When should I aerate the lawn?

When should I aerate the lawn?
Over the course of the life of the lawn, compacted soil can clump together under the surface. Areas of this kind are more susceptible to oxygen, nutrient, and water penetration, and carbon dioxide can accumulate. As a result, grass growth rates can decrease noticeably. To prevent bare spots, moss, and dryness on the lawn, it must be aerated, that is, the soil must be ventilated.
19.09.2017

Over the course of the life of the lawn, compacted soil can clump together under the surface. Areas of this kind are more susceptible to oxygen, nutrient, and water penetration, and carbon dioxide can accumulate. As a result, grass growth rates can decrease noticeably. To prevent bare spots, moss, and dryness on the lawn, it must be aerated, that is, the soil must be ventilated.

When should I aerate the lawn?

As a general rule, aeration should take place once a year. If the lawn is used heavily, this may be insufficient. It can be necessary to carry out the procedure 2-3 times a year. Aeration may be required in times of severe drought to ensure that moisture penetrates to the roots, as well as during periods of intense rain to prevent the plants from rotting.

How can I tell it’s time to aerate the lawn? Sure-fire signs include the appearance of trampled or moss-covered areas and yellow and withered grass. Another way is to examine the roots. To do this, cut a small piece of turf and carefully examine it. Short (no more than 2–5 cm) roots clearly indicate that there are compacted areas in the soil.

The grass type will affect the frequency and time that the procedure should be carried out. Bluegrass and fescue, for example, are better adapted to cool temperatures and so should be ventilated in early autumn, when the plants are in the intensive growth phase. The best time to aerate Bermuda grass and other warm season plants is spring or early summer.

Do not aerate in the heat, as that can lead to a high probability of ruining the lawn.

Tools for aeration

The choice of tool is dictated by the size of the lawn. For a small house-front lawn, a common pitchfork would be suitable for carefully making 8-10 cm piercings in the ground. For larger lawns, a special device called a verticator is used. It can be hand-operated or equipped with an electric motor and come with solid or hollow feet. The second would be preferable because solid feet can lead to the formation of new areas of compacted soil.

Special aerator shoes also exist. Hollow spikes are affixed to their soles.  One can aerate the lawn by walking across it while wearing these shoes. This method is, however, better suited to small lawns.

How to prepare for aeration

Carefully water the lawn a few days before the procedure to soften the earth. You can take advantage of rainy weather by carrying out the aeration after the rain. The earth should be sufficiently moist, though not soaking wet.

It is recommended that the lawn be watered and fertilized once again after the soil has been aired out. Seeds should be sown in areas with bald spots and thinning grass.

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