How Do You Aerate A Lawn
You can use special lawn aerators. This equipment usually consists of a spike or a plug and can be a manual or mechanical device. With the spike you literally push holes into the ground. With a plug it removes small plugs which then creates the holes.
If youd like to see how core aerating works, which uses a plug removal method, take a look at this handy video:
However you choose to use lawn aerators, youll want to follow these tips:
- Ensure the working surface is moist and has enough water before you begin so you can easily penetrate the soil
- Try and ensure that you go over the same areas repeatedly to ensure you have added holes across most of the lawn
- Dont worry about destroying the effects of herbicide you have placed as aeration does not negatively affect this, contrary to regularly circulated misinformation
Which Method Should You Choose
Aerators which remove plugs of soil are the most effective, according to most lawn care and turf experts.
This is definitely what I have found.
That said, the efficacy really depends on your lots type of soil. Also, consider the size of the lot youre going to be aerating when choosing a tool and method for lawn aeration.
Poking methods can be less effective due to causing additional compaction around where you place the holes.
I recommend that you use an aeration tool that pulls soil plugs at least 2-3 inches deep. These should also be no larger than 1 inch in diameter and no farther than 4 inches apart for best results.
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When Is The Best Time To Aerate Your Lawn
Regardless of where you live and what type of turf grass youre working with, aeration can help your lawn be healthier and more beautiful. The trick is knowing when its best to aerate, what equipment to use, and what else you can do to encourage the vigor of your grass. Additionally, aerating can also assist in limiting weeds ability to gain a foothold in the lawn.
According to Josh Friell, Ph. D, of The Toro Companys Center for Advanced Turf Technology, aeration introduces temporary stress to the turf. Recovery time is closely linked to growing conditions and annual growth cycles. As a result, its important to keep those considerations in mind when determining an annual aerification plan.
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Warm Versus Cool Season Grass
The main difference between warm season and cool season grass is that each type exhibits active growth at different times. In most parts of the U.S., warm season grasses grow actively between April and October. Warm season grasses are heat and drought tolerant, making them ideal for warmer climates. During the cooler months, most warm season grasses will go dormant, turning brown or yellow until the warmer temperatures return. Cool season grasses, on the other hand, are ideal for areas that experience both hot summers and freezing winters. These grasses grow most actively in the spring and fall, when temperatures are moderate, and may go dormant in the hottest months. You can see a full list of warm and cool season grass varieties by visiting this link.
How To Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating equipment comes in three main types, from small manual versions to larger tractor-like or pull-behind machinery:
- Spike aerators simply poke a hole down into the soil with a solid, spike-like tine. Some homeowners wear spiked aerator sandals” strapped to their shoes to aerate as they do yard work. While these can help on a small scale, spike machines can make compaction worse by pressing soil together around the holes.1
- Slicing aerators have rotating blades that cut or slice through grass and thatch and down into soil. Like spike aerators, slicing aerators leave soil in the ground, but they create pathways for air, water and nutrients without causing more compaction.
- Core or plug aerators, typically preferred by lawn professionals, use rows of hollow tines that remove plugs of soil from your lawn and deposit them on top, where they break down. The size of the plugs and the holes they create vary in width and depth, depending on the machine used.
You can hire a lawn service to aerate for you or do it yourself like a pro. Equipment rental companies and lawn and garden stores often rent aerator machines and provide basic operating instructions for the model you choose. Aerating is a lot like mowing as you work back and forth across your lawn. Concentrate on any known problem areas, like pet runs or backyard baseball diamonds. Make several passes in different directions to help ensure optimal coverage and benefits.
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On A Compacted Lawn Aeration Is A Priority
I aerate lawns all year round, scheduling it for the best time for the particular lawn in question.
If you would like to book an aeration treatment for your lawn, would like your lawn measured for compaction, or would just like to discuss the available treatments, please dont hesitate to get in touch.
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.
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The Best Time To Overseed Lawn
Overseeding is the process of keeping lawns green as well as healthy that every homeowner prefers. This allows the seed cultivated directly. Plus, overseeding helps improve ground thickness, correct discolored quantities, fill in bald patches, and more.
To know the best time to overseed a lawn is the most meaningful message of a gorgeous lawn lover.
Ultimately, the time is to be sure of the categories of lawn and weather of your area. If you dwell in the northern locales of the U.S. the cool-season grass is the right choice for you. Alternatively, if you stay in the southern regions, the warm-season lawn is suitable for cultivating.
Here are the details of various grass types and locations.
|End of the August or early September|
Why Do We Need To Aerate
Lawn aeration is a treatment used when the soil in your lawn is compacted. A lawn can become easily compacted if a lot of action goes on in your yard. Parking cars on your lawn, animals running around, and kids playing on the lawn are just some common ways soil can become compacted. Compacted soils make it so water and air do not reach the roots of the grass in your lawn, leaving your lawn lacking the nutrients it needs to be healthy. If you live in an area with clay soils, your soil is more likely to become compacted than areas with sandy soils. The bonds in the clay soil are much closer together, making it difficult for water and air to penetrate to the roots.
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How Does An Aerator Work
There are several kinds of aerators, but the hands-down best results come from core aerators. A core aerator is a heavy roller covered with hollow spikes thats rolled across the grass to pull soil plugs from the lawns root zone. The sheer weight of the roller drives the spikes through layers of thatch, dense roots and compacted soil. It pulls inch diameter plugs, up to ¾ inch deep or more.
The aerator functions best on damp soil. Hard, dry soil may be impervious even to the machine thats supposed to fix it. While you might be able to fix this by lightly irrigating several times per day for a week to soften the soil, a better solution would be to aerate after a significant stretch of wet weather.
