Do Aerator Shoes Really Work Or Are They A Gimmick
While they admittedly seem like a novel idea, aerator shoes cannot replace a real lawn aerator. The spike-soled shoes look like a fun enough fad, but they wont get the job done, and they are likely to bring about the opposite of the desired effect on your lawn.
The gist of it is that human feet are just too small. A shoe doesnt impact enough space on the ground to make a difference truly, and the spikes on the shoes can serve to compact your already suffering soil further.
Because the spikes on the soles of these seemingly ingenious shoes are solid instead of hollow, they more often push the soil sideways or downwards when theyre in the ground, which compacts the ground even more.
While theyre not great for large lawns, aerator shoes can be a nifty tool for smaller gardens in need of aeration. The one to one and a half-inch spikes of the shoes work well in small patches, though you must think about where youre walking when wearing them in your garden. These shoes could easily wreak havoc on a small yard if not used in an organised fashion.
How Long Does It Take For Aeration Plugs To Decompose
When left to their own devices, soil plugs from aeration will typically break down in 26 weeks. While it depends on weather conditions, soil type, and the amount of traffic your lawn receives, it typically is not long before the plugs begin to fall apart.
- Soil plugs fully break down in 26 weeks.
- Rainfall and dry periods both work to erode soil plugs.
- Depending on soil type, soil plugs may break down at different rates.
Clay soil has a tendency to resist breaking down, so soil plugs in a heavy clay yard may take a while to disappear. Heat and dry weather can even bake these soil plugs, making them harder. Meanwhile, sandy and loamy soil plugs break down easily. Typically, if they are allowed to dry for 13 days, sandy or loamy soil plugs start to crumble on their own.
How To Treat Your Lawn After Aerating
The best way to care for your lawn after aeration is by allowing the soil plugs left after aeration to decompose naturally, establishing a regular watering schedule, fertilizing with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, and either overseeding with new grass or applying a pre-emergent herbicide to stop weeds from sprouting.
Should I Mow Before Or After Aeration
You should mow before aeration, and avoid mowing after aeration, especially if you overseeded. This gives your lawn time to recover before you cut off pieces. Grass seedlings are delicate and need time to grow roots before mowing.
If your grass is growing vigorously, cut the lawn much lower than you would normally, even down to 2 inches for cool-season grasses. Check beforehand that you wont cut through the crown of the grass, the little part just above the soil from which the grass blade grows, or you could permanently damage the grass.
Established Grass Watering Recommendations
As time goes on, the general rule of thumb is to water your lawn so it gets approximately two inches of water each week. Even though your lawn may look green and established on top, it takes some time for the root system to mature as well. This is why its so important to continue regularly watering your lawn, and it may mean watering once or twice per week if youre not getting enough natural rainfall.
In terms of when to water, we always recommend mornings whenever possible, particularly if the night temperatures are over 65 degrees. Unfortunately, the combination of moisture, heat, and darkness can lead to fungal growth. Its okay to water on a fall evening if the temperatures will be dropping but springtime evenings are typically too warm.
Keep in mind that air movement will also cause your lawn to dry out. If its warm and windy, the need for water increases.
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Watering Your Lawn After Aeration
First things first, its helpful to water your lawn the night before you aerate so that it loosens up the soil. You should not water the day of because your lawn wont have time to absorb the water.
The goal after aeration is to keep your lawn moist without oversaturating the soil. So, you should evaluate the soil after you finish. This might mean watering every day for two weeks, but only doing it for short periods of time, which is different than what we recommend other times of the year. Be sure not to overwater, as this can cause the soil to shift, potentially negating your hard work!
Should I Sand After Aerating
sand after aerationsand
. Similarly one may ask, should you top dress after aeration?
After aerating, it’s time for top dressing: spread either pulverized top soil or a good quality humus compost across the lawn. You don’t need muchabout a quarter inch or so is adequate. Then, go ahead and reseed.
Similarly, what should I put on my lawn after aerating? What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn
Then, should I pick up plugs after aerating?
