Causes Of Soil Compaction
Heavy clay soil has a natural tendency to become compacted over time, unless its protected from the hot sun by dense vegetative growth and kept moist to allow root penetration. A dense, well-established lawn on clay soil may thrive without symptoms of compaction, but certain stressors like drought, heat, or improper mowing height and frequency may cause it to decline.
High traffic situations, such as dog runs along fences or the kids direct path to the treehouse, dont just kill the grass. They also cause soil compaction that prevents new grass from growing.
Low lying areas, or uneven surfaces, drain poorly. Water lying on the surface for an extended time kills the vegetation and microbes living in the soil, causing the soil structure to collapse. Over time, this kind of ponding may become worse because of the added soil compaction.
Best Times To Aerate Your Lawn
The ideal time to aerate your lawn is during weather periods that will support its recovery. The optimal times for this to happen are during growing seasons, and this is dependent upon the type of grass. Cool-season grass tends to thrive during the cooler temperatures of the spring and fall, whereas warm-season grass usually thrives during the early summer months.
Lawn aeration is best performed at these times because weather during these periods helps to control lawn thatch. It is not necessary to aerate every year if your lawn is healthy and growing well or if you have sandy soil because it does not compact easily. In these cases, aerating every 2-3 years will suffice. When this process is performed more than necessary, it can damage your grass and the subtle balance between growth and dormancy. On the other hand, it is best to aerate every year if you have a heavy traffic lawn or clay soil, which is wet, sticky, and compacts easily. Additionally, lawn aeration is recommended twice a year if you live in harsh climates and/or experience particularly cold, dry winters.
When Is The Best Time To Plant Grass Plugs
Grass plugs are becoming a more popular way to fill in bare or damaged spots in a lawn as well as becoming an alternative to installing sod. As described in our previous Sod University blog on What are Grass Plugs and How to Use Them, a grass plug is an individual turf plant that is grown in a tray. Sizes of grass plugs vary, but individual grass plugs generally measure anywhere between 1.53 inches in length and width. Planted somewhere between 912 inches apart, they will continue to spread and fill in over time, creating a solid ground cover of your preferred grass type. As grass plugs have become one of the most popular products for homeowners, many homeowners have began asking when the best time to plant grass plugs is. It should be noted that the best time to plant grass plugs largely depends on where you live and the climate you live in.
How to Plant Grass Plugs in the Spring
Here are some key things to be aware of when planting plugs in the spring:
- Make sure there are no more opportunities for a freeze before installing grass plugs.
- Be sure to keep an eye on weather. You will want to make sure that you keep your plugs extra moist to maintain root healthespecially if you get an early hot day.
- Water shadier spots less than the sunnier spots to help reduce disease.
- Be sure to fertilize your lawn to promote healthy rooting and establishment. We recommend our Lawnifi® New Lawn Starter Box for proper lawn nutrition.
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How To Choose A Best Lawn Aerator
If you are interested in purchasing a lawn aerator, you will want to know how to choose the right one for your lawn maintenance needs.
Choosing a quality product will ensure that the lawnmower remains in good working order for many years to come, while a less expensive model may break down after just a few uses.
Below, you will find several tips to help you choose the right Aerators for your lawn maintenance needs.
The first thing that you should consider when looking for lawn aerator shoes is the hardness of the blades.
For those who want to mow extremely large lawns or gardens, compacted soil aerators are logical and affordable.
Although it certainly feels a little strange to use such small instruments in such large areas, they offer quick and straightforward means of aerating the lawn quickly and easily.
For those who only have medium to small lawns, on the other hand, lightweight tines are the ideal choice as they can be used as and when needed.
When you have decided how large your lawn needs to be aerated, you should consider whether the aeration tools should be gas-powered or electric.
Electric or gas-powered aeration tools can be battery-powered or plug-operated. Most lawnmowers will come with one or more gas-powered tines, which are generally considered the easiest to work with.
However, if you are interested in using an electric or plug-powered aerator, you will need to consider whether you would prefer the blade height to be short or long.
