Alternative Lawn Aeration Techniques
1. Spiked shoes
This is the easiest way to aerate your lawn. Simply strap on these spiked soles and take a walk through your grass.
However, spiked shoes should not be used for every aeration job. Severely compacted lawns will not benefit as much from spike aeration as much as core aeration because the spikes actually further compact the soil they penetrate.
While not practical for very large yards and less effective on severely compacted lawns, this lawn aeration tool can be an inexpensive way to maintain proper soil conditions.
You can easily aerate small areas of your lawn by simply pushing a pitchfork into the soil about three inches deep. Wiggle the fork around a bit to widen the holes, and repeat the process every four inches over trouble spots. Caution: a pitchfork works much the same way as spiked shoes and should not be used for severely compacted yards.
Also called a dethatcher, this tool works mainly to break up deposits of grass cuttings, moss, and other debris that collect on the surface of the soil.
Powered by electricity or manually pushed, a scarifier is a wheeled machine with a series of blades that rotate through the surface of the lawn as it passes over it. Its cutting action also helps aerate the soil.
4. Hollow tiner
This tool, sometimes called a core aerator, works the same way as a pitchfork but uses hollow tines to remove cores of soil.
Why Aerating Helps Lawns
Grass roots need air, water and nutrients to grow thick, deep and strong. When soil becomes compacted, even slightly, it inhibit the flow of the essentials that support thicker, healthier turf growth. A layer of compacted soil just 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick can make a significant difference in the health and beauty of your lawn.1 Aeration creates holes down into the soil to alleviate compaction so air, water and nutrients can reach grass roots.
Deprived of their basic needs by compacted soil, lawn grasses struggle in stressful situations, such as heat and low rainfall, and lose their healthy, rich color. Grasses gradually thin and eventually die out completely, for lack of the oxygen, water and nutrients available just inches away. Even a single aeration session can open the avenue for these essentials to reach their mark and put your lawn back on an upward trend.
Core aerators pull small plugs of soil to the surface.
Addresses Soil Compaction & Improves Fertilizer Treatments
Aeration also helps with reduced soil compaction. Our regional soil can become easily compacted but aeration helps to improve the overall soil structure. Thats important because compacted soil does not allow for proper circulation of oxygen, water, and nutrients. This means that youre also have improved fertilization treatments. Because the soil is looser, the fertilization products will be able to penetrate the soil the way that they need to.
You May Like: How To Clean A Toro Lawn Mower
Aerating Tools: Plug Aerator Vs Spike Aerator
Two main aerating tools exist a spike aerator and a plug aerator. With a spike aerator, you simply use the tool to poke holes into the ground with a solid tine, or fork. Plug aerators remove a core or plug of grass and soil from the lawn. For the best results, use an aerating tool or machine that actually removes plugs of soil. Poking holes is less effective and can actually cause additional compaction in the areas around the holes.
Look for an aerating tool or machine that removes soil plugs approximately 2 3 inches deep and 0.5 0.75 inches in diameter, and about 2 3 inches apart. These machines can be rented from lawn and garden stores or home improvement centers. Always follow the directions provided by the store. You may want to consider sharing the rental cost with a neighbor who is interested in aerating the lawn.
Benefits Of Lawn Aeration
Aeration is particularly useful for lawns that undergo a lot of foot traffic. The more a lawn is used, the more compacted the soil becomes.
This significantly reduces the spaces in the soil that would typically hold air.
Due to the decreased flow of air within the soil, compaction can negatively affect root growth. Roots need oxygen from the air to grow and absorb water and nutrients.
Recommended Reading: Compost Aerator Tool Home Depot
Also Check: Rabbit Repellent For Grass
Is It Worth It To Aerate Your Lawn
. Also, do you really need to aerate your lawn?
No, it’s not necessary to aerate your lawn every year, especially if your grass is healthy and thriving. Aeration is good if you‘ve got compacted, poor or clay-heavy soil that’s been impacted by heavy equipment or lots of foot traffic. Always do “core aeration,” which involves a machine that removes plugs of soil.
what do you do after you aerate your lawn? What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn
Then, how much does aeration help your lawn?
7 benefits of fall lawn aerationCore aeration works to provide the root zone with greater access to air, water, and fertilizer. This access to air, water, and nutrients improves the health of the turf, resulting in deeper and more extensive turfgrass roots. Reduces thatch build-up.
