About Aeration And Overseeding
Aeration is the process of de-compacting the soil in your yard by cutting small holes into it. These holes allow oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach your grasss roots, which strengthens your grass. Overseeding is a process for improving your yard by adding fresh grass seed to your existing lawn to thicken and revitalize your turfgrass. While these are two separate techniques for improving your yard and lawn, when combined into a single weekend project, these two tasks work in harmony and can help improve the health of your grass for the next several years. The holes created by aeration allow grass seed and starter fertilizer to achieve better soil contact, which improves results.
What If You Owned A Lawn Aerator Would You Aerate Your Lawn More Often If All You Had To Do Was Pull It Out Of Your Garage I Bet You Would
If youre a lawn care enthusiast, you love spending time working on your turf. Spending a few hours in your yard can be just the therapy you need after a long work week. Like me, you understand and appreciate the benefits of aerating your lawn.
Renting an aerator works best for most people, but bringing one home from the rental store can be complicated. Finding a friend with a truck, or even renting a trailer before you rent the aerator, makes many homeowners decide its not worth the hassle.
Like other lawn care tasks requiring special equipment, youre more likely to aerate your lawn if its easier. Lets explore the possibility of buying an aerator so you never need to rent one again!
When Is It Time For Aerating Your Lawn
You should aerate a lawn when soils are moist. Spring is a great time to aerate a lawn made of warm season grass. This is when the grass is actively growing and it will recover quickly from the process. The cooler season lawn is better aerated in fall.
If you are not sure if you need to aerate, simply dig a section of turf out that is at least 1 inch square. If the brownish layer under the green, growing grass is an inch or more, then it is time to aerate. You can also just stab a screwdriver into the sod. If it is difficult to bury the tool to the hilt, it is time to aerate.
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What To Look For
If youve been reading this article and considering whether or not your lawn needs to be aerated, the answer is probably a resounding yes. This is because your yard is probably suffering from a bad case of compacted soil.
If your lawn is brownish/greenish-yellow, this is an issue related to poor drainage and signifies that it needs to be aerated immediately. Seeing this means your lawn is dehydrated and not getting enough water because water cannot penetrate through the soil to the grass roots. Clay soil is much more likely than sand-based soil to have this issue.
If you have a yard that houses old cars, or if you have grandchildren who are fond of frolicking in the grass, aerating your lawn is the right move. Compacted soil can be caused by pressure applied to your lawn over a very long period of time, and you might be preventing a potential problem by properly caring for and aerating your lawn. For example, if a case of compacted soil gets to be too extreme, water cannot penetrate the soil at all instead, it looks to squeeze its way into your basement because thats the next-best place for it to stay. Trapped water within compacted soil doesnt disappear, it just ends up in places where it shouldnt be.
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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Aeration And Overseeding: When Diy Isnt Enough
While its possible to aerate and overseed your yard on your own, both you and your lawn stand to benefit from professional care.
At Killingsworth, we understand just how badly our lawns need to be aeratedespecially here in the Carolinas. With summer temperatures frequently reaching the high 90s paired with increased lawn activity, your yard needs to breathe! Aeration allows your lawn to receive the nutrients it so desperately needs. That, accompanied with overseeding, prepares your lawn to grow and regain its health throughout the fall.
While we offer custom lawn care packages, our 12 month Premium Lawn Care Package covers all of the care your lawn needs throughout the yearincluding aeration and overseeding. Schedule a lawn service with us today!
Content was originally written on September 23, 2017. Content was refreshed on August 19, 2019.
Brief Guide To Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration is an important aspect in maintaining a beautiful lawn by ensuring enough nutrients are reaching the soil underneath the grass. A great way to achieve this is through a process called core aeration, also called lawn plug aeration. It is an essential aspect of lawn care because it allows air and water to penetrate grass.
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What Is Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration involves using specialized aeration equipment to create small holes throughout your lawns turf. By aerating your lawn, you loosen up the soil and reduce areas of compacted, hard dirt. This in turn allows water, air, and nutrients to permeate more deeply into the turf layer, reaching the grass at its roots. The result is a lawn full of healthier, greener grass thats more resistant to stress from disease, climate, and pests.