When Lawns Need Aeration
It may not seem your lawn could get compacted, but it happens easier than you may think. Vehicles or small equipment driven on lawns are more obvious offenders, but even outdoor entertaining or yard play by kids and pets can leave all or part of your lawn compacted. If you live where heavy clay soil is the norm, annual aeration is probably needed to keep your lawn from becoming thin and weak.
Dethatching and aerating are two different tasks, but they often go hand in hand. Thatch is the layer of decomposing organic matter that forms right at the lawn surface, between soil and grass. When thatch gets more than 1/2 inch thick, it works like compaction to prevent the flow of air, water and nutrients grasses need. Aggressive spreading grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrassin northern lawns and Bermudagrass down south, form more thatch than many other grass types. Aeration helps penetrate and reduce thatch buildup or prep it for removal through dethatching.
If your grass often looks stressed and your soil is hard to the touch or rainwater puddles up where it used to be absorbed, you may have compaction problems. Confirm your suspicions with a simple “screwdriver test.” Take a regular screwdriver and stick it into your lawn’s soil by hand. It should slide in fairly easily. If you meet resistance, your soil is compacted, and aeration can help.
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Why Do You Need To Aerate Your Lawn
Although there are still many things to be learned about lawn aeration, theres one thing most experts agree on and that is that opening up the turfs surface is beneficial for it. Air and water are essential for the soil ecosystem and the soil microorganisms in it which help naturally break down thatch thus improving the lawn.
Good drainage conditions and adequate topsoil air intake are very important for the proper growth of grassroots as they help them breathe and grow. By aerating the soil, youre permitting air to enter into the soil, which leads to gaseous exchange. Meaning that the grassroots suck in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.
Having too much carbon dioxide in the soil is not good as it can limit or completely prohibit its water and nutrients intake.
However, by thoroughly aerating an area where browning has occurred, you can restore to roots ability to intake moisture again. And if done right your grass colour will return to its regular green in just around a week.
On the other hand, if the lawn is not aerated during the cold rainy seasons such as autumn and winter completely different problems can occur. For example, your soil might experience surface sealing because of the compacting effect of walking around and using garden maintenance machines that are on the heavier side.
Why Are Yearly Aeration And Overseeding Important
The idea behind lawn aeration and overseeding is tostrengthen your entire lawn. By filling in empty or bare spots with new grass,you do more than make your lawn look beautiful you actually increase itsresistance to pests. With a thick, lush and uniform bed of grass, its harderfor weeds to take hold, which makes taking care of grass easier, too.
Aeration breaks up compacted soil so water and otherlife-giving lawn nutrients can reach roots easily. This has a huge effect ongrass health and growth. In fact, even if your lawn is gorgeous and green allover, you should still aerate in the growing season to keep things that way.
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How To Find The Best Time To Plug Aerate Your Lawn
Grass does not grow well in compacted soil. Packed earth resists roots, water, and air penetration. It makes a poor environment for beneficial microbes to grow and lacks the trace organic matter thats a hallmark of fertility. Without intervention, a compacted soil zone can grow as weak grass dies off, roots decay, microbes go dormant or die, and soil particles settle closer to one another. Aerating the lawn helps to reverse and prevent soil compaction from happening.
Yard Butler Lawn Aerator
Yard Butler Lawn Aerator
The Yard Butler Lawn Coring Aerator has a lifetime warranty on its blades. They use high-grade, durable steel to make each lawn aerator blade that comes from them.
The blade system is designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, so you know you are getting the best value for your dollar.
You can also feel comfortable knowing that this product has lifetime tools that are guaranteed for one year.
Specification Durable steel construction means that your lawn aerator will stand up over years of hard use.
This sturdy construction means that you will still receive excellent service from this lawn aeration system even after it has been used for several years.
The steel parts are extremely strong and durable, and you do not have to worry about them rusting or splintering when exposed to all the elements.
Features The steel components of a yard butler lawn coring aerator are made from high-quality, heavy-duty steel that is rust-resistant.
This durable steel garden aeration system works excellent with square and rectangular-shaped lawns. It is especially effective at removing hard dirt, fallen leaves, twigs, and grass clippings.
