Texarkana, TX 71° Thu H 89° L 71° Fri H 89° L 72° Sat H 89° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

How can I prepare my lawn for spring and summer?

How can I prepare my lawn for spring and summer?

March 23rd, 2019 by Angie's List in Features

Any tool that creates slender, deep holes can help with lawn aeration, but a machine that removes soil plugs is the best option. (Dreamstime)

When you plan for spring lawn maintenance, don't overlook aeration and dethatching. These two seemingly unglamorous, unexciting processes can play a big role in maintaining a healthy, bright lawn through the summer.



Soil tends to compact over time, and this hinders the passage of air, water and nutrients to your grass roots. Aerating a lawn involves creating deep, slender holes that create a pathway for water and nutrients to reach hungry roots.

You can perform a basic aeration with a pitchfork or any tool that digs slim holes—just poke into the ground every few inches. Specific aeration tools are also available to buy or rent. You can even purchase special aeration shoes with two-inch spikes on the bottom that let you aerate the lawn simply by walking around.

However, this process, known as spike aeration, is only partially effective, because while it digs holes, it also presses soil together and can increase compaction. For the most ideal results, consider plug aeration. This process actually removes a small core, or plug, of grass and soil with each hole. Plug aeration tools use cylinder-shaped tines to penetrate the ground and pull up the plugs. Mechanical aerators look like push mowers and work largely the same.

If you aerate your lawn, make sure you have a reasonably moist lawn, and make multiple passes.

A professional can also handle this for you. You'll pay an average of $125 for this service. You can save time and money by combining this with fertilization service at the same time.



Even the best-maintained lawn develops thatch over time. This brown buildup of dead and decaying matter above the soil and below the grass includes old grass clippings, compressed roots and stems. A small amount of thatch can be beneficial. Excessive thatch, however, creates a thick mat that prevents air, sunlight and water from reaching your lawn. It also creates runoff problems, as water flows across the thatch rather than soaking into the soil.

Depending on the size of your lawn and the depth of the thatch, you might be able to dethatch yourself without much trouble. A special dethatching rake, available from most hardware stores, can take care of small- or medium-sized jobs. It can take a lot of muscle power, though, so be prepared for a serious workout! For larger lawns, you can rent a dethatching machine, which is similar to a lawn mower with vertical blades. Run it across the lawn to cut up and loosen the thatch, then just rake up what's left. Have some cleanup bags on hand; the thatch can create a dense mess.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional to handle the job. This requires more time and effort than aeration, so you'll probably pay a few hundred dollars for the service.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com