If Your Lawn Has Drainage Problems
If you notice standing water in your yard or water that is not properly draining, your soil could be compacted so much that the water isnt moving along properly. If the water runs off of your lawn quickly when you water it instead of being absorbed, you could have a drainage issue. Aerating your lawn will enable water to penetrate the surface easier and eliminate or reduce these problems.
When To Aerate Your Lawn: A Beginners Guide
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A luscious, beautiful lawn is an asset to the whole family, providing the perfect setting for backyard sports, picnics and relaxation. Aesthetically, an attractive lawn also enhances the garden, particularly if youve put a lot of effort into landscaping.
In order to maintain your grass it is important to apply plenty of lawn care, including aerating it at the right time. If youre unsure on how to do this, heres the why, when and how to get help you maintain a fabulous outdoor space all year round:
What’s Better Plug Or Spike Aerator
Plug aerators are usually more effective at relieving compaction in lawns with a heavy clay soil since the solid tines used on spike aerators compact the clay soil further when they push into the ground. Soils that crumble easily are usually high in loam and sand which benefit more from the use of a spike aerator.
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How To Aerate With A Garden Fork
- Avoid aerating in very dry or very wet conditions.
- Firmly spike the surface down to at least 30mm
- Move the fork back and forward a little then pull out.
- This cracks the soil a little and creates a hole in the soil to allow air in.
Doing this during the spring and autumn season has a good effect on the lawn.
What To Do With The Cores After Hollow Tine Aeration
The best thing to do is to let them dry in place and then go over them with the lawn mower with the box off if the instructions allow. A rotary is ideal to re-distribute the soil from the cores back over the lawn. This also works using a scarifier. This has a double benefit:
- Recycles all the valuable nutrients
- Stimulates bacterial activity and thatch decay
If you are unable to do this for whatever reason then collect the cores by raking with the back of a flat garden, landscapers or hay rake. They can then be smashed and used as a top dressing over the lawn, scattered in the borders or added to the compost heap. DON’T leave them on the lawn to disappear’! They will not completely break down and as you walk or mow over them your lawn will get bumpy.
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When And How To Aerate Your Lawn In The Uk
Keeping your lawn in good condition can be a struggle, but one of the ways to try and help it is aerating it. A lawn and its soil can become compacted over time, reducing its capability to grow. Most of the time this is unavoidable because it is caused by people simply walking on it. Lawn aerating is a way of allowing nature to do its job, giving your lawn the best chance to grow to its full potential. But, how do you do it and when should you aerate your lawn in the UK?
Lawn Aeration Tips: Help Your Grass Breathe Easy
Lawn aeration is one of the best ways to ensure that you have a healthy, strong, and vibrant lawn. Lawn aeration involves pulling plugs of soil from your lawn, which leaves deep spaces that help stimulate healthy blade and root growth. The space created by the removal of plugs gives your lawns root system a chance to expand and fortify itself. Aeration also improves drainage and allows your root system better access to fertilizer and nutrients. In this article, we will explore five lawn aeration tips that are the key to a beautiful lawn.
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Dont Remove The Plugs
The plugs removed during aeration are best left scattered about on your lawn near the hole they left behind. Do not consider removing these plugs because they contain vital elements that need to be restored to your lawn. Instead of gathering and removing plugs, you can run over them with a lawnmower after they have dried. Running plugs over with a lawnmower or breaking them up with a rake allows the plugs to disintegrate and return to the holes they came from.
Aeration is like a facelift for your yard, and the plugs are a necessary part of the process. The plugs will disappear in less than a few weeks, and the overall improvement in the health and appearance of your lawn will be dynamic.
The Basics Of Lawn Aeration
Growing and maintaining a healthy vibrant lawn requires hard work and maintenance. Common maintenance tasks include watering, fertilizing and mowing.
There is another task that you dont often here homeowners discuss and that is aeration. Aeration is very important as the grass and root system needs a steady supply of oxygen, water, and nutrients to thrive.
What do people mean when they talk about aerating a lawn?
Lawn aeration is the process of making small holes in your lawn which allow water, oxygen and vital nutrients to penetrate into the roots of the grass. When done correctly the grass roots grow stronger and penetrate deeper down into the soil.
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Combine Aeration With Overseeding
Overseeding is a terrific way to address patches or other weak spots in your yard. The increased root growth of fall combined with aeration helps you get the most out of an overseeding treatment. Aerating the lawn creates a fertile bed where a new seed has the best chance of taking root. The combination of air, nutrients, space, and water allows a new seed to flourish and will help fill in a patch of grass. If you are already investing in seed and fertilizer, it makes sense to take the step of aeration to ensure the most accelerated and healthiest growth.
Things To Do After You Aerate
- Leave the grass and soil plugs undisturbed. They will break down over time.
- If you see bare areas, now would be a good time to plant grass seed. This is called overseeding.
- Water your lawn thoroughly and add fertilizer.
- Continue with your normal maintenance routine.
- Aerate your lawn annually to prevent excessive lawn thatch and reduce soil compaction.
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What To Use Instead
For a more efficient method, you can rent or buy an aerator at The Home Depot.
Plug aerators pull out plugs of soil that are longer and much wider , so they cover a much larger surface area than the tiny spikes. They dont add to compaction, and the soil cores on the surface help break down thatch as well.
Make sure your lawn is watered the day before you aerate so that the soil is moist, not dry or soaking wet. Otherwise, the aerator may not be able to penetrate dry, compacted soil, or may get clogged with mud.
