Lawn aeration can make your grass grow and look ten times better than it ever had. However, many people aren’t sure how they can get it done or when they’ll be allowed to walk on the grass after. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll need to know first all of the basics about lawn aeration.
You can’t walk on the lawn after aeration because the seeds and fertilizer need time to settle, and the soil could get too compact. Walking or mowing on a freshly-aerated lawn can prevent the seeds from sprouting and the soil from getting enough oxygen and nutrients.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about walking on a lawn after aeration:
- Common problems that might occur if you walk on the grass too soon
- How long you should wait to walk or mow your lawn
- Methods to avoid the most common issues of lawn aeration
What Happens if You Walk on Grass After Aeration?
Walking on your lawn right after aerating it can cause far too many problems. If you’re thinking about it or you’ve seen people run across the lawn, then you can still fix the issue. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to know all of the possible outcomes.
Here’s a list of five things that could happen if you walk on the grass after aeration:
- According to Canopy Lawncare, walking on the grass right after you aerate the soil can cause the seeds to move around and become unsettled. They won’t find the right place, and there’s a chance that you could crush the seeds. You’ll have wasted your time, money, and energy that you put into the aeration process.
- The next most common problem is that you could crush the soil. When you aerate the grass, it removes small cores that are designed to facilitate the oxygen supply into the roots. Walking on the grass where the cores were removed is a risky business that causes small sinkholes and indentations. Besides that, walking on the grass could lead to the soil getting compacted, and therefore it won’t get enough oxygen.
- You could crush the grass. Much like the soil below, the grass can be crushed since it’s not as stable as it once was. Removing soil cores for aeration weakens the roots for a short time, causing them to be susceptible to damage. If you’re not careful, you could break it and have to replant the grass.
- If you mow the grass right after aeration, either with a walking push mower or a riding mower, the mower’s weight will crush the soil. You’ll feel a sudden dip and realize that you’re about four inches deeper than you were a second ago. The result will be an indentation that has to be removed, re-soiled, and replanted.
- Small holes could form, inviting weeds and bugs. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid caving from the aeration, you’ll undoubtedly make tiny, unnoticeable divots in the soil. These holes will be a breeding ground for weeds and bugs that are looking for a place to grow and thrive. They could potentially ruin your grassroots.
As you can see, walking on the grass right after aeration is always a bad idea. You shouldn’t do it out of fear of breaking the roots, inviting pests, and damaging the soil. If you’re concerned about how long you need to wait before watering, mowing, and walking on your lawn, proceed to the next section.
How Long Should You Wait to Walk or Mow Your Lawn?
Now that you know not to walk on your lawn post-aeration, you’re probably wondering when it’s safe to enjoy the grass again. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait forever. The goal is to ensure that the seeds are able to sprout, and the soil can rebuild itself before you start stomping all over the place.
So, when can you enjoy your lawn? Follow these suggestions before doing these common activities:
- Wait between two to four weeks after aeration before you mow your lawn. It might be tempting to grab the mower for a quick trim when the grass gets too long, but you’d be disappointed by the results. Take this time off to water the grass and keep an eye on it while you relax for a couple of weeks.
- Give it at least two weeks before walking on the lawn after aeration. Much like the weight of a lawnmower, walking on an aerated lawn can cause a host of issues. You’ve already seen the problems above, but it’s worth mentioning how devastating a short walk can be for a newly-aerated lawn.
- Start watering the lawn right away; don’t wait! Many people aren’t sure if they should wait to water the lawn after aeration. As stated by Caramanico Landscape, failure to moisten and hydrate your lawn can make the aeration all for naught. You’ll notice that the seeds get dry, and the soil starts to crack.
- Seed the lawn as you aerate it. Another misconception is that you need to wait to seed a lawn after aeration to allow oxygen to flow through. Truthfully, oxygen is present at the moment of aeration. Load up the seeds, start watering, and enjoy a new lawn in as little as one month.
Don’t wait too long to maintain the lawn, but make sure you keep your feet and lawn equipment off the grass for two to four weeks. Among those two mistakes, you’ll also read about a few others below.
Common Aeration Mistakes
Unfortunately, beginners tend to make mistakes after they aerate their lawn. If you want to save your lawn from unwanted harm, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find some common mistakes and how you can prevent them from happening.
- Aerating your lawn too often: Excessive aeration will ruin the soil. In fact, many countries’ topsoil is permanently ruined from too much aeration (along with the unnecessary use of pesticides). You shouldn’t aerate your lawn more than once per year. If you’re trying to grow more seeds and bring life to your lawn, there are many other methods aside from constant aeration.
- Aerating during the wrong weather: You’ve probably noticed that your lawn loses life and color during the summer. Dryness and heat remove oxygen from the soil. During this time, it’s a good idea to replenish the oxygen supply by aerating the soil. Make sure you keep it hydrated every day to prevent deep cracks, dryness, and damaged roots.
- Not removing the weeds as soon as possible: When you see weeds growing, remove them. Don’t wait a few days until they’re big enough to mow or rip out. You need to take out their roots, so they don’t come back. Weeds aren’t a stranger to aerated lawns because the holes are perfectly protected and hydrated. Keep an eye on the lawn during this delicate process.
Other helpful articles: Does Lawn Fertilizer Help Weeds Grow?
There are many other mistakes, such as making holes that are too deep, overseeding, and overwatering the lawn. Do your best to avoid these problems, and you’ll love the results of your new and improved lawn!
It’s never smart to walk on your lawn within a week or two of aeration. Keep your grass looking and feeling fresh by adding water, but don’t drag equipment or anything else on the surface during this time.
Here’s a quick rundown of the post:
- Wait between two to four weeks to mow your lawn after aeration.
- Make sure you keep the soil hydrated every day after you aerate the lawn.
- Walking on the lawn too soon can cause cracks, divots, and many other problems.