Did you know that aerating your lawn can improve drainage? This is just one of the many benefits of aeration. It's a simple process that can make all the difference in the condition and appearance of your lawn. This week, let me help you learn about aerating and how it contributes to the health of your lawn.
Why Aerate Your Lawn?
Over time, your lawn's soil can become compacted. This makes it difficult for sunlight, water, and air to gain access to the roots of your grass. Poking holes in your lawn, or aerating, allows the sunlight, water, and air to seep down to the grass roots. All of this nourishment in the springtime leads to a beautiful lawn of green, healthy grass through the warm-weather months.
How to Aerate Your Lawn
When it comes to aerating your lawn, you have some options. You can go with a power, push, or handheld lawn aerator. There are even special spiked shoes you can buy that aerate your lawn as you walk across it! Whatever method you choose, be sure the soil is moist, not wet, before you begin the process. I suggest running a quick test with the help of a small garden trowel. Stick the trowel into the soil and pull it out. If the soil falls off of the blade, then it's OK to aerate. If it sticks to the blade, then the soil is too wet. Moist soil allows the spikes of the aerator to travel deep into the ground. Start at one side of your lawn and move across it with your aerator. When you reach the other side of your lawn, turn around and aerate on your way back to the starting point. Aerating in two directions helps you cover all areas of your lawn. As you pull the plugs of soil up out of your lawn, drop them on the grass as you go. They will decompose, giving the soil even more nutrients.
When to Aerate Your Lawn
When you aerate depends on whether you have warm- or cool-season grass. If you have warm-season grass, such as centipede grass or carpet grass, then it's best to aerate late in the springtime. Alternatively, fall or early spring is best if you have cool-season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass. Aerating should be done in mild temperatures so that grass has a chance to grow back and fill up the holes.
How Often Should I Aerate?
The answer to this question depends on the amount of traffic on your lawn. Maybe you have kids or grandkids constantly running and playing on your lawn. This type of activity can lead to soil compaction, so aerating once a year would be appropriate. However, if your lawn has very little traffic, aerating it every three to five years should be fine.
You might even want to get your kids or grandkids to help you with aeration this year. They can each work with a handheld aerator. It's a great opportunity to teach them how to keep grass healthy!
Thanks for reading. - Alan