Think about all the things you and your family do outside in the yard. Cookouts, family gatherings, games of catch. A lot of running and playing happens out there. And all that activity can very easily compact the soil, which can lead to a variety of problems for your yard. Aerating your lawn at least once per year will help to keep it healthy and green.
Signs that your yard needs aerating
- Water runs off more quickly than it can be absorbed
- Soil is difficult to dig because it’s too hard
- When you do dig, you rarely see any earth worms
- You begin to see a buildup of thatch under your grass
How to aerate
Depending on the size of your lawn, you have several options available to you. If you have a large yard, you may want to rent an aerating machine that can be attached to your riding mower or one that you can drive separately. If you have a small- to medium-sized yard, a simple hand-held aerating machine should do the trick. The important thing no matter which tool you choose is to make sure the holes you make are about 3″ deep.
When to aerate
If you have clay soil that compacts easily, you may need to aerate twice per year in the spring and fall. Otherwise, a great time to aerate is before you seed and fertilize the yard.
When not to aerate
If you’re battling weeds, it’s best to control them before you aerate as aeration could help spread the weeds by breaking up and dispersing them. Also, avoid aerating your lawn during heat waves. The holes can actually speed up evaporation of any moisture in your soil.
Benefits of aeration
- It creates a proper medium for growth
- Lawn is able to store and use water and nutrients
- Micro-organisms can establish themselves in the soil, which can reduce a build up of thatch
A healthy lawn is a year-round project, and aeration is one very important step in the process. Let us know if you have any tips of your own in the comments below.