How To Aerate Your Yard
If you’re convinced that your lawn is in need of aeration, here are some lawn care tips on how to do it:
- Before you get started, make sure the soil is moist enough. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to aerate soil that is bone dry. Aerating the day after a rain shower or watering your lawn the day before is advised.
- Most aeration machines cover only a small percentage of soil surface per pass, so make multiple passes over the most compacted areas. Save resources by leaving unaffected areas alone
- The excavated soil plugs should be allowed to dry and then broken up to give your lawn a uniform, clean appearance. Break them up by running them over with a lawn mower or pounding them with the back of a rake.
- An aeration myth is that if you apply a pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn in the spring, aerating your lawn will destroy the herbicide “barrier.” This is not true research shows that aeration will not affect crabgrass control or weed prevention.
- After aerating, it’s important to continue basic lawn care practices such as proper fertilizing, mowing and watering.
Aeration is a beneficial practice toward achieving a beautiful lawn, but most people don’t realize it or understand the process. If your lawn is a candidate, make it an integral part of your lawn care regime. Your lawn will thank you for letting it breathe again.
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.
The Steps To Aerating The Yard
If you have never aerated the lawn before, the steps are not complicated, but they need to be closely followed:
Step 1: First of all, carefully mark underground sprinkler lines and heads location. Then use the cables and lines to delimit all the septic systems to avoid damaging them while aerating.
Step 2: You should thoroughly water the area two days before the aeration process. This should be somewhere two or three centimeters deep. The water will penetrate the lawn faster and make the plugs fall out more quickly.
As such, before you start aerating the lawn, you should make sure the soil is adequately moistened.
It is so frustrating to aerate soil that is too compact and bone dry. I recommend you to aerate the lawn one day after a rain shower or watering the soil. It will make your work way easier.
Step 3: The best moves while aerating the lawn are the natural ones. It should be like trying to move the lawn lengthwise, then widthwise. Most of the aeration machines people are using will cover only a small part of each passs soil surface.
Considering this, you should make multiple passes to cover all the most compacted areas.
Although it seems a lot of work, in time, it will help you save lots of resources and energy, without affecting any areas.
Step 4: After you have passed all through the lawn area, its time for the final touch. When you have finished your work, you can improve the soils quality only by top-dressing the soil with a few millimeters of compost.
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Benefits Of Core Aeration In The Fall
1. Relieves soil compaction. Compacted soil can prevent air, water and fertilizer from reaching your lawns root system, causing dead spots, patches and/or thinning. By removing cores in the aeration process, soil density is decreased, thus relieving compaction.
2. Aids in thatch management. Thatch, the layer of dead grass that accumulates on your lawn can build up to a thick layer, robbing your grass of necessary rain and nutrients which can be detrimental to your lawn if left untreated. Core aeration helps manage that build-up by introducing thatch-decomposing microorganisms from the soil to the top of the thatch layer.
3. Increases nutrient availability. Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil. When nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone, they become available to the turf. This improves the effectiveness of your TruGreen fertilization and ongoing watering to promote a healthy turf.
4. Benefits pH modification. Applying lime or sulphur after core aeration promotes the change of pH deeper into the soil profile.
6. Reduced water runoff and puddling. If you find your yard has runoff or puddling problems after a rain, aeration could be the fix you need.
You Fight Weeds Too Early
Weed control can work wonders keeping invasive growth at bay on a healthy turf, but chemicals and herbicides can harm seedings roots and fresh blades. Even organic and natural solutions can cause stress on the young plants, so its often best to wait until your grass is strong before laying down any weed control substances. We advise waiting until youve mowed your new grass four to five times before tackling any emerging weeds.
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What Is Aeration And Overseeding
Aeration is the process of making holes throughout your lawn by pulling small soil plugs with a special machine called a core aerator. By doing this, it allows more oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil and down to the root zone. Thats important because it creates a more favorable environment for the root system to grow and healthier roots add up to a healthier lawn.
When having a professional lawn aerating service in Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA performed, it is typically coupled with overseeding, which is the process of putting seed down. This is beneficial at the time of aeration as the cores created throughout the yard will allow for better seed-to-soil contact. In other words, the seeds fall into the holes and theyll have a better chance for germination.
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
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How Long Will It Take To Aerate A Lawn With A Fork
It really is not a quick job to aerate your whole lawn with a fork, especially if you are so exhausted by doing it that you have to stop for regular cups of tea or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
If you are a super fit person with muscles then the time it takes to aerate your lawn could be dramatically reduced.
An estimate of how long it takes to aerate with a pitchfork would be:
- 2 minutes per square meter + tea breaks if you are unfit
- 1 minute per square meter if you are a fit person
When I used to use the pitchfork method to aerate my lawn, I would set aside an afternoon to do it knowing that I could go at as relaxing of a pace as possible and have time for tea breaks.
I do find it really hard work which is why I dont use this method anymore and have invested in affordable equipment to make it a whole lot easier to carry out what is a vital task if your lawn gets trampled on.
Read on and in the final section, I will tell you about what options are available to make this difficult task much easier for you.
Recycles Nutrients & Improves Microbial Life
Its important to note that while you may think of this service as the one where holes are made throughout the lawn, which is how many homeowners describe it to us, theres more to it than that.
