Just like people, the roots of your turf grass need a little breathing room. Aeration breaks apart compacted soil and lets your grass’s roots stretch out. Whether your lawn has been struggling or you’ve just been wondering what the fuss is all about, considering aeration may be the best thing you’ve ever done for your turf.
How Does Soil Get Compacted?
Have you ever noticed how compacted coffee grounds become after they’ve been used? Over time, rain and foot traffic does the same thing to your soil. The soil settles, becoming denser, harder and less permeable. It chokes grass and cuts off its supply of water and nutrients.
Signs of compacted soil include:
• Weak grass despite otherwise ideal growing conditions
• Barren spots where people or animals often walk
• Soil that’s difficult to cut with a shovel
• Poor drainage
• Thick thatch
• Soil conditions that don’t change despite laying down amendments and fertilizers
What Does Lawn Aeration Do?
In rich ecosystems like fields and forests, soil is aerated by worms, moles and other burrowing organisms. Because our lawns are breaks in the natural norms, they require human intervention to stay light and loamy. The most common aeration process pulls plugs of soil up out of your lawn, letting air filter in and creating a looser top layer of soil as the plugs and holes break down over time.
Proper aeration will help:
• Strengthen grass and grass roots
• Prevent pests and disease
• Encourage deeper grass roots
• Improve drainage
• Increase fertilizer and additive uptake
• Reduce runoff
• Break apart thatch
How Often to Aerate
Lawns should be aerated at least once a year, immediately before fertilizing and overseeding in the fall. The loose soil provides the perfect medium for fertilizers and fresh seed. If your lawn sees heavy foot traffic, add a spring aeration to your schedule as well.
If you plan on laying sod anywhere on your lawn, aerate before laying sod and don’t aerate again for six months to a year. If you’re establishing a new lawn with seed, aerate immediately before seeding and don’t aerate again until the the grass as fully matured.
You can aerate your lawn yourself or schedule it and forget about it. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like a hand. Visit our homepage for more info.