Lawn Aeration Service – Why and When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
A beautiful lawn requires regular care and maintenance. Often this means performing tasks other than just watering and mowing. You should consult your local lawn care professional about lawn aeration service. A properly aerated lawn will encourage healthy growth.
What is Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration is the process of punching holes in the soil. This process reduces soil compacting, which can cause a lack of air and water movement and reduced nutrient availability to your lawn.
Aerating your lawn also controls thatch. Thatch is the layer of stems and roots between the green grass and the soil. Some of this material is alive and some is dead. Over a half inch of thatch can lead to pest and disease problems. Excess thatch also takes up every available space in the root system. This valuable space is needed for oxygen, water and nutrients to flow.
Several tools are available to aerate your lawn. These tools include shoes with spikes, hand tools and aerating machines. You can rent lawn aeration tools at your local hardware store or lawn and garden center. Most likely, if you have hard soil that is full of clay or a large lawn, you will need to use an aerating machine.
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating your lawn will make more oxygen available to the lawn root system. This will stimulate the roots and encourage growth. In addition, water can travel freely and bring more nutrients to help your lawn grow.
Aerating the lawn and providing more oxygen helps the microorganisms living in your lawn do their decomposition work. These microorganisms are key to converting biological material such as thatch into vital nutrients that can be used by the roots.
When Should You Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration is not something that needs to be done often. There are three factors that contribute to the need to aerate your lawn, including the amount of soil compaction, the type of soil and the type of grass.
To determine the amount of soil compaction, you should test the soil. Push a screwdriver into the soil. If you cannot push it in, then it is time to aerate. If the screwdriver goes into the soil easily, then you likely do not need to aerate your lawn.
The type of soil will determine how fast your soil compacts. Sandy soil does not compact quickly and only needs aeration once a year. Clay soil is heavy and compacts quickly. You should aerate a lawn growing on clay soil twice a year.
The type of grass in your lawn will determine what time of year that you aerate your lawn. If you have warm season grass, or you live in a warm climate, you should aerate in the late spring to early summer. If you have cool season grass, or you live in a colder climate, you should aerate in late summer to early fall.
Additional Tips About Aeration
There are a few more factors to remember when deciding to aerate your lawn. You want to aerate before you fertilize or seed your lawn. Aeration will help the fertilizer, nutrients or seed penetrate into your lawn better. You should wait one month before seeding an aerated lawn.
Also, you should not aerate during periods of very high temperatures or very low moisture. Otherwise, too much moisture can escape from the soil and too much thatch can be removed. Some thatch is necessary for insulating the roots from the sun and protecting the roots from excessive evaporation. Do not aerate a lawn during weed outbreaks. Otherwise, the aeration process can cause the weeds to spread.
Make sure you water one to two days before aerating the lawn. This will soften the soil and allow better penetration by the aerator.
Wait until new lawns are well established before aerating. Otherwise the root system may not develop properly. This is especially true for new sod installations.
While it is not difficult to properly aerate a lawn, it is advisable to consult a reputable lawn care company for lawn aeration service. With knowledge of the local climate and soil conditions, your lawn care professional will know the best time to aerate your lawn.