If you notice that your grass is in rough shape, compacted soils could be at the heart of the issue. Whether a result of heavy foot traffic from children and pets or cars parking on your lawn, excessive compaction introduces the same concerns for homeowners. With less space for air, water and nutrients to enter the soil, the turf’s health weakens and becomes more susceptible to weeds, pests and diseases.
Aeration is designed to relieve such compaction. By perforating the soil with small holes, air, water and nutrients that were once blocked from the soil are able to properly circulate. As the moisture passes through the root system, soil compaction is remedied and the health and thickness of your grass improves.
The benefits don’t stop there, though. There are plenty of other ways aerating your lawn helps it stay in great shape. Let’s take a look.
Why You Should Make Aeration Part of Your Lawn Care Routine
Layers of dead grass commonly accumulate on lawns. As this dead matter—what’s known as thatch—begins to build up, healthy grass blades grow thin, and weak areas transform into breeding grounds for insects and lawn diseases. Aerating your lawn introduces microorganisms that combat thatch buildup and breathe new life into your lawn.
Aeration can also benefit homeowners who are dealing with standing water. Like thatch, water runoff and puddles have the potential to kill your grass and create an inhabitable space for mosquitoes. With perforations in the soil, the medium is able to properly drain the excess water that accumulates on the yard’s surface.
The Different Types of Aeration
Of the different types of lawn aeration, the most common is core aeration. In this approach, 2-inch to 3-inch prongs are plugged into your lawn and then removed every couple of inches, with the resulting soil spread across the yard’s surface. Core aeration is a particularly good choice for heavily compacted lawns, as soil is broken up and redistributed.
Then there’s spike aeration. As its name suggests, this method uses spikes to produce holes in your lawn. Rather than removing soil, dirt is pushed further into the ground. While not recommended as the best solution for heavily compacted lawns, spike aeration can be useful as a precursor to fertilization or overseeding.
Lastly is liquid aeration. In this case, microscopic pores are created in the soil that absorb and retain water. While newer to the market, this method is recognized for its ability to loosen soil and improve the flow of water across the medium.
When Aeration Should Be Performed
Aeration is not just a question of how, but when. After all, the timing of the lawn care activities can have a significant impact on their effectiveness.
Aerating your lawn is a task best left for the early spring or early fall. Aerating before spring weeds start to germinate—typically in late March or early April in Ohio—helps ensure their prevention throughout the season. Meanwhile, aeration in the fall—around mid-to-late October—can help prep your grass for the spring, allowing it to grow greener and thicker.
Combining the Power of Aeration with Overseeding
When it comes to making lawns thicker and healthier, lawn aeration is an important piece of the puzzle. The combination of this lawn care technique with overseeding will result in a dense turf that can prevent the rise of unwanted grass varieties that affect the look and feel of your outdoor space.
If you’re in the market for professional aeration services, Weed Pro is here to help. With years of experience and knowledge of industry best practices, we’ll work with you to achieve a lawn you’ll love year-round. Contact your local lawn care provider for details.