What are the benefits of lawn aeration?
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
- Enhanced soil water uptake.
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn
You should aerate your lawn regularly, as needed, to keep it in top shape. A new, healthy lawn growing on well-draining soil may not need aeration yet. But if you have an existing lawn you should be aerating, especially if youve ever had drainage problems, lawn yellowing, or if your grass is growing slowly or irregularly.
You may not think about it, but lawns get a lot of activity that contributes to soil compaction. Even if you dont use your lawn all the time, normal activities can compact soil over time.
- Running and sliding on a lawn can compact the soil beneath the grass, especially if its wet. Active play of any kind can add to soils compaction, and wet soil is more vulnerable to compacting than drier soil.
- Parking a vehicle, even temporarily, on a lawn will compact the soil beneath it. The small surface areas of a cars tires carry all the weight of the vehicle and then transfer that weight onto the soil.
- Regular rainfall will compact soil, as the accumulated force of raindrops over time will pound on soil and create a water-rejecting crust.
- Even regular mowingcan contribute to soil compaction from the weight of the mower repeatedly passing over the same areas!
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Quackgrass
Diy Aeration And Overseeding Is Difficult
Since homeowners are able to rent an aerator, they often assume they can just perform this service on their own. But not only is this service generally a bit more difficult to perform than people realize, it will likely also produce lackluster results. Youll never receive the same results as hiring a professional lawn aeration service.
For one, the equipment caliber is going to be subpar. Keep in mind that this is a machine that has been used over and over again by other renters who are not invested in properly maintaining the equipment or may have no idea how to properly utilize it. Youre just not going to get high-quality results with a piece of rental equipment.
You also have to deal with the hassles associated with a rental. Youll need to set time aside to try and rent the equipment in the first place and then youll need to figure out transportation logics. If you dont own a truck or trailer, youll need to figure out a way to haul the equipment home.
Finally, once at home, many people find that performing the aeration is a lot more work than they bargained for. Pushing a clunky and heavy piece of equipment around on your property is taxing on the body and could even leave you prone to injury.
Ultimately, when homeowners start to recognize whats involved they often decide that theyd rather just invest in professional lawn aeration service which is going to get them better results, too.
How To Aerate A Lawn
The process or aerating a lawn is simple. There are two tools you can use which will help you. Choose from a Plug Aerator or a Spike Aerator. The Plug Aerator, as expected, will remove a plug of soil from your lawn leaving a hole. A Spike Aerator will simply spike holes into the existing soil. You can easily rent either of these machines from your local garden store or home improvement centre.
Before you begin firstly use your lawn mower to crop the grass very short, it is also important to ensure the soil is thoroughly moist. Trying to aerate dry soil could cause further problems and compaction. Go over each area more than once, and in different directions for thorough coverage. If you chose to use a Plug Aerator remove and dry out the plugs of soil then spread them evenly over the lawn once the process is complete.
Make sure that you aerate to the right depth simply aerating a compacted layer wont help, you must go deeper than this to ensure the soil is penetrated properly, you are trying to make deep holes with uncompacted walls.
After you have finished aerating your lawn, you should cover it with new grass seed and then take particular care to water, fertilise and mow back the grass regularly. Repeat this process at least once a year, if not more, dependant on your garden usage and you will reap the benefits of having a strong and healthy looking lawn.
Recommended Reading: When To Fertilize Lawn In Maine
The Cost Of Lawn Aerators For Diyers
You can purchase or rent a home aerator at a home improvement store or garden center relatively inexpensively.
- Hand-held manual aeratorsBest used to aerate small trouble spots, a manual core aerator can be purchased for about $25 or $30.
- Towable core aeratorIf you have a larger area to aerate and plan to do it regularly, buying a core aerator that can be towed behind a riding mower may make sense. You can buy a towable aerator for about $200.
- Walk-behind aeratorYou can rent an aerator for about $60 for four hours or $90 for an entire day. Dont forget that most rentals require a deposit, and you may need to make special arrangements to transport the aerator to your home.
What Does Aeration Do
If your grass looks bad, aeration could be one of the keys to bringing it back to good health. Hardpan soil resists water penetration and deep root development. Some grasses adapt to this condition by forming a dense layer of shallow roots, rhizomes and stolons at the soil surface, better known as thatch.
