The soil in your lawn is a living, breathing ecosystem. It provides nutrients and water to your grass, which ultimately contributes to the health of your beautiful lawn. The soil also naturally aerates itself, but not as efficiently as many homeowners would like it to. That’s where lawn aeration comes in! Aerating does more than just improve the health of your yard; it can also help with drainage issues and provide a better surface for roots to grow into.
Why should I aerate my lawn?
The main reason soil struggles to aerate itself is a buildup of lawn thatch. Our friends over at The Spruce explain exactly what thatch accumulation is and why it can cause problems:
Thatch is the loose, organic layer of dead and living material in the lawn: shoots, stems, and roots that develop between the zone of green vegetation and the soil surface. Thatch build up begins when turf produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down. Not all thatch is bad. A thin layer of thatch in lawns provides insulation against extreme temperatures and fluctuations in soil moisture. More than an inch of thatch, though, can cause problems. Too much thatch can hold excessive water, leading to reduced oxygen that reaches turf roots. It can also increase pest problems by harboring disease-causing organisms and insects.
As Beaulieu points out here, when lawn thatch gets too thick, it can choke the soil and prevent water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots that need them so badly. That’s when aeration becomes important!
When should I aerate my lawn?
Some people think that they should wait until their grass turns brown before they aerate it–this is actually a big mistake! You need to do this process during the growing season, when you still have green grass, because there are so many benefits and few downsides (unless you’re trying to grow new grass, in which case it’s better not to aerate at all).
For warm season grass, like Bermudagrass, late spring or early summer is perfect. For cool season grass, like Kentucky, you should plan on early spring or late fall aeration. Proper timing is imperative because it depends on the resiliency of your grass, so do not hesitate to consult a lawn specialist or a professional lawn care company, like RLB Landscape Group.
How do I aerate my yard?
Lawn aeration is necessary for lessening soil compaction and thatch buildup and improving drainage, so it’s important to find a technique that suits your needs. The most common ways are poking small holes in the ground with spikes or using an aerator machine – depending on how deep you want to go!
In order to deeply penetrate and loosen up the soil, you need a tool that does this without damaging your lawn.
The best way is an electric or battery powered machine–these are called manual aerators because they require some work on your part.
The advantage of manual aerators is that the majority don’t require any gas, so they aren’t polluting the air or making enough noise to disturb your neighbors.
If you have a more serious build-up of lawn thatch and dead organic material, you may need to seek core aeration services from a company that uses a walk behind aerator. The walk behind aerator makes perforations in the ground up to one foot deep. This allows water and oxygen to reach deeper roots more easily. The aeration process also opens up spaces for roots to grow into which makes it easier for the lawn to support more weight.
What is the difference between aeration and core aeration?
Core lawn aeration uses hollow tines to remove soil plugs, leaving wider holes for oxygen, water, and nutrients. Other kinds of aeration techniques use solid tines to poke holes and allow access through compacted soil to grass roots.
How much should lawn aeration cost?
This is a tough question to answer, as every job has different requirements and different lawn care companies charge different rates.
It can be very expensive if you have tried to DIY and over- or under-aerated your own yard and damaged your living grass. The price for professional lawn aeration service can also vary based on how long it has been since the last aeration, the condition of your lawn, the size of your property, and more. Let a professional, like RLB Landscape in Sugar Hill, come out and give you a quote on lawn aeration services.
Does lawn aeration really work?
Yes, it does. Aeration of the soil helps to facilitate better water and nutrient penetration, which leads to a lush, healthy lawn. In addition to aerating your soil, you should also fertilize, water, edge (for weed control), and add organic material or mulch for a healthy environment where bacterial activity thrives, but those services are covered in other articles or will be soon!
Should I hire professionals to perform my lawn aeration services?
Absolutely. And we aren’t just saying that because we ARE lawn professionals. Everyone wants to have a healthy and green lawn, and attempting to aerate your lawn on your own is risky. Professional lawn care companies are familiar with the best kinds of tools to deal with compact soil at any level. Contact RLB Landscape Group today for a free consultation on all of our lawn care services, including lawn aeration!