier for the aerator to penetrate.
After aerating, do NOT pick up the plugs. Leave them on the lawn. This would be a good time to overseed your yard as well.
How much does it cost?
Prices will vary, but the cheapest aerating is done with a garden pitchfork and is something you could easily do yourself. The most expensive and best lawn aerating option is hiring a landscaping company.