When you think of lawn care, a few obvious choices come to mind. A lawn needs consistent mowing, watering, and fertilizing. And while those maintenance actions are necessary, there are more advanced lawn care methods, such as lawn aerating and overseeding, that will greatly benefit your lawn.
Lawn aerating is a procedure where small holes are created in the lawn using a mechanical, liquid, or manual aerator. These holes allow air, water, and nutrients to enter directly into the root system of the grass, making for a full, lush lawn.
Over the course of the year, thatch and debris builds up and can prevent the roots of the grass from getting essential water and nutrients. Aerating helps to remove this buildup, and makes sure your lawn gets everything it needs to flourish. Aeration should be done on every lawn once or twice a year to make sure the thatch buildup doesn’t get out of control.
There are two kinds of aerating tools: a plug aerator and a spike aerator. The spike aerator works as the above description suggests. It rolls over the lawn and pokes holes in the ground. A plug aerator is a bit more complicated, but far more efficient. This tool pulls soil plugs from the ground, about 2.5”– 4” deep and 0.5” – 0.75” wide. Although you need a particular tool for plug aeration, it is far superior to spike aeration.
Why Aerate Your Lawn?
There are several benefits to aerating your lawn, including:
- Improving nutrient absorption by your lawn
- Improving fertilizer consumption
- Enhancing the oxygen circulation
- Allowing rain and watering to fully hydrate your lawn
- Building stronger root systems
- Reduces puddling and water runoff
- Improve decomposition effectiveness
The two main advantages of aeration are thatch breakdown and root strength. The buildup of thatch can starve your lawn of the water and nutrients it needs. Aeration allows the microorganisms in the soil to more efficiently break down the thatch, leading to a healthier lawn. It also improves the consumption of fertilizer and water, cutting down on your costs and making your yard more efficient in the long-run.
In addition, aeration will give the roots of the grass more room to grow, giving your lawn more durability. If you’re looking for a way to take the next step after aeration, then consider overseeding as well.
Overseeding and aeration go hand-in-hand. As the best time for overseeding is after a session of aeration has prepared your soil to accept the new seeds added through the overseeding process. In short, aeration will prepare your turf, and overseeding will add a lush thickness to your existing lawn.
The benefits of overseeding your lawn include:
- Gives you a variety of grass
- A year-round lush, green lawn
- Thicker, more durable grass
- Lawn sustains longer in drought conditions
- Better defense against insects
Turf care is a year long commitment to creating a stronger, fuller, healthier, and more durable lawn. While aeration and overseeding is a large part of maintaining healthy turf, Epling Landscaping and Lawn Service recommends service be completed by mid-October before the threat of frost. However, the year long program is recommended at any time of year, taking the first steps to a healthier lawn.