Fall and Spring
If you are hoping to have a lush and healthy lawn, it’s important to utilize proper lawn care practices like proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Another important aspect is to maintain a beautiful lawn is to ensure enough nutrients are reaching the soil underneath the grass. A great way to achieve this is through a process called aeration. Aeration is an essential aspect of lawn care in order because it allows air and water to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch.
What is Aeration?
Aeration is a lawn care process that involves puncturing the soil with small holes in order to let air, water, and nutrients to absorb in the grassroots. Aerating allows the roots to grow strongly and deeply in order to produce a healthy lawn.
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
It is important for you to aerate your lawn in order to alleviate soil compaction, which prevents proper air, water, and nutrient circulation in the soil. Soil compaction occurs when there are too many solid particles within a space. Soil that is compacted regularly should be aerated on a regular basis because compacted soil can squish the roots, inhibiting their ability to function. Too much lawn thatch or debris under the lawn can also prevent the roots from absorbing the necessary nutrients.
When to Aerate Your Lawn
The most ideal time for lawn aeration is during its growing season. The optimal aeration time for cool-season grass is in the early spring or fall while warm-season grass in the late spring. This is because the grass will then be able to grow to fill in any open areas punctured in the soil.
Note: Do not aerate a lawn that has been seeded or sodded within the last year of planting.
How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs to be Aerated
Your grass can benefit from lawn aeration if:
- Your lawn is frequently driven on. The weight of a vehicle, even movers, can compact soil.
- It has high foot traffic. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Your lawn is taking too long to drain and you experience water puddling on the lawn after rain.
- Grass shows heavy wear, is thinning, starting to patch, or bare.
- It has heavy clay soil.
- The thatch layer is thicker than one-half inch. Thatch lies between the living grass and soil. Take a shovel to remove a slice of your lawn in order to look at grassroots in the soil. If they reach 4-6 inches deep, your lawn doesn’t have a compaction problem. If, however, roots extend only 1-2 inches, you should consider aerating.
- Feels spongy or dries out easily. This might mean your lawn has a thatch problem.
Chances are, If your lawn has never been aerated before, it needs to do. However, to make sure it does, perform this simple lawn aeration test that can be done using a screwdriver or pencil. Place either object into the soil. If it’s too difficult, the soil is compacted and needs to be aerated.