A Beginner’s Guide to Aerating a Lawn

A healthy green lawn is a positive for any home. It takes some effort to achieve good results, if you do the work yourself, but the end result makes the effort worthwhile. Good lawn care includes regular mowing and watering. You may also need to apply fertilizer, two or three times a year. One element of lawn care that you may be aware of is aeration.

Knowing how to aerate properly is important for lawn care, if you want a healthy lawn that looks good. Aeration is the process of taking small plugs out of the lawn or making breathing holes. Doing this can help to remove any thatch that has formed on the lawn. It also provides other important benefits.

The benefits of lawn aeration

The soil which is home to the roots of your lawn can become compacted as the lawn is used throughout the year. This means that the roots become deprived of the basic needs required to help your lawn maintain health and strength. Aeration helps to break up the compaction and:

  • Allows the roots to get the water they need.
  • Improves the absorption of nutrients by the roots.
  • Makes it easier for grass to get the breathing room that it needs.

When is it best to aerate?

You should never aerate your lawn while it’s dormant. You can carry out aeration at other times, if necessary. However, there are certain times of year which are best suited to aeration. For cold season grasses, the best time to aerate is early spring or early fall. You can include it as part of your spring lawn care schedule. For warm season grasses, the best time to aerate is late spring or early summer.

How to tell if your lawn needs aeration

You may not think that the soil below your lawn could possibly be compacted, but it happens more easily than you might think. Often, it only takes regular play by your kids to cause compaction to happen, especially if your soil contains a lot of clay. The best way to tell if your lawn needs to be aerated is to watch out for pools of water forming and check if the ground is hard. You can try pushing a screwdriver into the ground and if it’s not easy to do, you may have compacted soil.

How to aerate your lawn

There are three options when it comes to aerating yourlawn.

  • Hire a professional to do the work for you.
  • Use a pitch fork to make aeration holes in the lawn.
  • Use one of three types of aerating equipment, spike aerators which create a hole much like a pitch fork, slicing aerators that cut through grass and soil and plug aerators which remove plugs of soil and turf.

Whichever aeration tool you decide to use, you need to complete the work carefully and effectively. Doing so helps to preserve the health and beauty of your lawn, as part of a comprehensive lawn care routine.