What is Aeration?
Aeration is perforating the soil with small holes, alleviating soil compaction. This allows air, water and important nutrients to be able to penetrate the grass roots. Aeration helps roots grow deep, producing a stronger lawn.
Does My Lawn Need Aeration?
Ask yourself these important questions when considering aerating your lawn.
- Does your lawn get heavy traffic? Do you have kids and pets playing on your lawn often? Do you enjoy backyard parties with guests. Frequent use of your lawn contributes to soil compaction.
- Was your home built recently? Topsoil is often stripped or buried when building a new house. Grass and dirt can become compacted by busy construction traffic.
- Does your lawn feel dried out? You might have an overgrown thatch problem. If the thatch layer of your lawn is greater than 1-1/2″, aeration is recommended.
- Did you lay down sod? Is your soil layered? A finer texture of soil, which comes with sod that has been layered over a coarse textured soil layer, can disrupt water drainage. Water can be held up in the finer soil layer, leading to soil compaction and poor root development. Aeration breaks up the soil layers, allowing water to flow through, reaching the roots below.
When Should I Aerate My Lawn?
Depending on what kind of grass you have it may be better to aerate your lawn in either the early spring, or fall for cool season grass. For warm season grass it is beneficial to aerate during the late spring.
Plug or core aerators use hollow tubes to remove soil from the ground, creating gaps in the soil. Plug aerators reduce soil compaction. Holes stay open longer allowing water, air and fertilizer to reach the grass roots below. Core aeration is best used on heavy clay soils.
Spike aerators puncture holes into the soil, which create space for air and water. Soil is not removed when using spike aerators. Water will cause the compacted soil around the holes to expand and then close. Spike aeration is suitable for sandy or loamy soils.