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What is the best season to Subsoil Aerate? Spring vs. Autumn

Posted by Sam Searle on Apr 23, 2020 12:07:03 PM

"When is the best time to subsoil aerate?"

It’s a question we’re often asked by farmers looking to begin subsoil aeration.

Whilst the best time for aeration is typically understood to be Spring, there has also been some good reasons come to light in recent times that would support aeration your subsoil in Autumn.

The reasons for each are somewhat different, up for debate & really depend on each land owner's unique situation and soil type. In this blog we give a brief explanation of the reasons you should aerate in spring, and may also do in autumn.

Why you should aerate in Spring

Spring is largely heralded as the best time to aerate your subsoil as it’s at the beginning of the growing season when you will see the results of your aeration actions. By removing winter induced pugging & compaction damage you increase the soil porosity which in turn has the following effects:

  • Increase soil porosity which enables water, nutrients & oxygen to reach lower root levels.
  • Less compacted soil enables roots to grow more vigorously & grow into lower levels of the subsoil, gaining access to more nutrients and moisture.

The above two effects result in a more healthy pasture or crop which will yield more as well as being more resilient to droughts & dry times.

Results of Spring Aeration:

  • Increased pasture growth or crop yield
  • More resilient pasture/crop which can withstand drought & dry more as roots are growing into lower subsoil layers with moisture

Related Blog: Subsoil Aeration Benefits

Why you should aerate in autumn

Some farmers with soil which tend to be prone to water logging or excess water ponding through the winter months have found aeration in Autumn can help to reduce or remove those moisture issues.

Compacted soil layers & plough pans create hard layers which water cannot drain through, or at best reduces the rate of drainage. Under wet conditions this compacted soil layer impedes the drainage of water increasing the risk of:

  • Root disease
  • Surface Runoff
  • Water ponding
  • Pugging
  • Surface water reduces ground temperatures, which in turn reduces pasture growth & can increase the time in which pasture begins to grow when Spring arrives.

Related Blog: How to prevent & repair winter pugging damage in pastures

Overall Conclusion

Most people will find aerating in spring allows them reap the growth benefits of that season as well as leave their soil ready for the following winter with no need to aerate again in Autumn.

However, those who have not aerated in spring, or who have soil that is particularly prone to winter compaction & water logging may find Autumn aeration to be beneficial to their pasture, aeration being a process that reduces pugging and helps the pasture come through winter in the best possible shape.

From the Farmer's Mouth

Listen to Tony West as he tells us his experience with the Rata Panerazer for subsoil aeration


Rata's Panerazer makes the cleanest and fastest subsoil aeration job, check it out: Rata Panerazer


Topics: Cultivation, Tips, Hacks & How To's, Pasture & Crop Management, Soil Aeration & Drainage