Lawn Aeration: How and When Your Lawn Needs It
Lawn aeration is only necessary if the soil is becoming compacted. If you are unsure whether you need to aerate consider the type of soil in your yard. Any soil with a clay base will probably need aeration, as clay compacts easily. Soil with a sandy base will probably not need to be aerated as often.
Another way to determine if your lawn is in need of aeration is by the amount of traffic on it during the summer. Lots of people or vehicles on the lawn will increase the amount the soil is compacted. When soil becomes too compacted the roots cannot spread. Compacted soil also makes it difficult for water and nutrients to be absorbed into the soil. When soil become extremely compacted it is easy to see the results because water will pool and run off. Lawn aeration needs to be done long before compaction reaches this point.
One way to check whether your lawn needs to be aerated is to dig up a small area; a one foot by one foot square is more than enough. Dig down about 6 inches; lift up the piece of sod and check to see how deep the grass roots have penetrated. If there are no roots past the first one to two inches then you need lawn aeration. However, if the roots extend down past that point then your lawn is probably fine for another year. Try to do this test in the most heavily trafficked area of your lawn.
If you find that your lawn needs aeration the best times of the year to perform it is either spring or fall. Soil that is composed of mostly clay will need lawn aeration more often than a soil that is sand or loam based. Clay is more likely to compact than other types of soil. Sand is the least likely to compact but it can be difficult to find a grass seed that grows well in sand.
If you have started a lawn from scratch, lawn aeration is not recommended in the first year. You may want to check in the fall of the second year of growth if you have had heavy traffic on the lawn. It is also a good idea to try natural aeration when you are trying to establish a new lawn. Natural aeration is created by seeding your lawn with earthworms. Gardeners have long known of the benefits offered by earthworms. One option you might want to consider is, Encapsulated Earthworm Cocoons TM this is an easy and mess free way to ensure that your lawn is well seeded with these helpful guests.
The tunnels created by earthworms as they move through the soil are a natural form of aeration. They also break down organic materials in the soil making it easier for grass and other landscaping plants to absorb them. Earthworms are a natural and cost effective way to ensure a beautiful green and healthy lawn. Much less work and expense than renting and running a mechanical lawn aeration tool.
If the idea of earthworms gives you the creeps, we also have a convenient Liquid Aerator Blend, perfect for lawn aeration. Use it after the winter to loosen up compacted soil and prepare your yard for lush, green growth.