Lawn Aeration – When To Perform
Lawn aeration should be on your yearly turf maintenance schedule. Late spring to early summer is a good time to aerate, usually around the time your turf is making a come-back from the winter months. When the growing season starts to slow down around late summer to early fall, a core aeration will benefit your turf’s health over the winter months.
Lawn Aeration Tools
Aerating your lawn can be performed with a walk behind or ride on type of machine. These are the preferred type for most lawn care companies.
A pull behind core aerator is another type that attaches to the hitch of a ride behind mower or all-terrain-vehicle. Most homeowners will use these, but they are not as penetrable as a gas-powered aerator.
However, if a proper speed is achieved, good lawn aeration can be accomplished. Many rental and home improvement stores have the pull behind type you can purchase. Most rental stores have the walk behind gas-powered version aerator.
If you have been properly watering your lawn and your turf is experiencing excessive run-off, most likely the soil is compacted. Compacted soil prevents very important nutrients from reaching the grass root. Relieving the soil from compaction will instantly give your turf a fighting chance for long-term health. Opening up the earth and making three-inch deep holes will make way for important elements to reach the root zones of the grass.
There are two elements that will increase the life of your lawn, and they just so happen to be ones humans need too. Water and oxygen are the key ingredients to everything that is living on earth. Any deprivation of these elements will be evident when your turf shows signs of stress.
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Does Your Turf Need Lawn Aeration?
Perform an assessment of your lawn. Knowing what to look for will help decide if you need lawn aeration.
- Ground not absorbing moisture. Standing water or excess run-off?
- Type of foot or lawn mowing traffic during season
- Thatch visible on top of ground
- Type of soil
The type of soil you have will help you decide the best time to aerate your lawn.
- Clay soil is highly susceptible to compaction and should be aerated twice per season. Spring and Fall
- Sandy soil has a smaller compatibility compared to clay soil, and once per season is recommended for healthy turf. Spring or Fall
- During drought conditions, it is recommended not to aerate at all. Important moisture may be released which can cause damage to an already heat stressed lawn. Usually there is an small layer of thatch which can actually keep the moisture in the soil.
Fertilizing and Over-Seeding
If you plan to fertilize or re-seed your lawn, aerate prior to doing so for the best results. This will allow the fertilizer, water, grass seed and oxygen to easily find their way to the grasses root zone. There are many affordable ways to create a green lush lawn, none greater than lawn aeration.