Aeration is an essential part of lawn maintenance. It helps ensure healthy grass and a green beautiful lawn.
Aeration is any process which loosens up soil to allow greater flow of oxygen and liquids into it. This can be done a variety of ways. For instance, a garden tiller tears up the earth, making the dirt very loose and aerated. Less destructive aeration methods strategically pull up plugs of sod or punch narrow holes into the soil to minimize damage to the grass.
Over time, a lawn's soil can become very tight and compact. This process is expedited by a lot of foot traffic or repeated use of a heavy lawn mower. This leads to unhealthy grass for several reasons. Compact soil won't take in new grass seeds or fertilizer very well. Grass roots can't expand widely and deeply, meaning they're not secure and have poor access to nutrients. Water can't soak into compact soil well and tends to just run off.
Before doing anything, you need to determine if your lawn needs aeration. Lawn aeration is often part of the list of spring lawn care tips. Soil tends to get most compacted in winter, so during spring you want to do what you can to loosen it up. However, it can also be a valuable process at other times of the year as well. If you're unsure if your lawn needs aeration, there is a simple guideline test you can try. Get a screw that's about six inches long, and try rotating it into the soil with your hands. Do this three or four places around your lawn. If you're unable to get the screw almost all of the way in without much effort, you should consider aerating.
The most efficient way to aerate on your own is to get a core aerator. You can buy one for your own personal use or rent one. Be sure you read all instructions and understand how to use it properly so you don't damage the aerator, your lawn, or yourself.
There are other aeration methods, such as the use of aeration shoes. These tend to work with only modest success, and in most cases should not replace a full plug-style aeration. However, they can be a great supplements to everyday lawn care in between regular aerations.
If you need more lawn aeration tips, or perhaps some more hands-on assistance, consider getting in touch with a professional lawn care expert like TruGreen. TruGreen lawn specialists have the best training and tools to properly aerate your lawn and keep it looking beautiful.