Some lawns need aerating every year, although most can go two to three years before needing aerating — which is good, if you don’t like the look of brown plugs on your lawn. You don’t have to rake the plugs left by aerating, but doing so gets nutrients back into the soil faster.
Should I put sand on my lawn?
Experts agree that sand should only be used on a lawn to level low areas, cover exposed tree roots and to fix heavy thatch build up. Even in those cases, it is recommended that you top dress with a rich, fine compost instead of sand.
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Types Of Top Dressing To Use After Lawn Aeration
Our Florida Panhandle landscaping clients want their residential and commercial lawns to look their best, as in green, lush and with a consistent look. As summer gets into full swing, some of our clients are asking us whether they should aerate their lawns and add top dressing.
Before we answer that question, we thought it would be helpful to explain a bit more about how top dressing works and when aeration is helpful.
How Long Should You Wait
When you aerate your soil, hundreds of small holes are jabbed into your lawn, often pulling out plugs of soil. This process is integral for your lawn care, and its not just another thing on your to-do list. This task is relatively easy if you have the right tools, but there are some things you need to think about after you finish. How long should you wait for watering your lawn after aeration? Read on to find out.
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Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn
Heavy recreational use, active pets, foot traffic and even lawnmowers can compact the soil under your lawn. That impedes root growth and can lead to thatch, a combination of slowly decomposing grass stems, roots and debris that gradually accumulates at the soil surface and keeps water from penetrating.
The Three Types Of Aerators
While core or plug aerators are usually considered the best type of aeration equipment by the professionals, there are some other kinds out there that some people use.
These are spike and slicing aerators.
Slicing aerators are equipped with rotating blades. These blades slice or cut through the grass, as well as any thatch. They penetrate into the soil.
Rather similar to the spike aerator, a slicing aerator doesnt take any soil from the ground. They do, however, leave areas where water, air, and nutrients can get into the soil more easily than otherwise.
The spike aerator is the most basic type and can cause problems if used over a larger section of lawn. With spike aeration, the only process is creating a hole in the soil. A tine in the shape of a spike that is solid is used.
The most basic iteration of this is the spiked aerator sandals that a few homeowners will wear when doing their work in the garden. The problem with spike aeration is that, if used over a larger area, it tends to make compaction even worse.
The soil will become even more severely compacted together in the area where the hole is made since the soil is just being smushed down.
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Can I Aerate The Lawn After Rain
Yes, you can definitely aerate your lawn after it rains. However, if were talking heavy, continuous rain then it is recommended that you wait a day or two to let the water drain away. A lawn thats too moist is simply more difficult to aerate.
A good rule of thumb is to wait a full day after it rains an excess of 1.5cm. Anything less than that should be fine as long as your lawn is not excessively moist or flooded.
You should also consider the following:
Allow Your Lawn To Rest
After aerating, you should give your lawn time to recover. This means waiting to mow your lawn until it needs it. In most cases, this means allowing your lawn to grow up to a height of 3.5 temporarily. Traffic on the lawn should also be minimized for a week or two, if possible, to prevent compaction.
When Should I Aerate Kikuyu Turf
As a warm season grass, kikuyu grass should be aerated during the growing season in spring and summer. This allows the grass to regrow and fill the holes from aeration. To help your grass recover after aeration, follow similar guidelines to watering new kikuyu turf and ensure the lawn stays moist.
This article is published for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website is strictly at your own risk. Always ensure you have the right qualifications and certifications to carry out DIY work and never put your safety at risk. Hills Irrigation recommends consulting a professional for all electrical and plumbing work.
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.
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When Is The Best Time To Aerate
Aeration is best performed just before or during periods of high growth. However, not immediately preceding or during periods of stress to the lawn. For example, heat or drought. The type of grasses that make up your lawn will determine the best time of year to aerate.
When to Aerate if You Have Cool-Season Grasses: If youre working with cool-season grasses, including bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass, aerating during the growth periods in the spring and fall is best.
When to Aerate if You Have Warm-Season Grasses: For warm-season grasses such as Bermudagrass, buffalograss, St. Augustine and zoysiagrass, aerate during warm times of the year, between late-spring and early-autumn.
