Imagine that you know exactly what your lawn needs come early March. You performaeration and overseeding at the same time. You feel confident that in just a matter of time, your lawn will look worthy of a premium stock photo, and just in time for spring. Each passing day, you wake up, look outside, and think, “Soon enough.”

Two weeks later, not only has your lawn not improved, it’s actually gotten worse. Why?

If you don’t take into consideration the timing for lawn services, disaster can strike. If location means everything in real estate, timing means everything in lawn care services.

Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry rule for a given service. Extenuating circumstances can mandate repeated, early, or delayed treatment. However, from our experience, we have strongly recommended guidelines that can help maximize the health of your lawn.

These guidelines cover the most common treatments of aeration, thatching, and overseeding, three of our most powerful services.

Timing for Aeration

Aeration, the process of circulating air in the case of compact soil, works best as a fall service. If done in the spring, aeration holes risk providing a perfect nesting spot for weed seeds to germinate. In the fall, those weeds won’t have the right climate to grow, allowing the process to take place without negative effects. If you have soil so compacted that not even grass can grow, then you can aerate your lawn in the spring. However, if you do so, you should also keep an eye out for weeds, especially crabgrass. Consider using a weed prevention program like our six-application weed and fertilizer program to minimize the damage weeds can cause. Otherwise, if your soil will allow even some grass to grow, wait until the fall for aeration.

Timing for Thatching

Thatching will put a major stress on your lawn, and while it will help your lawn in the long run, failure to do this at the proper time can ruin your lawn not just for the foreseeable future but the entire year. You should thatch your lawn in the early fall, as this will give your grass enough time to recover before the winter frost. You could do it in the spring, but this carries the serious risk of your lawn not recovering from the stress of this procedure in time for the heat of the Midwest summer. If this happens, it’ll take an uphill battle just to get the lawn back to its natural state. In an ideal—even an adequate—world, save your thatching for the early fall around early August.

Overseed With Aeration

You can easily hit two birds with one stone by overseeding at the same time you aerate in the fall, as this will maximize the effectiveness of both procedures. Much like aeration and thatching, you could overseed in the spring and have possible success. However, doing so carries the danger of the seeds not maturing in time for the blazing summer heat. If this happens, your seeds will die and you will not have the lusciousness that you had hoped for. Thus, we recommend saving your overseeding—and your aeration—for the fall.

Don’t Service in the Spring. Work in the Fall.

The best timing for lawn services, again, depends on your specific needs, your lawn, and what you can work with. In our years of service and experience, however, we can unequivocally say you’re best served saving your thatching for the early fall in August, and then overseeding and aerating later in the fall. Can you do these tasks in the spring? Yes. Can you succeed in doing so? Yes. But do you elevate the possibility of failure? Yes. Save your services for the fall. You’ll reap a strong, vibrant yard the following year as a result.