If you have noticed that your lawn grass looks stressed and the soil is not absorbing water, your lawn needs aeration. Lawn aeration relieves soil compaction that may lead to drainage issues, bare patches, weeds, and dryness in your yard.
What is Lawn Aeration?
Aeration, also known as coring, is the process of perforating the soil with small holes to allow vital air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. It can be done by the lawn owner or a lawn service company in Fairfax VA.
Besides other lawn care services such as mowing, grass watering, and fertilizing, aeration is also essential in maintaining a thicker, healthier, and beautiful lawn. The process allows the grassroots to breathe and ensures easy penetration of air, nutrients, and water to the root zone.
Lawn aeration also prevents the build-up of thatching that may contribute to soil compaction. Thatch is the loose, organic layer of dead and living material such as shoots, grass, and roots gathered above the soil surface. This article looks at why lawn aeration is important and when and how you should do it.
Why Do You Need Lawn Aeration?
Minimizes of Soil Compaction
Soil compaction inhibits the proper flow of water, air, and nutrients that are essential for the thicker and healthier growth of your lawn area. Creating these holes during aeration reduces the compaction, and the essentials can go down through them to the roots. The roots of the grass will grow healthy, deep, and strong since aeration works as drainage solutions.
If your yard gets heavy foot traffic by children and pets running around, then aeration regularly would be excellent. The process creates perforations that get the nutrients into the roots. The nutrients, water, and oxygen in the root system promote the healthy growth of grass.
Gets Rid of Thatch
Lawn aeration reduces the build-up of thatch that makes it difficult for your lawn to breathe. Perform core aeration, which uses a machine with hollow tines to remove small plugs of soil and thatch from your yard. Core aeration aids the soil microorganisms in decomposing the thatch in your lawn, allowing nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil.
Easy Penetration of Essentials
Aeration Improves the air exchange between the soil and atmosphere. If the soil lacks essentials such as air, water, and nutrients, your grass will weaken, and it will cause bald spots and patches on your lawn. That’s why your grass needs plenty of oxygen and water to thrive. Lawn aeration will decrease soil density and ensure these essentials penetrate the soil.
Improves Fertilizer Uptake
Fertilizer application ensures your grass is more healthy. Water and natural nutrients are not sufficient for a healthy lawn in most locations including northern Virginia. You will, therefore, need to add fertilizers for it to thrive and remain resilient to diseases. Lawn aeration ensures the fertilizers penetrate well to the roots.
When You Should Aerate
When to aerate your yard depends on the type of grass and few other factors. However, the best time for lawn aeration for any grass is during the growing season. This season the grass will be resilient and recover fast after the soil plugs are removed.
The cool-season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and ryegrass can be aerated during early spring and the fall seasons. The warm-season grass such as Buffalos, Zoysias, Couch can be aerated during late spring or very early summer.
However, aerating your lawn during spring may not be ideal in some situations. This is because the holes created by the aeration may give room for weeds to grow. Weed seeds mainly germinate during the spring; it is, therefore, best to wait until late spring or in the fall to aerate when the weed pressure is minimal, and the grass is growing.
Additionally, if the goal is to overseed, choose to aerate your lawn area in the fall. Overseeding is spreading the seeds on an existing yard that might be thinning. Therefore, aeration allows the seeds to fall into the holes and grow. The cool air provides the best weather for seed germination.
The lawn aeration should be timed well. The process can stress or damage your grass if timed incorrectly.
How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
This is determined by the type of soil. If your lawn is used by vehicles and kids to play, that may cause soil compaction quickly, and you may need to aerate regularly. Additionally, if the soil is clay which is made of the tiniest particles, and it packs easily, your lawn will need aeration.
How to Aerate Your Lawn?
First Mow Your Lawn
Mowing is cutting down your grass with a machine known as a mower. Before you aerate, Make sure you evenly mow your lawn to ensure a smooth process.
Determine The Need For Aeration
If your lawn grass or new grass new beds don’t look healthy, then it might be needing aeration. Signs of compaction can also be used to determine whether your lawn needs aeration. To examine your lawn, use a shovel to dig a square foot section to see how deep your grassroots are. If the grassroots are less than two inches deep into the soil, then your lawn needs aeration.
Moisturize Your Lawn
Prepare your lawn for aeration by watering it thoroughly one or two days before. Apply 1 inch of water to the yard, using a tuna can to measure by placing it in the middle of your grass. Once the tuna can is full, turn off the water. Moisturizing will ensure the aerator machine penetrates the ground and pulls the soil plugs easily.
Mark Your Irrigation System
Before running the aerator, ensure you have marked any sprinkler heads, underground pipes, septic, and other obstacles to avoid running over them. This will ensure you don’t damage any of your irrigation equipment.
Start the actual aeration process. In this step, you can use a manual aerator or a mechanical aerator. Manual aerators require one to use their energy while the mechanical ones are supported by motors and are easier to operate. Make sure you run your aerator in a pattern that is easier to follow. The less compacted lawns going once is enough, while the heavy compacted ones may need you to aerate twice. Make sure you leave the soil plugs on the lawn surface so that they can add nutrients to the soil.
Apply Fertilizer and Grass Seed
After aeration, when the ground has perforation, you can now apply seeds and fertilizer. The seeds will fall into the holes, and the fertilizer will be easily absorbed. Lastly, ensure you water your lawn well for the next few days to ensure the soil absorbs through the holes created by aeration.
It's Time To Fix Your Lawn
MowCow lawn and landscape provides the best lawn care services in Fairfax, VA. We offer high-end, professional lawn maintenance and great service with excellent customer care at a fair price. To ensure you maintain your lawn and you do it right away, contact us to get your quote for all lawn aeration services as well as landscaping needs.