Lawn Aeration 101

If you’re like me and many of my lawn care clients, you don’t want to just look at your beautiful green yard—you want to use it. And you should! But even light traffic from kids and pets comes with a price. 

Over time, your soil becomes so tightly packed that grass roots can’t grow deeply. Not only that, compacted soil makes it difficult for oxygen, water, and other nutrients to reach those roots. A simple lawn aeration can give your grass the breath of fresh air it needs to thrive.

What causes compaction?

If your home has been under construction, it’s likely your yard has received more traffic than usual, whether from construction equipment or simply from people walking across the grass.

A lawn established by sod may result in soil layering. New sod can hold water, making it heavy enough to press down and compact on the natural soil underneath the sod. 

Your lawn’s thatch layer may be too thick. Lawn thatch is a layer of dead grass parts—like stems and stolons—that sits just above the soil. Though a healthy thatch layer is good for your grass and makes your lawn more resilient, excessive thatch occurs when living grass grows faster than thatch material breaks down. 

Oh, and parking on your lawn definitely leads to compaction. 

The ins and outs of aeration

Aeration simply breaks up the compacted soil by poking holes in the surface of your yard. Doing so allows air and other nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. The best time of year to aerate your lawn is right now. Your grass is growing, while temperatures aren’t hot enough to stress your lawn.

For a low-tech lawn aeration method, use a pitchfork or a rolling spike aerator like the one shown in the header of this post to poke 2- to 3-inch-deep holes about 2-3 inches apart. You might think this sounds easy, but it’s a long, hard day of work, even for a smaller yard. Not to mention, it isn’t the most effective aeration practice.

A better method involves a lawn aerator, which removes plugs of soil from the soil surface. Subsequent mowings will break down these plugs. At Lawn & Pest Solutions, we offer a professional aeration service that will set your grass up for healthy, rapid growth all summer long. We’ve got all the tools for the job, along with the know-how to help you achieve your best lawn.

Taking steps to prepare your yard now, in the early spring, will pay big dividends in a few months. Give us a call or request a free estimate. Our certified technicians will help you make a plan to get the most out of your yard this summer.

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