Its also the cores that are pulled from the soil that matter. Thats because these lay in the yard and will breakdown over the next few weeks, recycling nutrients back into the soil.
This also allows more beneficial microorganisms to thrive which can mean your lawn can be more resilient over time.
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What Are The Benefits Of Lawn Aeration
You might be wondering how a single aeration every year could help improve your lawns quality. Think of a lawn aerator as a way to create pores for your lawn. These pores need to be made and left open in order for your lawn take in nutrients and moisture. They also promote root growth in the open spaces and added air and oxygen in the soil.
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.
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The Difference Between Aeration And Overseeding
While these processes are different, they often go hand in hand to boost the look of your lawn. Aeration will open your soil to allow water, air, and nutrients to penetrate the root zone. In turn, you will have healthier and deeper root growth.
Once your lawn has been aerated, you can start to overseed. With this process, the seeds are dropped at a depth of 1/4 inch. You will have great seed-to-soil contact at that depth, and there is a better chance of seed germination. Without aeration, your seeds will not reach deep down into the soil. In some cases, a lack of overseeding can lead to a sparse lawn. These processes should be used in combination to create a healthier turf.
Choosing Between Aeration And Overseeding
While you can aerate and overseed your lawn separately, you should really think about combining these processes. Aeration can break up those compacted spaces. Overseeding will fill in sparse spots for a thicker lawn. When you combine aeration and overseeding, it creates a healthier lawn for your landscape.
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What Are Liquid Core Aeration Products
That is a good question that is not easy to answer. The content of these products is not usually made public but the main ingredients can be a combination of a surfactant, humic acid and seaweed extract.
Surfactants are a type of soap. Lots of garden DIY mixtures include dish soap to help the liquids stick to plants and soil, and the surfactant in these products would do the same thing, making it easier for the product to soak into the soil.
The other products are food for soil microbes.
How Does Lawn Aeration Work
Lawns can be aerated either manually or with specialized lawn aeration equipment.
Lawn aerators remove narrow, 2-3 long cylinders of compacted soil from your grass at regular intervals. These cored areas create a grid of smallopen windows around the base of your lawn grasses, near their roots. These small openings let in air, water, and fertilizer so they quickly reach the grasses root system, right where theyre needed.
The cores are left on the lawn surface and dissolve over time , providing a quick top-dressing for your lawn.
Because these cores of soil are small and calibrated to your lawns growth habit, your lawn wont suffer any damage by aeration. Most lawns are made up of turf grasses that develop dense, fibrous root systems, and their root systems benefit from being periodically opened up.
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How Should You Aerate The Lawn
There are multiple ways to aerate the lawn. If you need to deal with smaller lawn areas, you can do this job manually. You can use some aerating sandals, special shoes with spikes that can aerate the lawn by simply walking.
In the same way, you can simply use a fork into the lawn, and start wiggling it back and forth, so you can fracture all the soil surface. The space and holes between these should be around 8 and 10 cm.
As such, you may need to go over the area for good results once again, following a different direction each time you go.
How To Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating equipment comes in three main types, from small manual versions to larger tractor-like or pull-behind machinery:
- Spike aerators simply poke a hole down into the soil with a solid, spike-like tine. Some homeowners wear spiked aerator sandals” strapped to their shoes to aerate as they do yard work. While these can help on a small scale, spike machines can make compaction worse by pressing soil together around the holes.1
- Slicing aerators have rotating blades that cut or slice through grass and thatch and down into soil. Like spike aerators, slicing aerators leave soil in the ground, but they create pathways for air, water and nutrients without causing more compaction.
- Core or plug aerators, typically preferred by lawn professionals, use rows of hollow tines that remove plugs of soil from your lawn and deposit them on top, where they break down. The size of the plugs and the holes they create vary in width and depth, depending on the machine used.
You can hire a lawn service to aerate for you or do it yourself like a pro. Equipment rental companies and lawn and garden stores often rent aerator machines and provide basic operating instructions for the model you choose. Aerating is a lot like mowing as you work back and forth across your lawn. Concentrate on any known problem areas, like pet runs or backyard baseball diamonds. Make several passes in different directions to help ensure optimal coverage and benefits.
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Why Its Important To Aerate Your Lawn
Your grass needs space, below ground, to take in air, nutrients and water. Your lawns roots need to breathe.
Ultimately, aerating your lawn and allowing it to breathe benefits you. A healthy lawn can drop the temperature of your homes surrounds, saving energy costs. But, aerating also helps to protect your lawn against a lot of common problems due to compaction: drainage issues, bare patches, weeds, dryness, fungal disease, fairy ring
We Provide Deep Core Lawn Aeration
Aeration is the first step to any lawn care program. Aeration creates hundreds of holes in your lawn by using a machine called an aerator. The aerator pulls dirt plugs from the soil level of your grass to allow more water to reach the roots. Lawns that are aerated every year stay greener because more moisture reaches the roots . We all know its always greenest at the downspout. Professionally aerated lawns allow for a healthier, greener lawn.
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We recommend aerating lawns in Edmonton once a year, in the spring or fall.
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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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