Why Summer Isn’t The Best Time To Aerate Either
Summer, like spring, sounds like a great time to overseed because of the warm temperatures and the many days that remain before frost returns and growth goes dormant, but summer is the worst of the three growing seasons for overseeding.
First, once the soil temperatures warm to a certain level, growth slows by a drastic degree. For healthy, established grass, thats not such a big problem. For new grass, though, that can be fatal because its not yet strong enough to withstand the heat, which is the second problem.
When grass dies or weakens, it becomes vulnerable to weeds, and when weeds take over, they spread, leading to more damaged grass and more weeds. Pretty soon, things can get out of control. Now youre spending time and money using post-emergent herbicides to battle the weeds, and youve already lost the time and money you invested in planting new seeds.
Summer is a tough-enough time for healthy grass. Its a lot tougher on new grass, and for grass planted late in the spring to treat for weeds early on, its usually fatal without a lot of intervention.
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Some Of The Benefits Of Aerating Your Lawn Include:
- Reduce thatch build-up: Excess thatch can block your grass from absorbing water and nutrients.
- Reduce soil compaction: pulling cores of soil out will help reduce soil compaction and allow the grass roots to spread out.
- Stronger root system: Grass roots will be able to grow deeper, strengthening your lawn.
- Access to water, air, and nutrients: Relieving soil compaction allows more access to the air, water, and fertilizerthat your grass needs.
What Are The Benefits Of Lawn Aeration
After a while, soil in your lawn becomes compacted and thatch builds up to the point where it can harm your grass. Thatch is a layer of grass clippings and organic matter that form a barrier at the base of your grass. When that layer builds up and is more than one inch thick, then you have a thatch problem. Aerating your lawn can alleviate this problem, among many other benefits.
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Should I Pick Up Plugs After Aerating
The consensus is that no, you should not pick up plugs or cores after aerating. These little pieces of your lawn are going to break down in a few days. This process can be aided by watering after aerating or waiting to aerate.
The short answer is yes, but only if you have the time and patience to do it right. If you dont have time or patience, its not worth the effort. Aerating is not a quick fix. Its a long-term solution to a problem that needs to be addressed.
Best Time To Aerate And Overseed Your Lawn
Theres nothing better than a lush lawn that lets you spend time with your family in the back yard, laughing and having fun. But, to keep grass healthy, techniques such as overseeding and aeration are important. This leads us to the question, when is the best time to aerate and overseed your lawn?
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When Should I Overseed My Lawn
Due to advancements in our products and technology, Blades of Green is now available to seed and provide weed control at the same time in the spring, no matter what time of year you aerate your turf. If there are bare spots on the lawn, we certainly understand not wanting to wait until the fall to get it covered.
Theres a 40-50% chance that the grass will die off during the summer stress, especially if follow-up practices like mowing and watering arent adhered to. We still recommend fall aeration and seeding even with spring seeding.
What Causes Ground Compaction
Soil becomes compact when too much pressure is applied and suddenly all the air squeezes out. This can happen in many situations, including chronic overuse, such as when pets or people walk across a lawn frequently, to the point that theres a bald path formed. Driving heavy equipment over the wet ground can also compact the earth, as can simply parking a car on wet soil.
You can check for soil compaction by attempting to insert a sod knife into the ground when its moist. If the knife will go down with just the force of your thumb, your soil is fine. If it wont, and the soil is properly moist, then you definitely need to rent an aerator or hire a landscaping contractor.
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Select The Right Grass Seed
It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many times that gardeners make mistakes with their choice of grass seed. The first mistake to avoid is to choose a grass seed that is unlikely to grow in your climate, for instance, warm-season grass seed in a cool environment.
Many simply choose to relay the same seed used for the original grass, which is fine. However, if you want to go for a plusher and thicker look, the best strategy is to buy a different type of similar grass seed. By doing so, you increase the biodiversity of your lawn and benefit from the different types of grass competing with each other for sunlight, encouraging denser growth.
How Do I Aerate My Lawn
A smaller area of lawn can be aerated manually with aerating sandals or a sturdy garden fork. Simply insert the fork into the lawn and wriggle it back and forth to fracture the soil profile. Aim for a spacing between the holes of around 8 10cm. In order to achieve adequate aeration, you may need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time.
You can hire specialised aerators if you have a large lawn. A spiked roller is also useful for lawn aeration for incorporating lime, gypsum, or coarse sand into the profile to improve drainage or pH.
Unlike regular aeration, where solid tines simply punch holes in the ground, core aeration removes a plug of soil from your lawn at the same time. You can read more about core aeration here.
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Can I Aerate My Lawn Too Early
Aerating too soon, without active growth in the lawn, could delay the holes to refill. As a result, aeration holes could become a site for summer weeds to germinate. The best practice for Spring Aeration is to wait until May.
You can rest easy knowing you can call on the professionals at All Turf Lawn Care to handle your Spring Aeration. We aerate each year through the month of May to make sure your lawn is getting the most benefit from Aeration. Currently, we offer aeration to current customers enrolled in one of our lawn care programs. Give us a call for a quote today!
How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn
For healthy lawns, aeration should be done once a year. If soil compaction and thatch buildup occur frequently on your lawn, it is best to aerate it twice a year.
Some home-owners recommend aerating lawns on an as-needed basis. For instance, if you notice signs such as thinning of grass or worn areas, or puddles, it is time to aerate your lawn.
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What Are The Benefits To Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration is how will make your lawn healthy. As a result, youll get a dense and beautiful lawn. Aeration benefits your lawns root system, including:
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