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The Best Practices For Aerating Your Lawn

If your lawn is not properly aerated, your plant's roots will not receive oxygen that is necessary to effectively take water and nutrients up through your lawn's roots. Besides making your lawn healthier, aerating also is not as stressful toward your lawn as dethatching. But for aeration to be successful, you will need to know the best practices for how and when to aerate.

When to Aerate

First you must know when it is necessary to aerate your lawn. This is most often necessary when there are worn areas on your lawn, especially areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. If you notice that puddles frequently form on your lawn, this means that your lawn likely needs to be aerated. Also, water shouldn't quickly run off your lawn after briefly watering it.

Choosing the Aerator

You will need to choose between a powered lawn aerator and a manual one. The powered aerators use gasoline and a spike system to more efficiently poke holes into the soil. The manual aerators are less powerful, but do not come with the inconvenience of gasoline.

How Frequently to Aerate

How frequently you must aerate your lawn depends on the type of soil you have. You can aerate soil that is mostly made up of clay once a year, while you can aerate soil mostly made up of sand every other year. It is best to use aeration as a preventative approach rather than using aeration as a way to to eliminate thatch after it has built up too much. If the thatch becomes too thick, your lawn will need to be aerated.

The Best Season to Aerate

When you should aerate your lawn is based on the type of grass you have. If you have cool season grass, you should ideally aerate in the fall to provide your lawn with enough time to recover before going dormant. With warm-season turf, you should aerate in the summer.

Preparing the Soil for Aeration

Water the lawn before aerating it, because a moist lawn is easier to penetrate. It will also be much easier for the aerator to pull out the soil cores. Place flags nearby irrigation heads and any objects that could be struck by the aerator.

What to Do Afterward

If you intend to overseed, a good time to do this is immediately after you have aerated your lawn. You should also apply compost over the lawn by placing the soil cores on top. The soil cores should take a few weeks to break down. 

For additional help, contact a service like Headman Lawn Care and Christmas Lighting.