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How To Aerate Your Lawn By Hand

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How Often To Core Aerate Your Yard

How to aerate your lawn without expensive tools | beginner DIY lawn care tips that work

While youre scheduling the remainder of your annual home maintenance, go ahead and put core aeration on the list, too. Most properties only need this application once a year.

If you use your yard more heavily than most, you can aerate it twice a year. The same goes if your yard grows on heavy clay soil or subsoil. Of course, if you own or maintain a grassy area that sees an excessive amount of foot traffic, you can even aerate it three to five times a year as required. These areas include:

  • Golf fairways
  • Sports turfs

Should I Aerate Lawn In Summer

Warm weather grasses should be aerated when the weather begins to warm. This means that aeration should occur between late spring and through the summer. This means that aeration should occur between late summer and through the fall. Aerating these grasses during the summer heat can put stress the grass.

Does My Lawn Need To Be Aerated

This can depend on a lot of factors. The first one is how much activity does your lawn gets? Are you and other people such as family members, neighbors, or friends constantly using the lawn? Do you have any pets or animals that enjoy the lawn? For heavy traffic lawns or yards with lots of clay we recommend aerating a lawn at least once or twice a year Late Spring Early Fall.

If your soil is compact like clay or overly dry your lawn is the perfect candidate for aeration. If your grass is not growing as full and green as has in the past, this could be an early sign that its in desperate need of aeration. Aeration is also great for building turf, which in turn keeps weeds from taking over.

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Different Types Of Lawn Aerator You Can Use:

  • Pull-Behind Core-plug Aerators like the Agri-Fab
  • Pull- Behind Motorized Spike Aerators like the Craftsman
  • Electric Motorized Dethatchers such as this one from Greenworks
  • Inexpensive Manual plug aeration tools like the Yard Barber
  • Aeration Shoes Like this model from Punchau
  • Manual rolling drums with spikes for Yard Tuff SE
  • And one that youve never probably heard of Liquid Aeration

Whatever Lawn Aerator you choose should depend on the size of your lawn and your budget

In the end, they all serve the same function which is to loosen up soil and dirt so the roots of the grass can absorb more air, water, and nutrients.

How To Aerate Your Lawn In Dallas

Can You Aerate Your Lawn Yourself / Verticutting Or Core ...

Whether you own a yard or not, you probably know that any lawn should be mowed, watered, and fertilized. What is less commonly known, however, is that a lawn should also be aerated at least once a year as well.

Aeration is incredibly beneficial for your yard. If youre interested in giving it a try or want to know more about how a lawn care company can aerate your yard for you, then weve got you covered.

Heres what you need to know to aerate your lawn in Dallas.

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Hand Manual Lawn Aerators

Hand aerators or manual aerators are aerators that you will work by manually pushing, poking or rolling a device that will have multiple sharp ends that will poke holes into the soil.

This can be something extremely simple like a pitchfork. Using a pitchfork you would go around the lawn and simply put it into the soil that needs aeration. Rinse and repeat this process, this could be quite a long and strenuous task depending on the size of your lawn. Even smaller lawns you could get exhausted by the end of it!

The other common tool for manual aeration is a Lawn aeration tool from Yard Butler. This is a turf plug core device that has a handle like a pitchfork that allows you to aerate a small section of lawn that needs some attention. You simply stand on the tool, like a shovel, and lift turf plugs out of the lawn, to provide much-needed oxygen, water, and nutrients to the soil.

This is a much faster and more effective method of aerating your lawn compared to using a pitchfork. The pitchfork method is quite slow and tedious.

Poke Holes In The Lawn With Your Pitchfork

Once your grass is mowed and raked, youre almost ready to begin! Before taking hold of your pitchfork, dampen, not soak, the ground. Doing this will make your next step easier.

Grab your pitchfork and make sure you hold it with the tines in a perpendicular orientation to the lawn. Typically, its best to start in a corner for easy tracking of what youve covered. You could even use a marker to track where you have covered. This is best if the lawn youre tending is on the larger size and perhaps requires a few breaks.

If you do place a marker, make sure to not place it directly on the lawn . If you put it directly on the grass, it could leave a dent. After too long, the grass could turn yellow and become patchy, or even struggle to grow back! So, you could use a thin, metal stick that would simply leave a hole in the dirt without damaging the grass.

When pushing the tines of the pitchfork into the grass, push them straight in . Push the tines to their full length of the pitchfork. The reason for this depth is to get to the root zone, as that will be the most effective method. It might be tempting to quickly push it in and pull it back out but take time to ensure the depth will be worthwhile.

