How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn
Lawn aeration should be performed at a minimum of once every two years to maintain an average looking lawn. Annual aeration is the most common choice by homeowners, as aeration is not a very expensive service offered by most lawn care companies. If your lawn is heavily trafficked , aeration can provide even greater benefits if you have it done twice a year. The optimal time of the year to have aeration done is in the spring when the lawn is begining to transition from dormant to growing. In Winnipeg, this occurs near the end of April/begining of May. If you plan to have your lawn aerated twice a year, it is best to have it done early spring and then again in the fall. The best time in the fall in Winnipeg is late September/early October. Waiting too long in October can actually result in negative effects towards the lawn, so it is best to err on the side of caution and aim for late September.
For the 2020 lawn care season, Cleanr Property Maintenance will be offering $119 power rakes when you book before April 15th, up to 3,000 square feet of turf. For an additional $69, you can add aeration and have the healthiest lawn in the neighbourhood.
Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn
One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
Sometimes Its Better To Trust A Professional
Being mindful of these seven aeration and overseeding mistakes can certainly help create the beautiful turf you long for, but landscape maintenance can be time-consuming and theres a lot of dos and donts along the way!
A lawn care professional will know the right equipment and understand the needs of your unique property. Our team at Caramanico is here to get the job done right and prepare your turf for vibrant growth for your commercial property. Give us a call at 610.499.1640 or fill out this form to get a free property assessment today.
Properties We Serve:;Businesses, Colleges & Universities, High Schools & Elementary Schools, Shopping Centers, Apartments & Condominiums, Retirement Communities, Golf Courses & Country Clubs, Medical Centers, and more!
Service areas:;Chester County, Pennsylvania; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Hunterdon County, New Jersey; Somerset County, New Jersey; Mercer County, New Jersey; Camden County, New Jersey; Gloucester County, New Jersey; New Castle County, Delaware
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What Equipment Do You Need To Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration is a simple yet highly effective way to improve the health of your lawn. You do not need expensive equipment to carry out this procedure so anyone can carry it out without having to invest in expensive equipment. Below is a summary of the different types of aeration equipment you can use to aerate your lawn.
- Garden Fork This is the most simple way to aerate your lawn and everyone has a garden fork so it is accessible to most people. Simply push your garden fork as deep as it can go into your lawn and do this all over your lawn at 1-foot intervals.
- Plug Aerator A plug aerator is the best option if you are aerating your lawn because of soil compaction. When it aerates it removes a small core of soil which allows the remaining soil to spread out and this achieves a less compacted lawn, which means a healthier lawn.
- Aerator Shoes These shoes do an excellent job for such a simple device. They are simply spikes that attach to the bottom of your shoes so all you have to do is walk over your lawn and it will aerate as you do so. This makes lawn aeration a simple task anyone can easily do and it might keep you fit as you do it.
- Push Aerator A push aerator is a simple device that looks similar to a simple push lawnmower. You simply push it over your lawn and the attached spikes will rotate and aerate your lawn as you go.
Our Lawn Aeration Packages
Spring is an excellent time to start getting serious about your yard. For homeowners in Calgary and Edmonton who want to keep things simple, weve created some Spring packages that bundle all the essential services together.
The Silver and Gold packages both include lawn aeration, as well as power raking, blowing out of beds, and first cut and trim.
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Best Ways To Aerate Your Lawn
If you have decided that you are going to aerate your lawn, its important to do it properly.
First make sure that the soil has enough water. It will be very difficult to aerate soil that is dry. Either try to aerate right after it has rained, or water your lawn the day before you begin.
There are plenty of aeration machines that only cover a small part of your lawn are once, so try to make multiple passes over the same area, and move the machine in different directions .
If there are areas that do not need to be aerated, there is no reason to do so. Save your energy for the areas which need it the most.
In order to keep a cohesive lawn, you will want to allow any soil plugs that have been excavated, to dry and then break them up. You can break them up by running over the lawn and plugs with a lawn mower, but I use the back of a leaf rake once theyre dry.
What To Do After Aerating Your Lawn
Once your lawn has been properly aerated, it will absorb water and nutrients much more easily. Grass will grow much more vibrant blades and develop healthier root systems. Once you have completed aerating you should:
- Allow any soil plugs to break down naturally
- Overseed your lawn
- Water to feed grass roots
- Apply fertilizer
- Apply pre-emergent weed killer IF you are not overseeding
These methods will help you take full advantage of a recently aerated lawn to improve grass health, suppress weeds, and save you a lot of lawn maintenance in the long run.
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Is Lawn Aeration Worth It
Lawn aeration is beneficial to almost any soil but it offers the most benefit for soils that are heavily compacted. Clay soil, for example, has very small pores and does not allow air exchange.
It also restricts the growth of roots and encourages microbacterial activity that is present in healthy soils .
If grassroots cannot grow deep, the turf will be less hearty. This can result in grass that is highly susceptible to drought.
If you have Centipede or St. Augustine grass, we have more info on drought tolerance here:
The point is this: lawn aeration is intended to break up the compaction of soil, allowing for deeper root growth, healthier grass, and better water absorption.
Remember, healthy soil means a healthy, thriving lawn.
When my wife and I built our house, I was faced with growing grass on some of the most challenging red clay soil that youve ever seen.
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I had a local dirt company prep the ground with what we call topsoil around here but its not a nutrient-rich material. Its just dirt and thats better than seeding straight into the clay.
I sodded close to the house but with over two acres there was no way I was going to be able to do the whole yard. And so, I seeded. Thats my shop in the background and the yard in front of it was one of the areas that I seeded.
