What You Should Know About Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration is a common method used to remedy soil compaction. Soil compaction occurs naturally after years of mowing, foot traffic, activity and even traditional fertilizers. The longer you wait before seeking aeration services, the more your grass will struggle due to the compacted soil. Core lawn aeration services can help reverse soil compaction. Following a successful core aeration, your lawn will be able to breathe fully, more water will be able reach deeper into the soil, promoting strong root growth and allowing your yard to flourish.
What is Lawn Aeration?
Lawn aeration is a lawn maintenance technique where small holes are created in your lawn to allow water, air and nutrients to penetrate the soil’s surface. The proper method for aeration is with a core aerator. While many are tempted to use cheaper tools known as “spike aerators”, which come in handheld form and tow-behind attachments for lawn tractors, these tools push into the ground which can cause more harm than good. A mechanical core aerator will reach into the soil and pull out a core plug of grass, roots and soil. These plugs are deposited from the machine onto your yard and holes approximately 2-3” deep are exposed. With proper watering, the plugs will break down over the course of 1-3 weeks while providing more nutrients for your lawn, your grass will grow together during this time to fill in the holes.
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
The holes created during the lawn aeration process let water, air and nutrients reach the roots of your grass. Without aeration, soil compaction makes it hard for these good things to get down to the roots. The difference is something like suffocating grass being able to breathe. After aerating your lawn, you will also notice better drainage. Heavy organic debris develops over time from grass clippings, fallen leaves, thatch and more. This debris builds up a barrier on the surface of the lawn that prevents water from absorbing. The water finally has a place to go instead of pooling on the surface after removing soil plugs during the aeration process.
When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
Early fall is the best season for lawn aeration in northeast Ohio. Your grass will need ample time to recover, so scheduling an aeration at least 6-8 weeks before winter’s arrival is key. As your lawn fills in the holes, its root system will build strength and it will be better prepared to combat the heat and respond better to fertilizer applications. Depending on the type of soil your lawn is built on, you might need to aerate your lawn more often. Clay-based soil is not as porous as other soil types and it may require aeration services more often than sandier soils.
Many also ask if fertilizer should be applied before or after aeration. The ideal time for an application is after aeration. Applying fertilizer before aerating will lead to wasting a lot of the product because it does not absorb properly. Following an aeration, the fertilizer can reach the down deep enough to condition the soil near the root system.
If you have any questions about aerating your lawn in the Canton, OH and Akron, OH metro areas, get in touch with Greener Grass today.