Diy Repurposed Rake Lawn Aerator
You dont need any fancy equipment to aerate your lawn. You can make a simple DIY lawn aerator out of an old garden rake and a 2X4. I do love good 2X4 DIY projects and this one is fabulous. You just use the rake to steady your aerator and give yourself a brace for pushing it into the ground. This one honestly will only take you an hour or so to make and it is really easy to use, too. What a great way to make use of old gardening tools!
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More About Core Aeration
While there are several reasons you may aerate a lawn, typically this project is to loosen soil and eliminate compaction.
Aeration breaks up layers of soil by cutting holes into your existing turf. This allows oxygen and water to flow into the soil and stimulates your grass to grow larger, more healthy root systems.
Roots grow deeper in loose soil. This, in turn, makes the grass plant stronger and your lawn will be thicker and healthier as a result.
Core aeration is an ideal way to support your existing grass and build a lawn that boasts resilient grass. A healthy lawn will crowd out weeds naturally without reliance on harmful herbicides.
Make Sure Its The Right Time
There is a proper time of year to aerate your lawn if youre doing it yourself! It is primarily based on your location and your usual weather conditions. In order for best results, you want to aerate your lawn in synchronization with the peak growth of your grass. What does this look like in real life? Cool-season grasses thrive in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees for several weeks after being aerated. For warm-season grasses, its best if they are exposed to 80-95 degree weather. While these are guidelines more so than strict rules, knowing this helps us understand what season is best for us to aerate our lawns. For these reasons, its best to aerate your lawn either in early spring or fall for cool-season grasses, and late spring through the summer for warm-season grasses . In other countries and locales, the weather will change and so will the seasons during which you should aerate your lawn. Aeration should be conducted once a year for high-traffic lawns or lawns with clay-based soil. Aeration should occur every two to three years if your lawn is growing well and/or if your lawn is lucky enough to have naturally loose, sandy soil. However, its important to note that you should skip aerating your lawn if its been seeded or sodded within the last year.
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What Is Aeration And Why Does Your Lawn Need It
Aerating your lawn is the process of loosening up the soil. Heavy rains, foot traffic, and even time can compact your soil, and this prevents the water, air, and fertilizer from getting down to the root system of your grass to feed it. By driving thin spikes down into the soil, you can loosen it and give it a better chance to thrive.
How Do Lawn Aerators Work
Lawn aerators use rows of spikes or hollow tines to penetrate the soil, cutting through thatch and breaking up compacted soil to allow air, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. … Aeration also encourages deeper and stronger roots, making your lawn more resistant to heat, drought, and insects.
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How To Aerate A Lawn Without A Ton Of Expensive Equipment
If your lawn is the pride and joy of your property, its pretty disappointing when it starts struggling to grow or just isnt looking quite as green and lush as it used to. In these cases, its probably due for some aeration. Buying an aerating machine, renting one, or hiring a landscaping service can all be quite expensive, and many homeowners may not have space in the budget for these investments. Luckily, there are some simpler, unmotorized tools that can successfully aerate your lawn. Enhance your curb appeal without breaking the bank with these few tips.
Bmc Lawn Aerator Manual Grass Spike Roller 420mm With Long Handle
Working width: 42cm , Holes per square metre: 184 neat, Measures: approx 122cm long
Our last two reviews were of electric aerator/scarifier combos and while they are no doubt powerful tools, they are not really suited for more refined gardening work, especially aerating of a nice lawn without causing too much damage.
For this kind of work you need something more subtle, and you need to be more in control, and that is why a hand powered lawn aerator like this one is perfect for the job. One major benefit of hand tools like this is they require very little setting up. This product arrives pretty much completely assembled and only requires you to fit the rear metal guard and handle on to it and you are ready to go.
Priced sensibly, I wasnt expecting much quality-wise, but the BMC Lawn Aerator isnt at all what I would call flimsy. The metal roller and prongs all seem to be strong and robust and they do exactly what they are supposed to- poke neat holes in the grass and soil without tearing it up.