Do I Need To Prepare My Lawn Before I Aerate It
To make the process of aerating your one as effective as possible there are a number of measures you should carry out before you start the process:
- The day before you aerate your lawn you should definitely mow the grass to a short height then rake all the debris off your lawn, this just makes it easier.
- You definitely want to water your lawn before you carry out the process of aeration as you will be hoping to stick metal spikes several inches into the ground so if the soil is bone dry this will be difficult to achieve, making sure your lawn is moist is vital to the process.
- If your lawn is in really bad condition you may want to use a scarifier on your lawn the day before you use an aerator, if you do it the other way round and aerate your lawn before you scarify it the scarifier may rip sections of your lawn.
- If you have a sprinkler system embedded on your lawn you should mark out where it is as you dont want to run an aerator over it as there is a chance it might destroy your sprinkler system.
Mostly these steps for preparing your lawn before you aerate it are just common sense give it water to make sure the ground is soft and make sure that there is no debris on your lawn and you are good to go.
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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.
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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Things You Should Do After Aerating Your Lawn
Here are some things you can do after aerating your lawn to help ensure that your grass grows healthy and lush:
- Leave the plugs of soil that were removed from your lawn during aeration. This allows the soil to decompose and return any nutrients from the plugs back into your lawn.
- Feed your lawn with fertilizer right after aeration to provide extra nutrients for your grass. Fertilizer has easier and more direct access to the roots of your grass through the holes left in the soil when you aerate your lawn.
- Reseed your lawn. Seeds will have easy access to the soil of your lawn through the holes left behind by the soil plugs. This is also more effective because the soil is much looser right after aeration.
Diy Aeration Pros & Cons
The biggest benefit of aerating your lawn yourself is the cost. If you have the tools and materials you need, you can save money with a DIY approach. Other potential benefits include:
;A sense of pride and accomplishment in taking care of your own yard.;A chance to spend time outdoors getting some fresh air and exercise.;The ability to control how often your grass is maintained.;Insight into other problems in your yard that might otherwise go unnoticed, such as damaged fencing or trees that need to be trimmed.
However, there are some cons to DIY lawn aeration. Among them are:
;The investment in materials. You will need to rent or purchase an aerator and other supplies, which could cost as much or more than hiring a professional.;Costly mistakes. It may seem like a simple task, but you have to know how to aerate your lawn. If you do it incorrectly, you could do more harm than good to your lawn.;Unnecessary aeration. The problems with your lawn may not actually be caused by soil that is too compacted. Without a professional consultation to correctly diagnose issues, you could waste time and money on an unnecessary task.;Spending your weekend on lawn care instead of relaxing or spending time with your family.
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How To Know If Your Lawn Needs Aeration
Aeration isnt necessary for everyone, but you should probably aerate your lawn for a few of the following reasons.
- If your lawn is used often, and youd describe it as high traffic .
- Another reason to aerate is if you recently put in your lawn. Often new lawns have a lot of pressure put on them, so its important to loosen the soil, get air to the roots, over-seed, and top-dress your lawn with organic compost. This will help your lawn get established and prevent weed growth.
- If your lawn seems to dry out or has a bouncy feel. This is another reason to aerate and it could mean you have a thatch problem. One way to check this is to remove part of the lawn with a shovel and dig four inches down. If your thatch layer is deeper than ½ an inch aeration is a good idea.
- Finally an important reason to aerate, is if you personally established your lawn by sod. Lawns that were grown from sod means there is soil layering. When there is a thinner soil over your other soil, this can create a drainage problem, and can stunt root development. Aerating and over-seeding your lawn will help correct this and improve your yard.
Why You Should Aerate
Aeration is the antidote to the heavily compacted soil, which may be present on a lawn that gets very heavy foot traffic, or which is planted on a soil base that is heavy in clay content. It rarely is necessary where soils are on the sandy side. Core aeration is sometimes advertised as a solution to problems with thatch; however, it does not do much to relieve that problem if thatch is already present. Where thatch is a genuine problem, a true dethatching operation is a better solution. However, dethatching is a fairly violent action to a lawn, and an annual core aeration may well prevent thatch problems in the first place.;
If you have the;type of soil and conditions that require lawn aeration, you can do it once each year. It does not hurt your lawn, and in fact, will make it healthier and more attractive. Some people dislike the look of the small plugs of soil and turf that are pulled up and scattered over the lawn, and if so, you can rake them up. Left on the lawn, though, they will quickly break up and decompose.;
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When And How To Aerate
Lawn aeration should happen when grass is at its peak growing period so it can recover quickly. Aeration may be undertaken in the late spring or early summer for warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass.
But for lawns planted with cool-season grasses , early spring or fall is the best time for core aeration.
You can easily rent a lawn core aerator from a big box store or rental center. Since you should not need to aerate your lawn very frequently, it makes better financial sense to rent rather than purchase the aerator. Typically, if you don’t see any issues with your lawn, you can aerate every two to three years. However, for high traffic areas or if your lawn grows in heavy clay soil, annual aerating may be necessary.
This lawn aeration equipment will pull plugs, or “cores” of soil out of the ground, letting air in. These plugs should be two to three inches in depth. Such a plug should be pulled out of the lawn at about every three inches. The plug removal process is facilitated by watering the lawn the day before, but don’t water to the point of muddying the soil. Leave the plugs on the grass: they’ll break down and add nutrients to the soil. Water every two to three days after aerating.
Likewise, if your thatch problem is severe , rent a vertical mower from a rental center. Alternatively, hire a lawn service to do the job of lawn aeration for you. For more on dethatching, please consult this information on raking leaves.