Soil compaction is a perennial problem that is responsible for many lawn care challenges. Diseases, weeds, fertilizer issues and droughts are often blamed when lawns lose their color, but the real problem could be soil compaction. Core aeration is one of the best things you can do for your lawn. This process uses a large machine that extracts long plugs of soil and turf. Ideally, you should aerate your lawn once a year but, once every other year is good too. By doing this process you can create a healthy, thicker lawn. Aeration also helps remove the layer of thatch that accumulates just above the soil line. Here’s why lawn aeration is so important.
Traffic compacts soil and squeezes out the oxygen that roots require. Compaction also makes it difficult for water and fertilizer to penetrate the soil and nourish the roots. Bald spots, sparse growth, mossy patches, runoff and poor drought tolerance are all signs of soil compaction.
How to Tell When a Lawn Needs Aeration
Homeowners can determine if compaction is a problem by inserting a screwdriver 6 inches into the ground. If the screwdriver glides through the soil, you don’t need to aerate. If you have difficulty completing this test, it’s time to aerate. Healthy lawns have roots that extend 6 inches into the ground. In compressed soil, the roots may only go one or two inches deep, which makes the turf much more susceptible to drought and stress.
Things to Know About Aeration
As a general rule for our temperature climate, aeration can be done in either spring or fall. It’s best to aerate your lawn in cool temperatures, somewhat dry conditions and when it is actively growing.
Lawns can be fertilized before or after aeration. Over-seeded can be done immediately after aeration. We will always ask you to mark your underground sprinkler heads before we aerate your lawn.
Aeration is an overlooked component that is crucial to the success of any lawn care plan. Aerating your lawn is the best way to cultivate healthy roots and aerobic soil that readily absorbs water and nutrients. For personalized advice on creating a lawn care plan, contact our lawn experts today.