If you live in poor areas, you will need to aerate your soil. This will allow the soil to oxygenate, drain water and absorb nutrients. For example, if you live in Georgia, which is prone to having clay soil, you’re used to aerating your lawn a few times a year. But what are you supposed to do if you’ve just laid new sod? Are you content to aerate in the same way you always do? Or should you try something different? Let’s take a closer look and see when to aerate your new sod so that it stays healthy and strong.
Is it a good idea or not? (The Short Answer
Your new sod should not be aerated for a minimum of 6 months after it’s been laid or until the root system has bedded at least 2 inches into the soil. This can take up to 12 months or a whole season. Aeration can damage the delicate root system of your new sod, and it’s best to hold off until the sod is well established. You shouldn’t aerate new sod. Nay.
Why you shouldn’t wait to aerate new sod
I prefer to leave new sod alone when it is time to aerate. When you aerate the soil, it digs and carves out holes, and this process can rip up your new sod’s delicate root system. Any damage to the root system of a growing plant can cause irreversible harm. It is not a good idea for your plant to be shocked and then accidentally kill it with over-aerating.
Sod Needs to Establish
Your new sod needs to be coddled for the first few months after it’s been laid. It is vital to ensure your sod grows. Remember that the sod was a shock to the roots when it arrived. Aeration can add stress to the root system, making it more difficult for grass to reach the bed. This is why I suggest waiting to aerate until you’re positive the new sod is fully established and taking other cautionary steps like avoiding foot traffic on your new sod.
How long should you wait to aerate new soil?
There are many factors that influence the time it takes to aerate new sod. New sod takes between 6-12 months to dry before it can be aerated. When you think it’s time, I suggest you cut out a small portion of your lawn at least 2 inches deep and see if the root system has fully established.
It might take longer depending upon where your roots are situated to fully develop. Here’s a checklist I like to turn to that helps me determine if my grass is ready for aeration:
- The root system must be at minimum 2 inches deep
- The grass is healthy and grows regularly
- The grass is green, not dingy
- Regular foot traffic and mowing will make the grass thrive.
We all know that aeration is important for healthy grass and helps nutrients get down to the root system, but it’s really not all that important to the success of your new sod.
Aeration is only possible if the soil has been properly prepared before it was installed. Aeration should be done only once a year in areas with poor soil. If the ground is not prepared for aeration, you can wait.
Your new sod will thrive if you are patient. It is best to wait until the sod has established before you aerate. This will ensure that your lawn remains strong and healthy for many years.
The only reason to aerate new seeds early
Even though I strongly suggest you stay away from aerating your new sod, there’s one factor that may call for it. Aeration is a great way to improve drainage. Aeration can be used to correct drainage problems in your yard.
New sod doesn’t like to be overwatered, and it definitely doesn’t like to sit in standing water. If aeration can’t be used to eliminate standing water, then it may be necessary to do so before the recommended time.
If you find yourself in this situation, reduce the amount of airflow to the affected areas. I also suggest you use spike aeration instead of plug aeration to minimize the damage to your new sod’s root system.
Even though neither scenario is ideal, if you’re in this situation, then you’re between a rock and a hard place. Most likely, if this is already an issue, then this is probably always going to be a problem, and you’ll have to find a long-term drainage solution.
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