When to Aerate Your Lawn: A Beginners Guide

When to Aerate Your Lawn: A Beginners Guide

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A luscious, beautiful lawn is an asset to the whole family, providing the perfect setting for backyard sports, picnics and relaxation. Aesthetically, an attractive lawn also enhances the garden, particularly if you’ve put a lot of effort into landscaping.

In order to maintain your grass it is important to apply plenty of lawn care, including aerating it at the right time. If you’re unsure on how to do this, here’s the why, when and how to get help you maintain a fabulous outdoor space all year round:

Why Aerate The Lawn?

Aeration is when you add little holes to the soil to remove thatch and enable water, air and nutrition to get into the roots of the grass. By doing this you remove the risk of the soil compacting, which is bad for the grass. Soil compacting stops the circulation of water, air and nutrition. Lots of thatch, which is debris and grass cuttings, can contribute to major issues starving the roots of getting what they need to be healthy. Aerating is an essential part of keeping thatch under control.

Key additional reasons that you should be aerating your lawn are:

  • It has heavy footfall or use
  • The garden is brand new
  • It is particularly dry
  • The lawn is spongy
  • There’s a layer of thatch bigger than half an inch
  • There is soil layering/ finer texture soil

What Time of Year Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Aeration of the lawn should take place during the key time of growth in your region which tends to be at the beginning of spring, or the beginning of autumn.

How Do You Aerate a Lawn?

You can use special lawn aerators. This equipment usually consists of a spike or a plug and can be a manual or mechanical device. With the spike you literally push holes into the ground. With a plug it removes small plugs which then creates the holes.

If you’d like to see how core aerating works, which uses a plug removal method, take a look at this handy video:

However you choose to use lawn aerators, you’ll want to follow these tips:

  • Ensure the working surface is moist and has enough water before you begin so you can easily penetrate the soil
  • Try and ensure that you go over the same areas repeatedly to ensure you have added holes across most of the lawn
  • Don’t worry about destroying the effects of herbicide you have placed as aeration does not negatively affect this, contrary to regularly circulated misinformation

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lawn Aeration Q&A’s

To ensure you feel totally confident in dethatching, here are answers to some common questions:

What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn?

You still need to continue your core regular lawn care by feeding, watering and mowing after aeration. Any plugs you remove from the turf, dry out and then break them up and spread across the lawns to redistribute nutrients.

Is There A Bad Time To Aerate Your Lawn?

You should avoid using any tools, such as a rake or fork, on your grass when the ground is extremely hard and dry.

Is Aerating Your Lawn Worth It?

Absolutely. It encourages seed growing, helps great root strength and reach, keeps the surface healthy, and avoids compacted soil.

When Should I Aerate My Buffalo Lawn?

Warm season grasses like a buffalo lawn are best aerated at the beginning of spring or autumn. Cold season grasses can be aerated at the end of autumn.

Hopefully you feel well-prepared to help your lawns avoid soil compaction and plan a lawn aerator session when the time is right. By removing plugs of soil and working that turf at the beginning of fall, or spring, the health of your lawn will improve greatly, rewarding your family with a luscious lawn to enjoy all year round.

This article was written by Jim Marsden

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