Aerating the lawn addresses thin and bare spots associated with soil compaction, and helps to correct thatch buildup caused by shallow rooting. Aerating the lawn loosens the soil surface and breaks up the thatch layer, which fosters deeper root development. It also lets water and nutrients penetrate deeper.
You May Like: Reupholstering Patio Chairs
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.
What You Need To Know About Lawn Aerators
If your lawn is suddenly showing brown spots after a few days of warm weather or water pools after watering or a storm, you may need to supplement your supply of lawn care tools with a lawn aerator.
When thatch builds up under the grass and soil becomes compacted, water cant penetrate to the roots, keeping the roots from growing long enough to resist high heat and temporary drought. Under these conditions, mowing, edging, and watering your grass are not enough to keep your lawn healthy. Keep reading to learn how lawn aerators work and how to determine when lawn aeration is necessary.
If you think this is one DIY job better left to the professionals, TruGreen has the experience and know-how to aerate your lawn and complement the aeration with a full line of lawn care services, including:
- Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
- Healthy Lawn Analysis®
- TruShield Lawn Pest Control
Type in your zip code or call 888.535.3193 to get a free quote from Americas #1 professional lawn care company for any of their three lawn care plans.*
Also Check: Husqvarna 725ex Reviews
Should I Aerate My Lawn In The 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.
Dont Miss: Average Lawn Care Costs
Why Aeration Is Worth It
Aeration loosens compacted soil. When soil is compacted, the granules are so tightly packed together making it hard for water, the roots of grass, and air to get in. Air, in particular, is essential because without it, organisms like earthworms cant thrive to recycle nutrients and keep the ground healthy. And while grass might not be able to thrive in compacted soil, weeds can.
Another reason to aerate: it makes lawn treatments like fertilization and reseeding more effective.
Also Check: What Kills Clover In Flower Beds
Is Core Aeration Worth It
In short – Yes!
The benefits of core aeration include:
- Better growth habits: A core aerator removes plugs and aerates your lawn. This gets rid of soil compaction and gives your lawn a better chance at receiving vital nutrients such as air, water and fertiliser.
- Stronger root system: When soil is compacted, it creates a shallow root base making your lawn more susceptible to weeds and weaker growth. Core aeration gives grassroots a boost, promoting thicker, healthier and stronger growth.
- Weed resistance: Compacted soil leads to nasty weeds. A core aerator will promote new turf growth and make your lawn less prone to a weed invasion.
- Drought protection: Core aeration encourages deeper root growth, making your lawn more drought-tolerant. If you do happen to go through a long dry spell, your lawns roots will be able to secure water from deeper below the surface.
- Saving on your water bill: Core aeration helps your lawn to store water. This means your water wont be going to waste.
One of the only disadvantages of core aerating is that it leaves soil plugs on the turf which can look unsightly. However, you can use this soil as a top dressing or simply break the plugs up with a mower once theyve dried out. If you are wanting to use the plugs as a top dressing, just make sure you leave them for 1-2 weeks. This will give them enough time to break down and feed nutrients back to your lawns roots.
You Aerate And Overseed During Dry Conditions
Aerating is easy on your turf, and you, when your soil is slightly moist. Overly dry and compact soil is harder to penetrate and requires more manual effort to push the machinery. Especially during times of drought when you grass is already stressed, its best to wait until the day after a good rainfall before aerating.
Don’t Miss: What Does Rolling Your Lawn Do
What Is Lawn Aeration Why When And How To Do It
Maintaining a beautiful lawn is not an easy task. That is of course if youre not employing essential lawn care practices such as well-timed mowing, watering and fertilizing. But those aside, its also extremely important to ensure that the soil beneath your grass gets lots of nutrients. And what better way to do that than by aerating your lawn!
Lawn aeration is crucial for a healthy lawn, as it allows air, water, and other nutrients to easily penetrate built-up grass and lawn thatch.
So if youre new to lawn aeration, this article is just the thing for you. Here you will find everything you need to know about lawn aeration along with some handy tips.
Get rid of thatch and make way for a beautiful lawn with this quick guide to aeration. Youll learn why, how, and when to aerate your lawn for the best results.