How Do You Know If Your Lawn Needs Aeration
There are a couple of tried and tested methods you can use for understanding when you need to aerate your lawn.
First, check your lawn after any rainfall. Does the water drain away easily or are you left with any puddles? If you have any particularly damp or flooded areas its time for aeration.
Try the screwdriver test. Stick a screwdriver or pencil randomly into your lawn. If it enters the soil with ease youre good to go. If you meet with any resistance its time for aeration.
Check to see if you have any thatch on your lawn surface. As well as being unsightly, thatch build-up is a potential hive for weeds and unwanted garden visitors that could destroy your lawn grass.
If you have a lot of such debris on your lawn youve guessed it its time for aeration.
Which leads me nicely onto the next question.
How To Properly Aerate Your Lawn:
To aerate your lawn, first determine what equipment you require. If youre working in a small area, or the problem isnt too significant, you can get a good rake from the local hardware store to remove thatch and then begin spiking. Conduct spiking by plunging the teeth of the rake into moist, but not wet, soil every few inches to create holes in the lawn. This will expose the grasses root systems to air, water, and nutrients.
A more extensive project may require different equipment. Luckily, finding a power or manual lawn aerator is a simple task that you can likely complete at your local hardware store. Much like with spiking, you will want to use a rake first to remove thatch. Remember to rake deeply! Youre doing more than just skimming for autumn leaves. After youve removed the thatch, use your new power or manual lawn aerator to plunge holes into moist, but not wet, soil every couple of inches, revealing the lawns root system to much-needed nutrients and air.
No matter what method you used to aerate your lawn, you should finish by watering it and applying fertilizer for strong new blade and root growth.
Signs That Indicate You Need To Aerate Your Lawn
Thatch is comprised of shoots, stems, and roots. This built-up plant material, also referred to as organic debris, is beneficial to the overall health of the lawn, but too much of it can deter healthy lawn growth. A half inch or more of lawn thatch is considered too thick and should be removed since it can also promote insect manifestation and diseases. Furthermore, excess thatch can prevent you from mowing your grass properly because its spongy consistency causes the lawn mower wheels to sink down and scalp your lawn.
Overall, if your lawn does not appear to be growing as well as it should despite seemingly proper care, such as adequate watering, lawn aeration might be the missing key element.
Here are some other indicators that you should aerate.
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What Does Scarifying Do To A Lawn Benefits
Scarifying allows you to control thatch. Thatch is what develops when the top layer of your lawn dies and falls into the soil, which can happen if there isnt enough moisture or sun exposure in your garden.
When this happens, water doesnt get through easily because it gets trapped underneath the dead grass. This can lead to the development of fungus, which causes diseases in your lawn that make it turn brown or yellowish-green.
Scarifying helps remove this dead grass and allows water through again, so you dont need to worry about fungal growth developing on whats left of your lawn either.
Scarifying also helps prevent weeds in your lawn. When thatch builds up, it can prevent weed seeds from getting into the soil where they could grow and pop out unwanted plants in what should be a beautiful green garden. Scarifying helps get rid of these weeds by removing whats left of old blades and opening holes for new ones to take their place.
Scarifying also makes whats left of grass blades in your lawn stronger. When whats left of the old blade falls into your soil, it makes what can be a weaker turf because there is less to hold onto when it gets wet or dry. Scarifying opens up these holes so that healthy new grass has room to grow and become strong.
Why Do You Need To Aerate Your Lawn
Although there are still many things to be learned about lawn aeration, theres one thing most experts agree on and that is that opening up the turfs surface is beneficial for it. Air and water are essential for the soil ecosystem and the soil microorganisms in it which help naturally break down thatch thus improving the lawn.
Good drainage conditions and adequate topsoil air intake are very important for the proper growth of grassroots as they help them breathe and grow. By aerating the soil, youre permitting air to enter into the soil, which leads to gaseous exchange. Meaning that the grassroots suck in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.
Having too much carbon dioxide in the soil is not good as it can limit or completely prohibit its water and nutrients intake.
However, by thoroughly aerating an area where browning has occurred, you can restore to roots ability to intake moisture again. And if done right your grass colour will return to its regular green in just around a week.
On the other hand, if the lawn is not aerated during the cold rainy seasons such as autumn and winter completely different problems can occur. For example, your soil might experience surface sealing because of the compacting effect of walking around and using garden maintenance machines that are on the heavier side.
