Time to aerate is in the fall.
If you have over 1/2" thatch, I'd thatch during fall as well.
Fall is best time.
Fertilize in early spring with pre-emergent and 6 to
8 weeks later. Then again late fall with just
winterizer fertilizer. If you reseed, do that after
aeration. Don't forget to lime if needed. Lime can
be done anytime.
What dies? The holes you punch in the lawn, or the fertilizer? Or the person
who did the work?
If you mean that dethatching, aerating and fertilizing in the spring will
cause more of the lawn to die than if you hadn't done anything, I'd
disagree. The lawn that survived the winter has a root system that will
allow it to survive all but the most abnormal summer. Yes, it'll go dormant
if you don't water it, but it will go dormant if you don't water it
regardless of whether or not you dethatched, aerated and fertilized in the
Now if he were also to re-seed, the new grass may not have enough of a root
system to survive the summer without a lot of watering, but if the choices
are to re-seed and have it not survive, or leave it bare, I'd still seed in
the spring, though possibly with a mix that includes more annual grass, and
plan on doing more serious re-seeding in fall.
For a cool season lawn, detatching, aerating and fertilizing in the fall is
better than the spring. But spring is the second best time to do it. But if
the lawn is in bad enough shape, doing nothing until fall may only allow
things to get worse. Nothing is going to die because of dethatching,
aerating and fertilizing in the spring.
The normal small amount of material on a lawn is not thatch. Thatch is
a dense thick layer that most lawns do not have, so it;s unlikely he
needs to dethatch.
I agree that spring is fine to aerate. Not sure that fall vs spring is
that big of an issue.
For spring fertilizer, I'd wait till about 3rd week in April, then
apply a combo fertilizer/crab grass preventer. If you do it when the
forsythias blown, that is about optimal. Then fertilize again in early
sept, them mid-oct. Test/adjust PH as needed.
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