The rest of the product is of slightly lower quality, as is expected of budget tools, but there was nothing to get me worried and Im sure anyone would get their moneys worth out of this lawn aerator.
The 42cm wide rollers will create around 200 uniform holes per square metre which is very time saving compared to poking them with a fork and all it takes is for you to push the tool along and add a little weight by pushing down to help dig into the soil.
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Vonhaus 2 In 1 Lawn Scarifier
Specification: Power consumption: 1500W, Working width: 32cm, Working Depth : -12, -8, -4, +4mm , Working Depth : -15, -11, -7, +1mm , Weight: 8.5kg,
The Vonhaus 2-in-1 aerator and scarifier is similar in many ways to the Einhell model and therefore has a lot of the same pros and cons. The thing about these electric aerators and scarifiers is that they are usually more powerful than people expect and are not refined tools designed for poking small, unnoticeable holes in the grass.
They are, in fact, used to turn over a decent amount of soil, remove thatch, and will create a fair bit of debris, especially models with powerful motors like this one, which sports a 1500 watt power block.
This VonHaus model has interchangeable rollers, like the EInhell, one designed for scarifying and the other for raking/aerating. Again, changing rollers is done by using an allen key and is quick and painless. Before we get into the nitty gritty though lets take a look at the manufacturer video which is surprisingly useful and demonstrates this:
There are 4 working depths to choose from, but I found all but the shortest one too deep for aerating and definitely more suited for scarifying, but thats usually the case with these types of aerator. Changing depth is very easy though and there is a handy lever for just that purpose.
Better To Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional
So which provides the better value for core aeration, DIY or using a professional lawn care service? Consider the following.
Who will transport the core aeration machine to and from your property? Who will determine whether conditions are favorable to aerate your lawn? Who will ensure the safe and effective operation of the core aeration machine? Who will be responsible for any damage incurred to properly identified obstacles? If applicable. who will be responsible for properly overseeding/reseeding your lawn? If applicable. who will be responsible for properly fertilizing the lawn after aeration is completed?
When properly performed, under favorable conditions and at the appropriate time, core aeration will most assuredly benefit your lawn, whether you do it yourself or bring in a lawn care professional. With that said, if you have questions or concerns about core aeration or any aspect of caring for your lawn, please do not hesitate to contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green. We have a wealth of professional lawn care experience to share with you.
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Does Forking Your Lawn Help
Forking before over seeding is a good idea. New root growth from young seedlings channels easily down the holes. A rake after a spike closes the surface openings and seed will settle into the remaining indentations. … The deeper the tines the better, grass roots often stop at the depth of aeration.
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.
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When To Carry Out Lawn Aeration
It is ideal to aerate the lawn once or twice a year, you can do it nearly all year round except when very dry weather is expected or the ground is frozen, early in autumn, spring or late in summer are all good times.
The earth should not be waterlogged, ideally the turf would have had a good watering and be slightly soft but still firm, this especially applies if you are doing core aerating. Do not aerate during a drought as then the holes can crack open. If the ground is frosty wait until later in the morning when the frost has gone before you start aerating.
Upcycled Five Gallon Plastic Bucket Lawn Aerator
This homemade lawn aerator is made from an empty five gallon bucket and it is really simple to put together. This is a great upcycling project for those empty buckets. You just need the bucket, a few nails and something to use as a handle an old handle from a push lawn mower would be perfect. You just assemble and then push the aerator around your lawn to give it that great lush look.
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Lawn Maintenance After Aeration
There are a few types of maintenance that are very important to consider doing after aerating your lawn.
These methods of maintenance are fertilization, watering, and mowing properly.
Directly after aeration you can also add more seed while you fertilize your lawn. This is what I recommend, as its the best time to get the seed and fertilizer right down into the soil. Youll get the most bang for your buck.
Aeration opens your lawn up to accepting nutrients. This will create a thicker and healthier lawn in general, along with the aeration, and instead of a chemical or organic fertilizer, I also recommend top-dressing with a thin layer of organic screened compost. This will keep the seed moist, and add valuable nutrients to the soil.