Is It Time To Aerate Lawns?
Lawn aeration is a widely recommended turf grass practice that mechanically removes soil cores in turf grass. Many homeowners have asked many question about this practice and these are a few of them:
What are the benefits of aeration? Answer: Aerification helps lawn s in several ways by reducing soil compaction. This allows for breaking down the thatch layer, more access to water and oxygen, increased air movement and overall health and growth to the root system.
When should I aerate? Answer: Anytime that turf grass is actively growing is a good time to aerate. Often this practice is done in early spring or early fall since it will reduce the stress of aerating somewhat. It is important that the turf grass is not suffering from drought because it will not be able to heal very well from the aeration. A lawn with good moisture and nutrition is typically ready for aeration.
What kind of aerator should be used? Answer: For the maximum affect, lawn should be aerated using an aerator that pulls plugs from the ground and deposits them on top. These aerators will pull plugs that can range from 2-3 inches and will need to pull approximately 20 holes per square foot. Machines that slice or drive spikes into the ground are not considered as aerators because the spikes will drive the soil down versus pulling plugs. Some would argue that the spike machines are causing more soil compaction instead of relieving it. Most professional lawn care companies will have the appropriate aerators but be sure and ask.
After two very dry summers, many lawns have suffered severely from drought this year. Lawn aeration, after a couple of good rains, may play a vital role in allowing the uptake of extra moisture and will also strengthen the turf grasses root system going into winter. Many homeowners spend the time and money to fertilize and mow but most miss what may be the most important maintenance practice of all. Aeration!!!!