Lawn Aeration Basics, Tools And Tips

lawn aeration improves the quality of your lawnAerating the soil on one's lawn is one of the necessary maintenance procedures for achieving healthy green grass all year round. This procedure addresses the issue of soil compacting caused by foot and vehicle traffic, mowing, poor drainage, and wet soil conditions. Compacted soil has fewer spaces for oxygen and nutrients to circulate, prevents plant roots from expanding, and disrupts water from soaking deeper into the ground. Aerating the soil will remedy the situation by loosening up the compacted soil.

Soil is naturally aerated by earthworms as they burrow through the ground. One does not have to wait for the worms to perform natural aeration as there are various tools that can do the task much faster and more efficiently. These tools come in various forms, from lawn aerator shoes to gas powered aerators, but are generally classified under two types: the core aerators and the spike aerators. There is a third aeration method that is faster and easier - more on this later.

Free seasonal remindersCore aerators remove cylinders of soil off the ground and deposit them on the surface. One can choose to just leave these plugs on the grass and let them dry out since these will be broken up the next time the lawn is mowed. Meanwhile, the spike aerators facilitate aeration when they cause holes to form on the ground where the spikes pierce the soil.

Of the two, core aerators are better in achieving the goal of loosening compacted soil. Spike aerators do make holes appear in the ground but the displaced soil is just pushed further down, compacting the soil in that area even more. Using a spike aerator is not recommended if the soil in one's lawn is similar to clay, as spike aerators may be more appropriate for sandy soils.

Although it is done for the lawn's overall health, this procedure is still nevertheless stressful on the grass plants. In order to mitigate the stress, this must be done just before the active or high growth period of the grass so that the lawn can recover much faster and more easily. These periods of growth differ depending on the type of grass on the lawn as different types have different growth cycles. For cool season grasses, late summer or fall is the best time to aerate the lawn. If the lawn is planted with warm season grasses, aerating the lawn is best done during spring or early summer.

Aside from grass type, the soil's type and conditions are other important factors to consider when aerating must be scheduled. Clay soil gets compacted very easily and thus will have to be aerated at least twice a year, while sandy soil needs to be aerated just once a year. The ideal soil conditions for aerating the lawn would be when the soil is moist and soft. Thus, if the soil is dry, water the lawn a day before aerating to achieve moist conditions. Soil shouldn't be too wet or muddy either. If it has been raining, let the lawn dry first before aerating.

Safety precautions must be observed when doing this lawn maintenance procedure. Before aerating, mark any part of the lawn where irrigation lines, sprinkler lines, or underground cables are found so that they will be avoided. Also make sure that children and pets are away from the area.

Oh, and the third method I mentioned earlier? Liquid Lawn Aerator: just affix it to your fertigation system and spray! That's it! Easier than spikes or core aerators and you still get the same great results.

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