Lawn aeration is a technique that most people will use at some time or another to keep their lawn looking fresh and healthy year after year. However, at the same time, there are also a lot of people are who are still left wondering what lawn aeration is and what it actually does.
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This is especially true for people who have looking into a lawn maintenance service for the first time. So what is lawn aeration and what does it do? Here is a quick overview of the entire process and why it could help your lawn.
What is Lawn Aeration?
There are several different common techniques that are used to aerate your lawn, they all do essentially same thing. Essentially, portions of your soil are removed in small pieces. While it can be done manually, the most common option is a mechanical aerator of one kind or another.
Or for example, a core aerator will take a ½ inch cores of soil and leave them on your lawn. Normally, these holes are several inches, up to 6 inches apart. In its most basic terms, aeration is a way to give your lawn more air. It is commonly used in situations where the lawn is heavily compacted or heavily used.
What Does Lawn Aeration Do?
The entire point of aerating your lawn is to give it more “room to breathe”. When your lawn becomes compacted there is less pore space in your soil.
This pore space is used both to hold air as well as absorb water. If your lawn is compacted, then the roots of your grass will not get the necessary oxygen, water, and nutrients that it needs to grow and stay green. In the end, this leads to poor “top growth” and in the long run, your lawn will die.
Do You Need to Aerate Your Lawn?
It can be difficult to decide whether or not you should aerate your lawn; however, there are some key indicators that will tell you that it is necessary.
If your lawn is heavily used on a regular basis and your grass is looking thin, then you should probably aerate it. Additionally, if your thatch layer is more than .5 inches or your soil is high in clay, then it will likely be necessary as well.
Should Everyone Aerate Their Lawn?
Not every lawn needs to be aerated. The freezing and thawing cycle that naturally occurs, along with earthworm activity will naturally keep your soil loose. Additionally, if you have newly seeded/sodded lawn then you should not aerate it in the first year.
A Simple Test
If you are not sure whether or not you need to aerate your lawn, the easiest thing to do is to remove a square foot section of your lawn (at least 6 inches deep).
If the roots of your grass are only an inch or two deep, then your soil might be so compacted that the roots are not allowed to grow any deeper and lawn aeration should be done. However, if your roots are growing deep and looking healthy then you may not need to aerate it at this time.
Article written by Jason Kay. Reprinted with permission.
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