How Lawn Aeration is Done and its Benefits

Lawn aeration is a serious activity that requires use of certain tools and techniques. In this article we will explain what aeration is all about, discuss the items needed when aerating a lawn, and give you important tips on how to do it like a professional. It is an activity you can do all by yourself if you know the steps to follow.

lawn aeration

What is lawn aeration?

Aeration is a task that entails creation of holes along the lawn surface. These holes are usually twelve per square foot of the yard, and they are made in order to allow and promote deeper growth of roots. Aeration is also done to minimize the process of soil compaction and to allow free flow of water, air and nutrients directly to the root system.

As a result, the grass blades become thicker, as they gain more nourishment from the roots that are already spreading deeper in the surrounding soil. The holes that are dug during aeration process will fill with water, which is poured to the ground before the process begins. This water is expected to soften up the compacted soil.  This water is also meant to create room in clay soil and expand so it can breathe easily.

What are the benefits of lawn aeration?

soil compaction

As hinted above, this process is extremely useful and beneficial to the growing turf.  As it reduces soil compaction, aeration allows free circulation of water, air and nutrients. Instead of flooding over the surface of the soil, water will begin entering the holes and then it will be easily absorbed by the roots.

As roots will absorb enough of everything, the grass will withstand the drought effects much more easily.  Aeration of soil reduces the amount of thatch created during winter and you will have an easy time in spring.

What can be used for lawn aeration?

This special process is done with different types of aerators. Having one of these is fine though. They usually include plug aerators, liquid aerators, towable aerators, rolling aerators, hand aerators and spike aerators.

How often to aerate

According to experts, most lawn owners aerate only once annually and others ignore the process for two to three years. It is not wise to wait this long since this would create the problem of soil compaction. As well, the grass roots would grow at the surface rather than run deeper into the surrounding soil, and this would lead to poor absorption of water and nutrients.

The best interval is once or twice a year. If you have pets and kids that love to play in the yard, then you should aerate two times every year. The same is the case if you have a sloppy lawn. If your lawn is yet to be established, and has poor soil, experts’ view is that you should aerate once per year for five consistent years. Note that the more frequently you aerate your lawn the much better plugs it will generate.

Other activities you can do

Lawn aeration is done at the same time as the activities such as fertilization and over-seeding. However, the best time to carry out these two activities is as soon as you are done with the aeration task.  Over-seeding your lawn is all about sowing new seeds in the areas of your lawn that have dried grass.  Fertilization is about feeding your turf with the correct fertilizer and the right amount of it.

The best season to aerate your lawn

The best time to aerate is in spring or early fall. So in other words you should aerate anytime in March until June or late September to the end of October.  But we have to warn you that the perfect aeration period will vary from place to place.  If you find that your soil is so soft and hardly looking compacted, this is not the best time to aerate. The perfect moment is when the soil is looking so hard and compacted. The thing you will do first is to water the soil for a whole hour and then dig the holes with your aerator.

Final word

If you want your lawn to grow effectively, ensure that you just do more than raking, mowing, watering, feeding and weeding. It will be a good idea to use one of the aerating machines to eliminate compaction from the soil.

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