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Consider Which Method Is Best For You

Also note that there are three main methods: core aeration, spiking, and slicing. Core aeration uses the equipment that takes a chunk out of the soil. This is the best method, as it allows the most water, nutrients, and space to get to the roots. Short-term it looks a little messy with the holes in the soil and the chunks sitting on the grass, so be mindful not to do this the day before a garden party!

Then, there is also spiking and slicing. These methods compress and move the soil instead of removing chunks of it. Spiking can be done with a pitchfork, but its rather labor intensive. Slicing is done with the spike aerator that can be used manually or attached to a riding lawnmower.

What To Do After Aeration

Hand Aerator for Lawn

After you finish aerating your lawn, let soil plugs or extra soil dry where they fall. They’ll break down in rain or crumble the next time you mow, adding beneficial soil and organic matter to your lawn surface.

Right after aeration is a perfect time to overseed with premium Pennington Smart Seed and fertilize your lawn or do simple lawn repairs. Seeds and nutrients have direct contact with soil through the openings your aerator created and roots have fresh pathways for the things they need. The combination can help put your lawn on the fast track for quick seed establishment and thicker, lusher growth.

By adding aeration to your annual task list or doing regular compaction tests to check for need, you help ensure your lawn can reach its full potential for thickness, health and beauty. Pennington is committed to providing you with the finest in grass seed and lawn care products to help you achieve your lawn goals.

Pennington and Smart Seed are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.

  • Harper, J. C., “Aeration of Turfgrass Areas,” PennState Center for Turfgrass Science.
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    Benefits Of Core Aeration

    If youre ready to improve the look of your lawn, make it more resilient and disease-resistant, and reduce your maintenance requirements, core aeration can make a world of difference.

    Why aerate lawns? Some of the benefits you can expect include:

    • Improved air exchange between the atmosphere and your soil
    • Improved fertilizer uptake and application
    • Improved stress tolerance during excess heat and drought
    • Improved cushioning and resiliency
    • Less water runoff and puddling
    • Less soil compaction
    • Stronger and more durable turfgrass roots
    • Better thatch breakdown

    Your root zone is the heart and home of your yard, and when you open it up to key nutrients, you can notice a visible difference. Next, lets review the physical changes your yard will display after core aeration.

    Which Time Of The Year Is Best To Aerate Your Beautiful Lawn

    Basic lawn care practice is necessary for green lawn. This is reliant mainly on the climate in the place you stay and your grass type. Grass has periods when it is dormant and hardly growing. Lawn aeration is best in the season when it ceases to be dormant and begins to grow. This ensures that the grass recovers quickly after aeration and closes any open areas that are created in the process. Never aerate during winter. This is because, during the harsh cold, water can turn into ice is the holes you make, giving rise to more lawn problems.

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    Select The Type Of Lawn Aerator To Use:

    There are three main different types of aeration. Plug aeration, spike aeration, and liquid aeration:

    Plug aeration involves the process of making a fairly large hole around 1/2-3/4 inches in diameter and up to 6 inches deep. This will remove part of the soil from the roots and is known to improve the overall structure of your soil more than spike aeration.

    Can I Aerate My Lawn Myself

    How to Aerate and Dethatch a Lawn

    You can aerate on your own schedule instead of waiting for a pro. You can water your own lawn if you need to. Aeration works best when the soil is moist. You can decide how many times to run the aeration machine over the lawn, and hit especially compacted soil many times.

  • Push a hand aerifier, which has tube hollows that are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, or a spading fork through your lawn grass and into the soil.
  • Rake the lawn if it is heavily thatched.
  • Push a hand aerifier’s hollow tubes into the grass’ soil, and pull them out of the soil.
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    When Is The Ideal Time For Aeration

    There is another important thing that needs to consider before aerating your lawn is the appropriate time. First, you need to know the grass types because different types of grass require different times for aeration.

    If you have warm-season grasses such as Bermuda grass, then spring is the ideal time for aeration. You should start the process as soon as possible after the soil has thawed.

    On the other hand, if the lawn is covered with cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, conducting aeration during the fall season is wise.

    In addition, sandy soil containing lawns needs aeration every 2 to 3 years, whereas clay soil containing lawns or heavy foot traffic needs aeration each year.

    Reclaimed Wood Lawn Aerator

    You can make this simple DIY lawn aerator with strips of reclaimed wood. You just have to find a base PVC pipe filled with sand or concrete works well and then add your strips of wood. The wood houses the nails that you use to aerate the lawn. You can add a handle from an old lawn mower or something similar to make pushing it through the yard simple. This one only takes a couple of hours to make and it works like a charm.

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    Using A Manual Spike Aerator

    This method is similar to the manual core aerator, but instead of using cylinders which when extracted removes plug of soil it has spikes. The spikes drive small holes into the lawn to loosen the soil. The holes produced by these spikes allow for better penetration and distribution of oxygen, water, and nutrients.

