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Lawn Aerating: The Benefits of Aerating Your Lawn
Often heard friends, acquaintances or lawn professionals talk about the benefits of lawn aeration?
British Lawns will give you a more in-depth explanation on what this process actually does for your lawn and also explain the do’s and don’ts that some industry leaders ignore.
Aerating is the process of punching holes into your lawn to allow air flow, enable fertilizers to work better and allow water to reach the roots more easily. Image Source: Originally found here, image belongs to Lawn Aeration Graphic
Why Do I Need to Aerate?
In our area of North Texas we have what can be a hard clay soil. This type of soil can easily become compacted and grass roots find it difficult to survive under these conditions. You may already have noticeable lawn compaction on your lawn due to high traffic areas in the lawn such as play areas, dog runs or damage from vehicles along the driveways.
How Do You Aerate?
We use a commercial grade Bluebird plug aerator which penetrates the soil down to about 3-4 inches. This machine actually pulls plugs out of the lawn and is the most beneficial way of aerating.
What Will it Do For My Lawn?
Lawn Aerating is one of the most important and beneficial things you can do to your lawn. Straight after aeration applying a fertilizer will invigorate the roots and you will see a lusher, thicker lawn begin to grow.
Leaving the plugs on the lawn will also help with thatch. This is because the microorganisms eat their way through the thatch back into the soil. You then just simply mow the remainder of the plug into dust like it was never there.
What Other Reasons Would I Aerate My Lawn?
If you are re-seeding your lawn then lawn aerating before is highly recommended. Spreading a grass seed straight after aeration will guarantee the seed gets into the holes and into the soil and not just be exposed on top of the soil where rain run off can occur or birds can get a free meal.
The do’s and don’ts of aerating Don’t aerate your lawn in the middle of winter or during the colder months. Contact a big lawn corporation on January 15th with temperatures at 15 below freezing and they are at your house the next day aerating and this does nothing for your lawn. It won’t hurt it but has no benefit.
Do aerate during the growing season of your lawn. Think about it, if you are asleep and someone is trying to feed you at 3am in the morning, although the food maybe good, you are going to tell them to come back at breakfast time. Your lawn works the same way, during the dormancy months when your lawn is brown and asleep the last thing it needs is a massive blue machine rumbling over it punching holes in it and being controlled by a rather portly lawn expert. Let it rest, it will benefit much more from aerating when the lawn is at its most active.
Don’t rake off the plugs after aeration. Many clients take a look at their lawns after aeration and immediately start shouting at the dog; it does look like fluffy has had a generous helping of home made tacos and had a field day on your lawn. Please let the plugs be, as mentioned above they are loaded with beneficial microorganisms that eat their way back through thatch (dead grass) on your lawn.
Don’t spike aerate. Spike aerating has little, if no benefit to your lawn. Spike aerating has been proven to actually increase compaction in your lawn. When the ‘spike’ penetrates the soil it is compacting the surrounding hole, if you plug aerate you are pulling the compacted soil out of the ground.
The simple process of aerating will breath new life into a tired looking lawn, many clients have included the additional process of raking good compost over the lawn after aeration which your lawn will truly appreciate.