Core aeration is one of the most overlooked lawn care services – yet the most beneficial. This service will maximize your lawn mowing efforts, producing a healthy lawn.
Did you know? The soil in your lawn will compact over time due to weekly lawn mowing and much foot traffic. Some lawns become compacted much faster than others.
For instance, a football team practicing on the grass will compact the soil very rapidly. On the other hand if you do not have any children and only have a stray cat meander over your lawn every now and then, it will take a very long time to become compacted.
Signs Your Turf Needs Core Aeration
Three elements that grass need to be healthy are: water, sunlight and oxygen. When your soil becomes compacted, it is then choking out the oxygen and water which are essential nutrient needs for a healthy lawn. Signs of this are dead spots, puddles and yellowing of the grass.
Tools You Can Use to Aerate Your Turf
There are many tools to aerate your lawn. There are spiked shoes, spikes you can put on your lawn mower wheels, tow behind aerators you can attach to your lawn tractor and self-propelled core aerators. While all of these will benefit your lawn, some work much better than others.
When I was younger I remember my grandpa wearing spiked shoes (I thought it looked pretty funny). He would wear them whenever he worked on his yard or gardens. While these will benefit your lawn, they only do so for a short amount of time. The spiked holes do not go deep and the holes are very small and so will fill in fairly quickly.
We Recommend Machine Core Aeration (Warning: Physically Demanding)
The best form of aeration is when you see little pellets all over your lawn. These are created by hollow spikes in the machine, and since the machines weighs a lot (250lb and up to 800lb for riding machines) the spikes go down deep into the soil. The holes are much bigger and deeper and this is of great benefit to your lawn. You can rent a core aerator machine at most local hardware stores; or if you do not want to perform this very labor intensive job yourself, you can hire a professional.
When should I aerate my lawn?
- The best time of the year is spring and fall.
- Soil with a high percentage of clay should be aerated twice per season as it becomes compacted much easier.
- Sandy soil should be aerated once per season.
- If there is a major drought, it is recommended to not aerate for that year as doing so will release essential water in the ground.
- Fertilizing right after you core aerate is also a great benefit to a healthy lawn. This allows needed nutrients to get right to the roots of the grass and will ensure a very healthy and strong grass.