    When To Aerate Your Lawn

    How To Aerate A Lawn By Hand

    As with most larger lawn projects, such as planting grass seed, it’s best to aerate during or right before the time your grasses reach their peak time for natural growth. Aeration is good for lawns, but it can stress grass if timed improperly. Never aerate dormant lawns.

    For cool-season grasses common in northern lawns, early fall or early spring are the best times for aerating. For warm-season grasses common to southern lawns, the best time for aerating is late spring or very early summer. When aeration coincides with active growth, grasses recover quickly and fill in areas where aerator equipment exposes soil.

    Aerating is easiest on you and your lawn when your soil is moist from irrigation or rainfall the day before. Overly dry soil can be tough to aerate, so moisture eases the process. Never aerate overly wet lawns wait a few days instead.

    Slicing aerators slice through lawns and leave soil in place.

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    When Should You Aerate

    First and foremost, when is the right time to aerate? Timing is everything with aeration! You do not want to be random with your aeration treatments because it can cause stress and damage to your lawn if not timed properly. The point of aeration is to encourage thick growth from your grass so youll want to aerate during the growing season.

    Your first aeration treatment of the year should be in the spring. During the spring growing season, your lawn can quickly fill the aeration holes allowing your grass to appear thick and lush in no time. Avoid aerating in the dry summer season, but consider treating again in the fall.

    Extra rainfall is ample in the Dallas area during the fall season. We recommend a second aeration in the fall as a means of repairing the damage from summer and preparing your yard for the harshness of winter. Aerating twice a year is a great way to keep your yard healthy, especially if your lawn is growing on Dallas clay soils that are easily compacted.

    How To Aerate A Yard

    This article was co-authored by Keith Souza. Keith Souza is a Home Improvement Specialist and the Owner of Vaulted Hammer Handyman Services. He specializes in home repair, home automation, and yard maintenance. Keith holds an AAS in Electronics Technology from Heald College.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 257,417 times.

    A lush and thriving yard requires the right amount of air and water penetration to allow vital nutrients to enter the soil. Yards comprised of firm, compacted earth do not allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach grass roots. Yard aeration helps to break up the soil to promote unobstructed air flow and water absorption. It will also help to break up the thatch layer that may also be preventing water and nutrients from getting into the soil. Determine if the turf needs a good de-thatching because even if you are using a bagger when mowing, it will still eventually build up and create an impregnable layer.

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    Why Aerate Your Lawn

    Regardless of your geographic location or soil type, your yard can look lush and healthy all year long. The key is to give it ample opportunity to absorb all the valuable microorganisms that can help get it there. If youre already mowing, fertilizing and watering your grass, aerating is a natural next step.

    When you aerate your lawn, you help ensure that the soil beneath it is able to accept important nutrients that can help it thrive. You do so by perforating the soil with small holes that allow those nutrients to travel deeper into the ground and impact the grass roots.

    This lawn care step is especially important if you deal with cumbersome thatch. Not sure if you have it? Take a closer look at your lawn.

    Thatch is a tight, interwoven mass of stems, roots, and leaves , that accumulates in a thick layer between your actively growing grass and the soil beneath it. A small amount of thatch can benefit your yard, increasing its resiliency to foot traffic. Left untreated, however, it can block your grass roots from receiving important nutrients.

    What happens when water, air and other resources cant permeate down into the soil? Those grass roots starve and become susceptible to damage and disease, leading to a dull and lifeless yard.

    Repurposed Oil Drum Aerator

    Hand Aerating Your Lawn

    This DIY aerator is made from a five gallon oil drum and its pretty simple to put together. Once the spikes are in place, you add a handle and wheels and then just push the aerator through your yard to keep your soil and grass healthy. This one is so simple and can be really cheap if you have an old oil drum that you can use as the base.

    Tutorial: gardeninginfozone

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    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.

    How To Aerate Your Lawn: Best 3 Methods Of Aerating The Lawn

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    Featured Posts

    How to aerate your lawn: For best looking of a lawn regular aeration is important. The main purpose of lawn aeration is to hold the beauty by alleviating the soil compaction. Compacted soil prevents the ability of oxygen and nutrients to the soil getting to the roots of the lawn.

    Reducing the compaction of soil means aeration increases the flow of air water and nutrition to the soil. But here the big deal is how to aerate a lawn. For this now we are going to discuss the solution. It will make the process difficult to aerate when the soil is dry. If it is dry the soil should be watered the day before begin. To change the beauty of the lawn one to six inches deep pores change the look of the lawn after 3 to 4 weeks of aeration.


  • 1.5 3. Chemical or liquid aeration
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