One of the best ways to have a lush, healthy lawn is to aerate it when needed. Sometimes what you might think are fertilizer, insect, or under watering issues, are actually happening simply because you’re not aerating your lawn as often as you should.
It has been observed that soil compaction is the enemy number one of a healthy lawn, and it mostly happens when top four inches of your soil becomes compacted to a point where oxygen, nutrients and water are prevented from properly circulating around grass roots.
Once you know how to aerate lawn and start doing it, you are actually loosening your top soil allowing room for air and nutrients to properly circulate down into the soil. Soil compaction is a big issue in areas where pets and people seem to frequent, rather than all less traveled areas of the lawn.
An inexpensive way to find if your lawn soil is compacted and needs aeration is to take a small screwdriver and try to push it down into the soil after you’ve watered your lawn. If it goes inside without any resistance, then there’s no compaction problem at all. But if it’s difficult to push screwdriver down, then you need to aerate your lawn soil as quickly as possible.
How often you should aerate your lawn?
If you have pets and kids playing in your lawn on almost daily basis, then you should aerate your lawn twice a year. If your lawn is sloppy, and water runs off quick before it can soak the soil, then you should aerate it often as it will help water reach the roots of grass and will help your lawn grow.
If your lawn soil is heavy in clay, you should aerate it thrice a year as clay soil has poor air circulation and is quite slow to absorb water. If your lawn has rapid thatch buildup, you should aerate your lawn once a year. Thatches make it cumbersome for nutrients, air and water to reach grass roots.
How to aerate lawn?
The best thing about lawn aeration is that it’s quite inexpensive thing to do. If your yard is medium sized or small, and compaction is just limited to a small area of your yard, you can use a spading fork for aerating your garden soil in those areas. You just need to push the tines of the fork into your garden soil as far as they can go and then gently rock them back and forth. You can do this in entire area that has compaction problem.
You can also buy a cod coring tool that is helpful in removing small cores of soil and then deposits them on lawn. These plus are rich in microorganisms from deep under the ground and can also decompose the thatch that may have developed in your lawn. Therefore, this coring tool is helpful in many ways in your yard.
If you have a large yard, you can also invest in a power driven core aerator or rent it at a local garden store. This motorized tool works exactly like a cod coring tool, except that it automates the entire process. This machine also leaves core plugs in your lawn, which you can rake and then remove them if you wish.
While aerating your lawn, you should first go in one direction, and then go over your lawn in different directions, almost perpendicular to what you’ve just done. If you can do this method twice on your lawn, you’ll get awesome results from your aerating.
If there are some spots on your yard where grass is sparse, you can combine aerating and seeding at the same time. You will have to go over your lawn eight to ten times to make several holes for the seed. However, don’t apply the seeds immediately. Wait for at least three weeks so that your lawn heals up after aeration first.