Lawn Aeration: What, why, when, and how.
Lawn Aeration is one of the key steps to having a lush beautiful lawn.
It's not the only ingredient to achieve the lawn of your dreams, but is important.
So what is Lawn Aeration?
This is the process of loosening up your soil to allow for it to breathe and take in water easier through mechanical means.
Why Should I aerate my lawn?
A new lawn needs aeration to better establish. While over time your lawn will become full of thatch or compacted by use and nature. Aeration provides additional means for water, air, and fertilizer to reach your root system. Thus improving your lawns health, and appeal.
When do you need to aerate your lawn, and how often?
The Iowa State University Extension Service recommends aerating in April and September as it will allow the grass plenty of time to recover after the aeration process.
How often depends on your specific soil. Throughout Mills County and the Loess Hills our soil has a lot of clay in it. The Iowa State Extension Service recommends once a year for established well drained lawns, and twice a year for lawns that are new heavy in clay and have a lot of foot traffic.
Please read the ISU article on Lawn Aeration at this Link.
How should I aerate my lawn?
There are several tools that can be used to open up your soil.
A garden / pitch fork can be inserted into the ground to open up the soil.
If you want to be more productive you can rent an aerator machine. At Evans Equipment Company we have plug / core aerators available in self propelled or pull behind models. The plug aerators will press into the ground and remove small amounts of soil allowing the ground to intake water and air easier. Thus boosting your soils growth. After which you will want to brake these plugs up to add these nutrients back into your lawn.
Another type of aerators is a spike style that simply cut small slits into the ground with tines. This method is not as effective since the opening can be closed very quickly and easily.
The final type of aerator machine is a slice aerator. It works similarly to the spike style, but due to the longer openings it keeps the soil from re compacting as soon.
Check out these sources including videos and links for more information: