when to aerate summer grass?
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Author:  jp4LSU [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  when to aerate summer grass?

Simple enough question I guess.
I plan on putting down shampoo as an amendment to aide breaking up the clay.
Any other ideas on what to put down after aerating to help with clay and help grass?

I have some weeds to kill and preemergent to apply first but I was thinking of plug aerating mid February? Is that to early?

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

If the grass is dormant it won't benefit right away. Plug aerating - I had to look it up - if you're sprinkling amendments to work into the lawn it probably doesn't matter, you're working on healthy soil to make the grass happy. There may be some die-hard turf folks who have a strong opinion on this, so keep an eye out to see if any more answers come along. Some of our lawn guys come answer questions every few weeks.

Author:  user_48634 [ Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

The shampoo is used INSTEAD of plug or core aerating. 3 ounces of any clear shampoo per 1,000 square feet applied twice works much better than core aerating for softening hard soil. The shampoo allows the water to penetrate much deeper than core aerating will.

Use a screwdriver to test how hard your soil is. Try sticking the screwdriver into the soil when dry. Then water it and see how far you can stick it in. Then spray with shampoo and water a full inch. A week later water an inch without shampoo. The week after that repeat the shampoo and deep watering. Then try the screwdriver every time you water to see if the soil is softer. If you are not satisfied after a month, apply the shampoo again. Experiments have been done using the equivalent of 50 ounces of shampoo per 1,000 square feet with no ill effects to the plants.

The shampoo should be clear with none of the conditioners which cloud up shampoo. I like baby shampoo.

Author:  jp4LSU [ Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

I love the shampoo idea. Inexpensive and easy. But I've heard that plug aerating is great for the soil, especially heavy clay like mine because it get oxygen into the ground as well.

There can't be any harm in doing both right. Seems like it would be beneficial to get O2 into the soil via plugs and get the shampoo in there to allow better water absorption.

Am I wrong to thing this?

Also, what would you recommend as a good amendment to aid in getting the soil healthy. I see talk of alfalfa and corn meal. I did put down some corn gluten pellets that I had left over. Not sure it has same affect.

Thanks again for all the good info.

Author:  user_48634 [ Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

jp, you can spend a dollar on shampoo or you can spend $200 on core aerating. The shampoo will work and soften your soil. It does this by improving the penetration of moisture deeper into the soil. In turn the soil temperature and moisture changes deeper into the soil becoming the perfect environment for beneficial fungi. Those fungi expand and open up 100% of soil to allow more air in. That is how the shampoo works. Core aeration does not seem to work probably because it only opens up 3% of the soil to air. Please try the shampoo first. Here's how:

Application rate for shampoo is 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Apply through a hose-end sprayer. If you have a 2,000 square foot lawn you can put 6 ounces of shampoo into the sprayer bottle and fill the bottle with water. Then spray evenly across the entire yard until the bottle is empty. That will be 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Follow that up with a normal irrigation of 1 inch of water. The following week irrigate again without the soap. The week after that repeat the shampoo and irrigation. That should set you up for years to come.

It does not seem to hurt if you apply too much. One of the gurus on another forum applied concentrated soap at the equivalent of 50 ounces per 1,000 square feet every week and did not damage his grass.

Any organic fertilizer will improve your lawn. My favorite last year was alfalfa pellets due to the low cost. I have not checked with my feed store yet this year to update. Apply organic fertilizers at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

Author:  jp4LSU [ Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

I will be doing this Dchall. Thanks.
I'm still tempted to do both, especially since I can rent an aerator for $50-60 that you pull behind the riding mower. Then I could come back with the shampoo plan on top of that.

You think that would be beneficial or do you still just think the shampoo is all that is needed.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

Author:  northwesterner [ Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

I always like to try the less expensive method first, myself! Good luck with it, and please report back.

Author:  RMAC [ Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

A couple of questions about this if you don't mind;

-How often should you apply this shampoo treatment per year?

-What time of year would you suggest this be done in the DFW area?


Author:  user_48634 [ Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

I applied shampoo twice in 2012 and it's been fine ever since. We had some rain a couple weeks ago and the soil got very soft.

You can apply any time of year with no harm but it might work better in the growing season. One of the reasons there is a growing season is that is when the soil microbes are active. When they become inactive, the growing season is over.

Author:  Vintage [ Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

After two years of using CGM my opinion is it doesn't work. I have terrible weeds. I even used it as was suggested by someone on Howard's radio show- using the formula of soaking CGM and them spraying it on the grass every month during the winter and spring months. No luck for me.

Author:  Vintage [ Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

Sorry my comment on CGM. Guess I was in the wrong forum.

Author:  northwesterner [ Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: when to aerate summer grass?

Corn gluten meal is only helpful during the cool season when the weeds haven't emerged from seed yet. Any other time it acts like fertilizer. It suppresses the seeds opening, but once they're open, if you apply it they love it.

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