Why aerate your lawn?
Lawn aerating helps your lawn breathe; thus the name aeration. There are two ways you can aerate your lawn – spike aeration or core aeration. Spike aeration is done with a roller that has spikes in it, while core aeration, also known as plug aeration, is done with holes “cored” out of the soil. Core aerators, generally speaking, do a more thorough aeration job than spike aeration.
Aside from better air intake, some other benefits of aeration include:
- Strengthening roots
- Improving the effectiveness of lawn fertilization
- Increasing the ability for the lawn to absorb heat.
All in all, your lawn will be healthier after lawn aeration.
How do I know if my lawn needs to be aerated?
A simple way to tell whether your lawn needs to be aerated is the screwdriver test. Check to see if you can easily put a screwdriver or shovel in your lawn’s soil. If you can, your soil is fine. If you can only do this task with great difficulty, your soil needs to be aerated. If you have vehicles parked on the lawn, the soil also may be compacted. The same goes if puddles are forming on your lawn. Clay soils need to be aerated more than other types of soil.
When should you start aerating?
Depending on your type of grass, there are optimal times of the year to aerate your lawn. If you have a warm season grass like Buffalo or Bermuda grass, you should aerate towards the end of spring, just prior to the lawn’s peak growing season. As the lawn grows and thrives, it will fill in the holes. A cool season grass like ryegrass or Kentucky bluegrass should be aerated in the early spring or the fall. The lawn will also fill in the holes as well for the cool season grass as it grows..
How aerating a lawn works?
Our aeration experts recommend aeration when the soil is moist – water your lawn a day or two before starting the aeration process. Having a lawn too dry or wet will cause issues. In addition, core aeration and overseeding may go hand in hand – many people seed the lawn at the time they aerate. You can put seeds in the holes yourself with the use of core aerators. Many people who attempt to do this themselves rent a core aerator for a few hours. With such a machine, you can aerate the lawn with holes that are three to four inches deep, depending upon the size and type of the aerator. The machine will make sure that the holes are spaced properly apart from each other. However, the machine is heavy, and can be unwieldy as well as difficult to use.
What to expect after lawn aeration?
You should see a lusher, thicker lawn in the weeks and months after lawn aeration. However, you may still need to get your lawn aerated once a year or so, depending upon the lawn, in order to make sure it stays in good shape.