How to Aerate Your Lawn for the Best Results?
A lush and beautiful lawn is not something that can be achieved overnight. It takes time, patience, and proper care to build an attractive and alluring landscape — and to keep it that way! That’s why lawn maintenance should be a top priority for homeowners, but admittedly, this can be a tedious activity and sometimes even difficult.
One of the most intimidating activities involved in lawn maintenance is lawn aeration. Many homeowners don’t aerate their lawns until it causes severe and expensive problems to their once-prided landscape. Lawn aeration is an important task that homeowners need to get on their calendars and undertake to retain the health and beauty of their lawns. But first, what is lawn aeration anyway?
What is Lawn Aeration?
The term “lawn aeration” is intimidating, which is why many homeowners don’t bother with it. But aerating your lawn simply means perforating small holes through the soil to create plugs where nutrients, oxygen, and water can penetrate.
This process allows your grass’ root system to better absorb the nutrients it needs to get stronger and healthier, creating a defense against common lawn problems like disease, pests, and drought. Lawn aeration benefits your lawn in many ways, helping it withstand environmental stressors, alleviating soil compaction, and yielding even and healthy grass.
When Do You Need to Aerate Your Lawn?
Unlike watering your lawn, mowing, and adding fertilizer every now and then, lawn aeration is not something you need to do routinely. Ideally, it should be done during the growing season of your grass, which would depend on what type of grass you have.
Cool-season grasses grow during cold weather, so a perfect time to aerate your lawn is in early spring or fall. On the other hand, warm-season grass lawns should be aerated during the late spring.
It’s crucial that you set your calendars and conduct your lawn aeration efforts at the right time, especially if you want an even and lush lawn. Because aeration is done during the growing season, your grass still has the opportunity to fill the holes you made and avoid bald spots in your lawn.
Signs It’s Time to Aerate Your Lawn
While lawn aeration should be done every season, you may notice some tell-tale signs that it’s time for you to aerate your lawn. This is especially true if you haven’t done it in the past year. Observe your lawn for the following indicators:
Your lawn has sod layering
If your lawn was established with sod layering, there’s a thick line of sod preventing nutrients, water, and oxygen from penetrating your grass’ root system. It also disrupts optimal soil drainage and can cause the roots to rot and halt their development. Aeration can remedy this problem, as long as it’s done in a timely and regular manner.
Your lawn is high-traffic
High-traffic lawns can be at risk of soil compaction, which hinders nutrients from reaching your grass’ root system. If your lawn is frequently walked on or sees a lot of activity, lawn aeration may be due.
Your lawn is spongy
Take your shovel and dig through a part of your lawn, taking a sample of four inches of soil. If the soil feels spongy, you may be facing a thatch problem and need to aerate your lawn as soon as possible.
How to Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration might seem simple now that you have an idea of what it is. But depending on the size of your lawn, you need to decide which one of two methods to utilize. The first method is recommended for large lawns and requires the use of a machine or plug aerator. The second method is manual aeration using a spike aerator.
When you’re ready to aerate your lawn, take the following steps:
1. Water the soil
Before you begin poking holes in your lawn with an aeration machine, make sure that your soil is moist first. It’s a good idea to schedule your aeration the day after you water your lawn in its entirety or after a rainy day.
2. Aerate and make multiple passes
Lawn aeration is time-consuming because you need to make multiple passes, especially on heavily compacted soil. But if certain parts of your lawn are not compacted, you don’t necessarily need to aerate that area.
3. Apply herbicide
Applying herbicide after you’ve aerated your lawn can add an extra line of defense against weed growth, pests, and disease. It also helps double the nutrients that your grass’ root system absorbs.
4. Conduct other lawn maintenance practices
After aeration, you can proceed with your regular lawn maintenance efforts. Water and mow your lawn as scheduled and apply fertilizer every now and then.
Leave Aeration to the Pros
Aeration is not as difficult as most people think, but in order to do it effectively, you need professionals backed with knowledge and experience in it. As part of the American Landscapes LLC lawn care services, we offer lawn aeration to help you keep your lawn lush and beautiful all year.
We use plug aerators to do the job and also leave dissolving nutrient plugs that give added nutrients to the soil and yield thriving plants and grass. Get started with your lawn care and aeration efforts today. Request a quote.