If you have square or rectangular-shaped lawns, the Yard Butler yard coring aerator will make your job much easier.
Whether you need simple aeration or a deep, penetrating aeration, the aerator can perform the job efficiently and quickly.
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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.
Best Time To Overseed Lawn
When you look out into your yard to admire its lush, green lawn, the last thing you want to see is stringy weeds, brown patches or bald spots.
Luckily, overseeding is an effective remedy for those pesky lawn issues. Learn when and why its important to overseed your lawn based on where you live.
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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.
Why And When To Overseed The Lawn
Overseeding is as simple as it sounds. You plant new grass seed in your lawns troubled spots. But its benefits go much deeper. You should consider overseeding because:
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Tools Used For Lawn Aeration
Lawn Aeration can be completed with either a manual tool, which is operated standing up or a power tool. First, let us discuss the types of manual tools that can be used for the process. The two main types are a spike lawn aerator and a plug aerator.
A spike lawn aerator is a garden tool designed to assist you in creating small holes into the ground with a solid tine.
A plug aerator removes a core or plug of grass and soil from the lawn. It executes the process through spikes that consist of hollow cylinders. This creates deeper holes than a spike lawn aerator. But it tends to need more labor and does not have as much coverage as a spike lawn one.
Manual aerators are effective, but they can be labor intensive if your lawn is considerably vast.
A power aerator is a commercial lawn aerator that is ideal for those who have a vast lawn. If cost is a deciding factor, keep in mind that power aerators are more expensive than manual ones. Additionally, if you decide on a power aerator, we recommend that you purchase a coring model.
What Should You Do After Aerating Your Lawn
Whenever possible, combine lawn aeration with other lawn care maintenance, such as fertilizing, adding soil amendments or overseeding. Water, fertilizer and grass seed all need to get through the lawn surface and into the soil to do their job. Creating a path for them to get there can be accomplished by core aerating. An application of fertilizer immediately after core aeration will also help restore your lawn.
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What Is Core Aeration Should I Core My Lawn
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. Plug or core aerators do this by using hollow tines that puncture the surface and then pull the plugs from the ground on their way back out.
Core aeration can be done with manual hand tools but is much easier to undertake with a specialised coring machine. The primary reason we need to undertake aeration, core aeration in particular, is to alleviate issues related to compaction. Compaction is a common problem for homeowners and can be caused by many factors including regular foot traffic, driving on your lawn, sport activities and general use of your lawn. What compaction does is prevent oxygen, nutrient and water from being able to penetrate properly to the roots of your lawn, which in turn leads to poor lawn health. Core aeration is a great way to alleviate these compaction issues.
Make sure you only core aerate when your grass is actively growing during the warmer months, so it can recover quickly. The best time to use a core aerator is when the soil is hydrated but not overly saturated with water. When the soil is dry it will crumble inside the tines, preventing proper removal of the cores from the ground. On the flip side, if the soil is too wet it will lodge itself inside the tines.
Diy Or Hire Professionals To Aerate Your Lawn
As with most lawn care tasks, it is possible to aerate your lawn yourself. However, before you set aside a weekend afternoon for the chore, consider the benefits of hiring a lawn care professional. When you consider the pros and cons of DIY aeration vs. those of hiring lawn care professionals, you might find that its worth investing in some expert help.
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How To Encourage Aeration Plugs To Break Down Faster
Follow your regular maintenance schedule after core aeration. Your standard practices of watering, mowing, and using your yard for outdoor gatherings and recreation will help break down soil plugs. Because some of the best things to do after aeration are fertilizing and overseeding, these processes can help speed soil plug decomposition. The extra watering required for new grass seed erodes the plugs left by a core aeration machine.
- Regular watering, mowing, and foot traffic help soil plugs break down faster.
- Increased watering associated with overseeding after aeration helps to break down soil plugs.
- Watering in fertilizer also speeds the soil plug decomposition process.
- Mower wheels and blades help to break up soil plugs.
If you are not overseeding with new grass, continue mowing your aerated lawn as usual. Mower wheels will break up cores and any cores sucked up into the blades will be broken down.