What is aeration?
Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeper, and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. The air pockets formed during aeration allow for the movement of water, air and nutrients to the root zone keeping the soils healthy. It’s easy to forget that healthy soil is essential to a healthy lawn.
How often should you aerate your lawn and when is the best time?
Once a year correlating with the grass’s growing season. This depends on the type of grass you have. The best time of year is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. If you have cool season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and fine fescue, you’ll want to aerate in the early spring or fall. If you have warm season grass such as Bermudagrass, centipedegrass, and zoysiagrass, you’ll want to aerate in the late spring.
How do you aerate your lawn?
First, decide if you will be using -a spike aerator or a plug aerator. With a spike aerator, you manually poke holes into the ground with a solidtine. Plug aerators remove a core, or “plug” of grass and soil from the lawn. Plug aerators are more effective and beneficial, whereas spike aerators can be less effective and cause additional compaction in the areas around the holes. Look for an aerating machine that removes soil plus approximately 2-3″ deep, 0.5 – 0.75″ in diameter, and 2 – 3″ apart. They can be rented from your home improvement centers and/or local lawn and garden stores. Be sure to call before hand to make sure there is one available.
Next, make sure your lawn is moist enough. It will not only be frustrating, but much less effective to aerate dry soil. The day after rain is ideal. Most machines only aerate a small portion, we recommend going over your lawn twice to be the most effective.
If you’ve spent your time and effort on a beautiful freshly sodded, consider aeration into your sod maintenance. If you’re looking to sod your lawn, contact us and we’ll help you create the lawn of dreams.