How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn

Aeration of soil is one of the many aspects of maintaining your lawn like fertilization, mowing. To have a beautiful lawn you need to employ certain lawn practices, and aeration is one of them. It makes sure that all the necessary nutrients and water reach the roots of grass. Aeration allows water and nutrients to find their way into the lawn thatch or grass buildup.

What is Aeration

Aeration is the process in which air is brought into contact with another substance. Aeration of soil involves perforating it with small holes to allow water, air, and other nutrients to penetrate the grassroots. Aeration is necessary for removing the soil compaction. Compacted soil has solid particles which prevent the air circulation, nutrients and water to pass through them within soil. After aeration, you will notice better colored and thicker grass and a vigorous lawn.

Why should you aerate your lawn?

Your lawn needs aeration for all these reasons:

  • If it gets too much traffic on it or has to bear a lot of football. With children running in your yard, the soil may get compacted, and you need to aerate it more often.
  • If you have a newly constructed house, then the topsoil of your new lawn may be stripped or buried. Aeration will remove the hard plugs and mix the topsoil with the hard compacted soil underneath.
  • If your lawn dries out fast, then it may have an excessive thatch problem. Aeration can help in this situation.
  • If you have imported sod, then soil layering may exist. Soil layering means that soil of finer quality is layered over the existing soil which may block the water and other nutrients from penetrating the ground. Aeration breaks up those layers and allows water and other nutrients to be penetrate the soil.

Best time to aerate your lawn

It depends on the type of turf you have. The best time of aeration is the growing season. If your lawn has a warm-season grass, then you should be aerating your lawn in late spring or early summer. Cold-season grasses remain dormant in summers and sprouts during fall and winter months so aerating right before their growth time will help them grow more vigorously and will also fill the gaps of the lawn.

Aerating tools

Two main tools used for aeration are Plug aerator and spike aerator.

  • Spike aerator: Spike aerator simply poke holes in the ground with a tine or fork. It does not remove the plug of grass or soil from the lawn. Poking mere holes is not enough, and it may add the compaction of soil around the holes.
  • Plug aerator: Plug aerator remove the blockage from the soil. It removes the plugs from soil making it more light and smooth. So a plug aerator is more suitable for removing compaction from the soil. A Machine or tool that removes the plugs from 2-3 inches deep and 0.5 to 0.75 of diameter is ideal for aeration. These machines can be rented from lawn and garden stores.

Some tips for aerating your lawn

Following tips can help:

1. Water your lawn a day before you plan aeration. Soil should be moist, or you would find it hard to aerate the solid that is bone dry.

2. Aeration machines small patches of ground per pass so make sure you make multiple passes over the compact area.

3. Plugged soil should be broken up to give a uniform look to your lawn.

4. After aerating keep practising the basic lawn care practices like watering, mowing, or fertilizing.

Benefits of aerating your lawn

Aeration makes your lawn look healthier, and some of its benefits are explained here.
• Aeration exchange air from the atmosphere to the soil.
• It improves the water uptake in soil
• It provides necessary nutrients to your lawn production.
• It reduces puddling and water runoff.
• Makes the grassroots stronger.
• Enhance thatch breakdown.
• Reduces soil compaction.

How often should your lawn be aerated?

You may need to aerate your lawn once or twice a year depending on your lawn soil and usage. If it is used as a playground, a gold fairway, or for other municipalities it may need to aerate two three times in a year.
Aeration fertilizers and herbicide
Aerating your lawn before you apply herbicide is better as aerating after herbicide application can reduce the chemical barrier formed by the herbicide and may allow weeds to generate in your lawn. Applying fertilizers after aeration help lawn to fight against weeds.

Aeration makes your lawn look vigorous and healthy. Proper tools make aeration easy and effective. Most home lawns are subject to thatch and if left unmanaged it can impede the fertilizers, water, and herbicide from penetrating the ground.

If you want to check more about lawn and other interesting facts about you can take care of your yard then check:

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