When it comes to landscaping, proper lawn care is one of the most critical parts. Quality lawn maintenance means regularly mowing, fertilizing, weeding, and ensuring your greenery gets enough water to survive. Many people don’t realize that lawn aeration is an equally important part of lawn care. Many people don’t even know how to aerate their lawn or why they should bother.
Well, to convince you why lawn aeration is so important and help you understand why you should learn how to aerate your lawn, here are five of the main benefits of lawn aeration.
Relieve your Soil Compaction
It’s not something many people think about, but the soil in your yard gets compacted over time. This compression causes the topsoil to become denser, which can strangle the roots of your grass. If the soil in your lawn is too densely compacted, the grass roots will not receive the fertilizer, air, and water they need to thrive. This restricted access can cause several lawn care issues, including patchiness, dead spots, and thinning grass.
When you aerate your lawn, it breaks through that dense layer of soil and gives grass roots access to all elements necessary for survival. It also enables water to penetrate the earth better, eliminating bare or yellowing grass spots.
Manage the Thatch in your Lawn
As your grass dies and new grass grows to take its place, that dead grass forms a layer on your yard called thatch. This thatch accumulates over time, and if you let it get thick enough, it will eventually block the living grass from getting the rain, sun, and nutrients it needs to flourish. When you aerate your lawn, you can help introduce certain microorganisms that are especially good for decomposing thatch and breaking it down enough that your living grass can thrive.
Thicken Grass and Other Greenery
Not only does aerating your lawn allow more nutrients, water, and sunlight to pass through, it also stimulates the development of your grass roots. This, in turn, helps your grass grow thicker, stronger, and stay green longer during a dry spell.
Still, some lawns may need a bit more to thrive. Overseeding is especially useful for cooler-season grass, as it allows the turf to thicken up, which can help crowd out weed growths. It also fills in your lawn’s bare spots, leaving less room for weeds and unwanted growth. Combining aeration and overseeding with ideal moisture levels and seed-soil contact creates the proper germination and grass growth environment.
Modify pH Levels for Better, Healthier Grass
If the pH levels in your lawn aren’t optimal it can disrupt the ability of grass to absorb nutrients. This disruption can mean slower or less consistent growth rates for your yard. It’s not a problem that you can easily fix, but core soil aeration just might do the trick. By adding lime, sulfur, or other recommended ingredients after core aeration, you can modify your lawn’s pH balance pretty far down into the soil profile, helping your grass to grow.
Prepare your Lawn for Winter
Most grass varieties can’t grow during the freezing winter months, so they go dormant as a means of self-preservation. However, you should always make sure you’ve done everything you can to nurture it before this happens. You can do so by employing proper fall aeration and fertilization to give it the boost it needs.
If you fertilize your lawn without properly aerating it first, the nutrients won’t be able to pass through the soil as efficiently, so it’s always best to aerate. By making the soil less dense, you allow the nutrients to pass through to the roots of your lawn. Fall is one of the best times to aerate your lawn, and forgetting to do so may be fatal to your yard in winter.
How to Aerate your Lawn
While hiring a professional lawn aeration service is recommended, you may want to do it yourself. If this is the case, then here are the basic steps you need to take:
- Acquire a core aerator (which is probably the best way to aerate your lawn) or a steel spike aerator
- Go over the property in one direction first, then move perpendicularly to the first pass and go over it again.
- Core aerators will leave cylindrical turf remains behind, and it’s best to leave these to decompose on their own.
What does a lawn aerator do, though? Well, that entirely depends on which type you use. A spike aerator simply punches holes in the dirt, whereas a core aerator, as previously mentioned, pulls up cores of soil and leaves them in your lawn to decompose. Since the main reason behind lawn aeration is to increase the grass’s ability to access sunlight, water, and other nutrients, both types of aerator can substantially help your lawn stay strong.
If you need help keeping your lawn in great shape and want lawn aeration near Southeastern Michigan, contact the professionals at Victory Lawn! We offer property enhancement, lawn maintenance, landscape design, and other services to keep your yard looking its best year-round.