Considerations for Aerating in the Spring: In the spring, wait until youve mowed the lawn a few times before aerating. Doing so ensures the lawn will grow fast enough to recover and take advantage of the increased pore space and air exchange at the root zone that aeration creates.
One caveat, says Friell, is that any disturbance of the root zone in the spring can increase weed competition by bringing buried seeds to the surface. Applying fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed killer following aeration can reduce the potential for weed competition and increase the hardiness of the grasses. But dont apply a weed killer if you plan to overseed following aeration. It will prevent germination of the seed you put down.
Quick Answer: What To Do After Aerating Lawn
What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn Leave the soil plugs on the lawn to decompose and filter back into the holes left by the aeration machine. Apply fertilizer immediately after aerating your lawn to put nutrients into your grass roots. Reseed your lawn, especially in areas of the lawn where the grass is thin.
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You Dont Know How To Use Your Aeration Machine And Accidentally Damage Your Turf
After you choose the right aeration equipment, much of the success of your new growth will be the result of how well you operate the aerator. Walk-behind aerators are a common choice but can be heavy to push. Large lawns can mean achy arms and sloppy navigating, resulting in inconsistent growth.
In addition, during each turn, you must disengage the tines by lifting up from the handle to prevent damaging the turf. This can be time-consuming, so instead, some operators will lift and spin the whole unit when its time to turn, potentially causing compaction and bare spots later on. Make sure you choose the right machine and understand how to use it to ensure the best results for your lawn.
How Do I Know If My Lawn Needs Aerating
There are several signs you can see to know if your lawn needs aerating:
- Compact soil: If you notice that your soil is really compact, it is a sign that you need to start aerating.
- Standing water: Puddles or standing water on the grass are an indication of compacted soil. This means that the water has difficulty reaching the grassroots.
- Worn areas: If you see more worn areas on your lawn than usually, it can be an indication that it needs aerating. Of course, patches or worn areas can be normal after heavy usage.
- Different color: When you notice that the lawn is showing more brown or yellow patches than you would expect, it can be a sign that it needs aerating. This only applies if the grass is getting enough water, during a dry period it will always change its color.
- Compacting test: Test with a sharp object, like a pencil or screwdriver how compact the soil is. If you can stick it in easily, it will be fine. If you have difficulty, it is an indication of compacted soil.
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What Exactly Is Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration is the process of puncturing the soil with small holes that aid vital elements, such as air and water, to enter the grassroots. This process helps the roots to grow deeply, which in turn produces a stronger and livelier lawn.
The main purpose of lawn aeration is to provide air and breathability to your lawn and the soil underneath it.
Mowing The Soil Plugs After Aeration
A common misconception people generally believe is that they should mulch-mow the core aeration plugs to break them down quickly, but this is not recommended. The reason behind this is, if you mow these soil plugs with your mower, the soil may drop again on the aeration holes in the yard and fill them in. The filling of holes created during aeration will hinder the supply of oxygen and water to the roots of the grass. This will conflict with the aeration process, and thats not what you really want.
Soil plugs should not be mowed after aeration. It would be best if you gave these plugs time to break down and add nutrients to the soil naturally gradually.
Mowing the lawn after aeration also depends on the type of aerator used for aerating the lawn. You can mow your lawn after aeration if you use a slicing aerator or spike aerator. However, if you use a core aerator, you must wait for a week or more before mowing the lawn. Remember, it is always preferred to mow the lawn to a suitable height before any aerating occurs.
Lets briefly discuss different types of aerating equipment and methods.
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Recommendations For Watering After Aeration And Seeding
In the time period immediately following aeration and overseeding, your goal is to keep the seeds moist, not sopping wet. It will likely take about 10-21 days after overseeding for germination to begin and the moist top 1 of soil will facilitate this growth.
In order to keep the seed moist, but not soaked, you may need to water in short bursts. This may mean watering two to three times per day but doing so for a shorter period of time in each location.
If you are not able to keep the soil moist, you run the risk of your new grass seeds failing to grow, or starting to germinate and then die. This could be a waste of your investment in the service in the first place. Therefore, its worth putting in the effort to water adequately.