Stay away from any buried cables, gas, or water lines in your yard. You may need to do more than one pass over your lawn to remove enough plugs to make a difference.
How To Aerate Lawn With A Fork And Why I Use Another Method
So you have decided you want to aerate your lawn and after looking into it you have decided the simplest way to do it is with a garden pitchfork.
Whichever way you choose to aerate your lawn you will greatly improve the health of it so I would definitely recommend it as a procedure you should build into your annual lawn maintenance routine, especially if you have children trampling all over your beautiful lawn.
I have used a garden fork to aerate my lawn many times as it is you would presume the simplest way to do it, just grab a fork and stick it into your lawn, simple eh?
Aerating your lawn with a garden fork is not as simple or easy as you may think it is.
In this article, I will tell you what I have learned from my experiences in aerating my beautiful lush green lawn with a fork and this might help you understand why I no longer use the garden fork method for lawn aeration.
It definitely does work and will improve the health of your lawn but there are some drawbacks I will tell you about so read on to find out about them
To aerate your lawn with a pitch fork simply stick it in the ground through the thatch and down to the roots level. Move the fork 6 inches and do it again. Continue this process in straight lines either up and down or across your lawn until it is all covered in aeration holes.
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When Should You Not Aerate Your Lawn
Spring is not the ideal time to aerate the lawn, but circumstances may require it. If the soil is so compacted that existing grass cant grow, it may be necessary to aerate in the spring. 1 Generally, though, spring aerating is discouraged because the aeration holes provide a perfect spot for weed seeds to germinate.
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.
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What Is The Best Time To Aerate Your Lawn
Just as the timing of when you plant new seed or water your lawn is important, the time of year you aerate your lawn is also important.
The best time to begin aeration is when the grass is able to grow and repair itself if any areas become open or destroyed when certain soil plugs are removed. This means you would want to aerate in the growing season .
Cool season grass grows in the early spring and fall, while warm season grass grows in the late spring or early summer. Therefore, these are the best times to aerate for each type of grass.
If you work on your lawn during the wrong season, not only will you limit the benefit of the work you do, but you risk causing more problems that you had when you began.
Improving your lawn requires patience and planning.
How To Use Aeration And Overseeding Together
While both aeration and overseeding are separate techniques to improve your lawn, they can be used together to create a rich, vibrant lawn.
Overseeding immediately after core aeration allows excellent soil contact for your new grass seed as it falls into the holes you made in your turf.
This improves germination rate, and you simultaneously strengthen existing grass plants while thickening your lawn with healthy new seedlings.
Its the perfect combination, and these projects can be completed together in a day.
Dethatching Vs Aerating: Do One Or Both
Much like compacted soil, excessive thatch buildup starves the soil of water and nutrients. A core aerator will help to break up thatch, but for best results, dethatch before aerating.
Dethatching your lawn will strip out the spongy layer of thatch on top of the soil. This will allow your core aerator to reach down to the soil more effectively. To bring life back to a failing, thin lawn, dethatch and then aerate.
Aerating The Lawn: How To Aerate Your Lawn
There are two methods to aerate your lawn. One is mechanical and the other is a chemical method. These methods will give you information about lawn aeration how to, aerating the lawn, aeration of a lawn, how to aerate your lawn by hand with a fork, what does aerating the lawn do, etc. Lets go for it.
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Lawn Aeration: Why Its Important And How To Do It
Lawn aeration is key to lawn maintenance, but you might not always know when you need it. Read this aeration to guide to learn how, when, and why to aerate your lawn.
If your formerly lush, green lawn looks stressed, your soil feels dry and spongy, and your grass is puddling after it rains, you may need to aerate. Lawn aeration is the process of perforating your lawn with tons of holes to break up your soil and let it breathe, allowing water, air, and nutrients to seep in. You can aerate yourself by renting equipment, or you can hire a lawn care company to take care of it for you.
If you go the professional route, This Old House Reviews Team recommends TruGreen. This lawn care provider is available in every state but Alaska and offers five comprehensive lawn care packages. If youre interested in a free quote from TruGreen, call 1-866-817-2287 or fill out this simple form.
How Often To Aerate Your Lawn
How often you aerate depends on the conditions of your lawn. If you have a sandy soil, you probably dont need to aerate more than every two to three years. But if you have a heavy clay soil, your lawn could benefit from aeration every yearor even twice a year, if it gets heavy foot traffic.
The time of year you aerate depends on your grass type. Lawn aeration is most effective during a grasss growing season, allowing it to heal more quickly. You should aerate cool season grasses like fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass in fall or early spring. Warm season grasses, like Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass, should be aerated in late spring, or early summer at the latest.
You should never aerate soil thats too dry. Soil thats a little moist is idealtoo wet, and aerating will be a mess. If you can, aerate the day after it rains, or a day after youve watered your lawn.
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Grasses Expand Their Roots In The Fall
During the autumn months, roots start to expand and strengthen themselves for the coming winter months. You can support this process by loosening the soil with aeration and adding seed and fertilizer. With more room to grow and plenty of nutrients, your grass will have the strength to withstand the cooler months and pop up in the spring as beautiful as ever.
What To Do After Aeration
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.
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It Reduces Thatch Build
Thatch is a layer of dead grass and other organic matter that sits on top of the grass. If left unchecked, thatch will rob plants of water and the nutrients they need to remain healthy.
Aeration takes soil that is full of microorganisms that aid in decomposition and places it directly on top of the thatch to break it down.
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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