Spring is just around the corner (we hope) and it will soon be time to start thinking about your lawn maintenance for the upcoming season. One service that is very important but often overlooked is lawn aeration. Over time the soil under your lawn becomes hard packed and water and nutrients have a difficult time penetrating deep into the root area. This compaction can be caused by many factors including traffic from children or pets as well as a clay based soil. You may notice when you water your lawn that the water is running off your lawn and onto the street and sidewalk, this is an indication that the ground is hard packed and not allowing penetration of the water. If lawn watering isn’t being absorbed, the fertilizer you are putting on your lawn won’t be penetrating and doing it’s job either. If you have a slope to your lawn, the watering will naturally have a tendency to run off so keeping the soil loosened with aeration is very important.
So, what is aeration and how does it work. Aeration is done by a machine which pulls plugs from your lawn. This allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the lawn’s roots enabling them to grow more deeply and become stronger, producing a healthier lawn. The plugs will vary in depth depending on how compacted the lawn is and how moist the soil is. The plugs that are pulled are left on the surface of the lawn and will break down with regular watering and mowing providing a top dressing. It is important to leave the aeration plugs to break down since they are part of your top soil and if raked up and removed you’ll be losing valuable topsoil.
When is the best time to aerate? A hard packed lawn will benefit from an aeration at any time however most prefer to have this done in the spring or fall as part of their spring or fall cleanup process. Aeration is often done in the spring at the same time as power raking and the advantage is that the power raking is done after aeration and the power raking process breaks up the plugs providing a top dressing.
Annual aerations will ensure that the soil beneath your lawn will provide optimum conditions for a healthy lawn.