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You Dont Keep Your Lawn Moist After Aerating And Overseeding
After planting the seeds, you must make sure theyre covered with moist soil at least a fourth of an inch to foster growth. A common mistake rookie aerators and overseeders make is thinking that the natural rain cycle will provide all the water you need, but a few days without moisture could mean bad news for a new seed.;
For about three weeks after seeding, or until the grass begins to peek out of the dirt, set a daily watering schedule. Once the grass has gained a little height, you can ease back to your normal pattern.
The Pros And Cons Of Lawn Aeration
What are the actual benefits of aerating a lawn? Why should you aerate your lawn in the first place? There are several important reasons.
First, it helps to ensure your lawn is more beautiful and much healthier than it otherwise might be.
The roots will grow deeper and gain strength, the soil becomes less compact, the grass will be thicker, and youll have a vibrantly green lawn as a result.
Youll also improve irrigation and have better absorption for water and fertilizers, and pesticide run-off will be limited.
Finally, thatch and debris are less likely to accumulate on a well-aerated lawn.
And thats reason enough for why should you aerate your lawn but are there any downsides?
Well, providing youre doing it correctly and in the right conditions , for the lawn itself the answer is no.
The same cant be said for you, however. Aerating a lawn can be tough, backbreaking work even if youre using a machine. Due to the nature of how they operate, theyre extremely heavy with added weights, and they can be a real challenge to maneuver and transport.
Aside from that, theyre not cheap so hiring one is often a sensible way to go considering how infrequently youll actually be using it.
Yes, the benefits of aerating your lawn are significant, but its going to take a fair bit of effort on your part to get the job done.
But theres no reward without the work.
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How To Reseed Or Overseed A Lawn In 6 Easy Steps
Your lawn may look healthier at certain times of year than others. Some grass goes dormant during the winter or summer, and some lawns may battle insects, fungus, or high usage, which thins them or creates barren areas. To deal with these situations, some homeowners may consider overseeding or reseeding their lawn. Learning how to overseed a lawn or reseed a lawn isnt difficult, but it does require some planning and research. Heres a simple step-by-step guide to help you.
What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn
Its important you capitalize on the conditions immediately after you have aerated your lawn this is the moment seeding and fertilizing is key.
First, youll want to leave the clods of soil on the surface. You might be tempted to remove them, but youll only be removing good soil. Let them disintegrate and work their way back into the surface.
Add nutrients to your lawn by using a good fertilizer immediately after aeration. A good weed killer also is recommended if you dont intend to practise overseeding.
However, now is a good time to do just that as the soil will be more exposed and you have an excellent chance of quality germination. Remember that overseeding is best done in late September.
Finally, give your lawn a good amount of water after aeration unless you have the weather to do it for you.
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Using The Aeration Machine Incorrectly
Even if you choose the correct aeration machine, you may still not be able to operate it properly.
Your whole aeration and overseeding adventure will be over rather quickly unless you get familiar with the equipment you want to use.
The most common type of aeration machine is a walk-behind, which may seem simple enough. However, because they are heavy to push you could end up missing some parts of the turf, or ripping apart your lawn when turning the machine.
Pay attention when picking up the equipment and ask questions of the pro youre renting it from. Watch some online videos beforehand, and take the first pass with the machine over a part of your lawn that is the least visible from the street in case you make a mistake.
What Is Lawn Aeration When And How To Do It
If you are a novice or seasoned gardener, or simply a homeowner who has an interest in understanding and knowing more about landscaping, you may have heard of lawn aeration even if you have little idea of what it is.
In this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of what lawn aeration is, why & when you should do it, and provide tips that will help you with the actual process.
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Sometimes Its Better To Trust A Professional
Being mindful of these seven aeration and overseeding mistakes can certainly help create the beautiful turf you long for, but landscape maintenance can be time-consuming and theres a lot of dos and donts along the way!
A lawn care professional will know the right equipment and understand the needs of your unique property. Our team at Caramanico is here to get the job done right and prepare your turf for vibrant growth for your commercial property. Give us a call at 610.499.1640 or fill out this form to get a free property assessment today.
Properties We Serve:;Businesses, Colleges & Universities, High Schools & Elementary Schools, Shopping Centers, Apartments & Condominiums, Retirement Communities, Golf Courses & Country Clubs, Medical Centers, and more!
