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Does aerating your lawn really help?

Lawn Care Tips | Posted on March 25, 2020 at 3:19 pm by

Aerating your lawn pulls small plugs of soil to the surface through making small holes below the turf. This creates air pockets that allow essential nutrients to reach the roots of the grass.

This includes things like air, water and the nutrients and minerals the grass needs to grow strong and healthy from the roots to the tip.

Without aerating your lawn, the soil can become compacted over time due to footfall, natural settling and the effects of repeated rainfall and other weather.

Just a shallow compacted layer can have a big impact on the health and visual appeal of your lawn, but just occasional aerating prevents this from happening.

In the worst cases, compacted soil prevents the grass from getting enough nutrients to even survive, leading to thinning patches and ultimately bare earth.

As well as soil compaction, excess heavy clay in the soil and thatch layers at the grass roots made up of compacted organic matter are common problems that can be repaired using a plug aerator and spike aerator or scarifier.

The combination of hollow tines and solid tines allow for the soil cores and smaller lawn thatch above the soil to be removed

When to aerate your lawn

There are a few useful rules of thumb to follow when deciding when to aerate your lawn:

· Do aerate when the grass is reaching its peak growing season.

· Don’t aerate a dormant lawn.

· Don’t aerate a lawn still soaked from heavy recent rain.

Scarification prevents the lawn from being swamped by thatch, while aeration achieves a similar effect in the topsoil, so combining both can be a big help to the long-term health of your lawn.

Aerating a lawn is not something you have to do often as part of lawn care – so don’t feel like you should be doing it every time you mow the grass, for instance.

Instead, it’s usually fine to aerate once a year when the grass is approaching its best growing season. For lawns in the northern hemisphere this is usually spring-summer.

Lawns with heavily compacted soil can be aerated if required, but try to avoid doing so outside of the main growing season as you want the grass to have every chance to recover well from the stress of the process.

Finally, you might want to consider adding some extra grass seed after scarifying and aerating your lawn, especially in the peak growing season when this should help to fill it in for a thick and healthy appearance.