This post was written by Mario Colantuoano, Neave Turf Healthcare division manager.
Do you ever find yourself looking out your window on a Sunday morning, coffee in hand, and think, ”What can I do to perk up my lawn?”. You say to yourself, “I water it. I feed it. I mow it…I even talk to it!”
Here’s your solution: It’s called lawn aeration.
Lawn aeration will make your precious lawn smile when you’re through.
Here are the 10 most important benefits of lawn aeration:
1. Lawn aeration makes turf more durable and resistant to foot traffic.
2. Aerating your lawn will reduce its dependency on water.
3. Lawn aeration encourages roots to grow deeper.
4. Lawn aeration encourages thicker turf.
5. Aerating your lawn will reduce soil compaction.
6. Aeration reduces the amount of thatch in your lawn.
7. Lawn aeration adds a layer of top-dress (organic matter) to your lawn.
8. Aeration increases the activity of microorganisms in your lawn.
9. Lawn aeration helps prevent disease.
10. Lawn aeration stimulates more growth.
Lawn aeration versus dethatching
You’ve probably heard of “dethatching” a lawn.
Thatch is a build-up of organic matter which can include dead grass, leaves, stems, stolons, rhizomes and overcrowded grass roots and lateral weed growth. Thatch can stifle the growth and health of grass (from Wikipedia).
As you can probably guess, dethatching a lawn refers to the process of removing the thatch–this built-up organic matter–which ultimately leads to a stronger stand of turf.
Perhaps you’ve wondered what the difference is between lawn aeration and dethatching?
Dethatching provides primarily one major benefit: It removes the troublesome thatch.
Lawn aeration, on the other hand, offers many more substantial benefits which we have already listed above, including the reduction of thatch from a lawn.
While dethatching removes built-up organic matter from the soil surface, lawn aeration goes a bit further by removing 1″ x 2″ cores of soil from the ground. You’ll often hear this referred to as “core aeration”.
So if you plan to invest your weekend and a few bucks to reinvigorate your precious lawn, we recommend lawn aeration over dethatching.
Lawn aeration tips
Here are some basic lawn aeration tips to get you moving in the right direction:
- Rent a core aeration machine from your local equipment rental store. Depending on your size of lawn, you might want to error on the side of caution and rent the machine for a full day. You don’t want to rush the process.
- Before operating your lawn aeration equipment be sure to read the manual carefully. These core aerators can be real beasts to operate.
- Don’t waste your hard-earned money on lawn aeration shoes. These shoes will only cause more compaction. Avoid them.
- Water your lawn the night before aerating to make the ground a bit softer so the core aerator can remove deeper plugs.
- Alway mark the location of your sprinkler heads!
- Go over high-traffic areas of your lawn two to three time more.
- Be extremely cautious when operating your core aerator on an incline. These are very bulky and can easily tip over if not handled properly.
- Don’t drink a twelve pack of your favorite Anheuser-Busch product before operating a core aeration machine.
Follow these tips and you’ll soon be reaping the many benefits of lawn aeration–and perhaps you won’t spend any more Sunday mornings pondering over how to perk up your lawn. You can also contact us here at Neave Turf and we’ll discuss our many turf healthcare programs with you.