Service areas:;Chester County, Pennsylvania; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Hunterdon County, New Jersey; Somerset County, New Jersey; Mercer County, New Jersey; Camden County, New Jersey; Gloucester County, New Jersey; New Castle County, Delaware
Pro Tip: Skip Aeration If Your Lawn Was Seeded Or Sodded Within The Last Calendar Year
Some yards dont need aeration or dont need it very often and can be aerated once every two or three years. High-traffic areas with compact prone soils can benefit from yearly care. If youre aerating in the fall, be sure to faithfully remove as much lawn thatch as possible by raking deep rather than just skimming the autumn leaves off the top of the lawn.;
BOTTOM LINE: ;Knowing if and when to aerate your lawn really depends on the health of the grass and your lawns soil.;
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Spike Versus Core Aeration
You can get manual or motorized tools and machines that will do each type of aeration but which is the best?
Generally speaking, youll achieve the best results with core aeration, but thats not to say that spiking your lawn doesnt have its place.
Its best to use a spike aerator when the soil isnt particularly hard or compact, as this will do more harm than good.
It can be a useful technique for preparing the surface for further seeding, for a more temporary fix, or just for general maintenance especially if youre working on a budget.
Core aerators are much more effective for breaking up hard, compact earth as theyre actually lifting the soil out rather than pushing it down.
One disadvantage of a core aerator is that it will leave behind unsightly plugs of soil across the surface of your lawn that will look very similar to animal poop.
Experts advise you leave this in place to assist fertilization but you can remove it if you want its just more work for you.
Water And Keep Off The Lawn
Finally, you will want to water your lawn for about 2-3 weeks.;
You will want to water your lawn at least every other day to ensure your little baby grass is able to come in properly.;
Be sure to follow the best practices for watering the lawn.;
For best results water in the early morning before the sun rises.;
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S To Aerating And Overseeding Your Lawn This Fall
Look, not only is aeration and overseeding an easy process, it can be fun too.
But you have to do it right, or you will be wasting your time.;
To ensure you are doing things right, follow these 5 simple steps to aerate and overseed the right way.
When is the best time to Aerate?
You can aerate in the early spring or late fall. Most people get it done in the fall so that the grass seed can overwinter in the lawn.;
In my experience, the best time to aerate and overseed is right after the last cutting of the lawn for the season. But if you miss the fall, early spring is good too.;
Does Aeration And Overseeding Work
While the idea behind aeration might sound like it makes sense to you, you might be wondering does it really work? Will putting all those holes throughout your yard actually make a difference in how your lawn looks?
Without a doubt, the answer is yes. The best case-and-point we can provide is a recent job we completed for our commercial client, ArtsQuest, which puts on Musikfest every August. Musikfest is a Lehigh Valley staple and it attracts thousands. In fact, Musikfest 2017 set a new attendance record with 1,196,000 attendees to the event . Simply put, its a lot of people! And when all of those people, as well as vendors, equipment, and vehicles, trample through the grass for 10 days, its probably no surprise that the grass is going to be destroyed.
That was certainly the case this year. After Musikfest 2017 wrapped up, the grass was completely brown. The compaction of the soil and the heavy traffic was simply too much. So we got out there and provided our lawn aerating service, as well as overseeding with high-quality grass seed.
The result? Well, just look at the pictures. If youre asking does aeration and overseeding work? then this is the perfect example to illustrate that answer. Yes, it absolutely does. If aeration and overseeding can bring a lawn back to life that was completely browned out and dying, just imagine what it can do for your lawn.
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Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn
One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
How Often Should I Aerate
How often you aerate your lawn depends on a few factors. Our turf care experts at Timberline recommend once annually, during fall,; for the typical lawn. If your lawn is walked on, mowed, or used very often, this will cause additional compaction.;;Clay soil types tend to compact more than other soils which could increase the need for aeration. ;
High use lawns may require twice per year aeration, once in spring and once in fall, to keep them healthy and beautiful. However, the opposite is also true. If your lawn is lush, beautiful, and almost never has foot traffic, aerating every couple of years may be the best fit. Its important to remember, aerating to often can cause way more harm than good for your lawn. If youre unsure how often to aerate or what soil type you have, a turf care expert will assist you in determining your lawn care needs.
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