You have a beautiful, healthy lawn and you work hard to keep it that way — mowing, watering and fertilizing as part of a regular maintenance schedule. But lately, you notice that your lawn looks a little lack-luster. It was established back when your home was new, and it’s been a good number of years since then. Perhaps the homebuilder used sod, and now the soil is layered, which disrupts natural water drainage and leads to poor root development. Plus, your kids and pets are running around on it all the time, compacting the soil underneath the grass roots, and now it dries out quickly or feels sort of spongy. This indicates your lawn may have too much thatch that’s inhibiting the proper health of your beautiful lawn.
For all these reasons, aerating your lawn can help keep it beautiful. The best time for aeration is during the growing season in early fall, so grass can heal or fill in any open areas before it goes dormant in winter.
Aeration Accomplishes Several Important Things
- Aerating perforates the soil with small holes, helping to alleviate soil compaction
- Aerating helps air and water to penetrate lawn thatch or built-up organic debris so it doesn’t starve the roots
- Aerating breaks up soil layering, allowing water to reach the roots
- Aerating allows vital nutrients to reach the soil beneath the grass
- Aerating helps the roots grow deeply, producing a stronger, more vigorous lawn
If you aerate your lawn and fertilize it at the same time, it can help the lawn breathe more easily. To learn more about this combination, read our blog post, Mark an Item Off Your Fall Checklist – Aerating and Fertilizing.
Types of Aerating Tools
Spike Aerator: pokes holes through the grass, thatch and roots and into the ground with a solid tine, or fork. This method is the least effective for soil compaction.
Aerator/Plugger: removes a patch of grass and soil from the lawn, called a plug. This method can achieve fantastic results with regard to soil compaction.
Slice Seeder: cuts vertically through existing grass and thatch, into the soil, dropping seed in the rows cut behind. Slice seeding makes direct contact with the soil for the seed to germinate quickly. The technique literally slices into the soil, creating rows for the seed to fall into, all in one motion. To learn more, read our blog post, Improve Your Existing Turf with Slice Seeding.
Tips for Aerating Your Yard
- Aerate when the soil is moist, such as after a rain shower or a deep watering of the lawn
- Run the aerator over the most compacted areas of your lawn several times, to make sure the compacted soil is completely treated
- Dry excavated soil plugs and break them up, giving your lawn a uniform appearance
- Research shows that aeration will not affect crabgrass control or weed prevention measures
- After aerating, make sure to continue basic lawn care practices such as mowing, watering and proper fertilizing
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you make aeration part of your yearly lawn care regime. From aerator/pluggers to slice seeders to fertilizer, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. Plus, your beautiful lawn will thank you for helping it breathe again!