How Can You Expect Your Lawn to Look GREAT….if You Don’t AERATE?!

Aeration is a vital piece to your lawn looking amazing and staying super healthy. You need your lawn to dominate its space, NOT just compete. Competition is never good and when allowed in the lawn, weeds thrive and can win the war against your turf grass.

Aerating great cultural practice that allows the soil to breath and roots to grow and expand. It helps thicken the lawn and relieve compaction. Remember, the thicker the lawn, the better chance you have of keeping weeds and pests out. There are also certain very hard to control weeds, such as goosegrass and knotweed, that thrive in compacted soils. This makes it nearly impossible for your lawn to choke those weeds out.

Unfortunately, ALL lawns become compacted. Some soil types, such as clay soils, are more naturally compacted than others. This happens easily by foot traffic, mowers, vehicles, and even rain or irrigation. We all have seen evidence of this. Have you noticed a path that is walked by humans or pets over and over? Have you seen visible mower or vehicle tracks in the lawn?  Or have your ever seen where water stands for long periods of time and the effect it has on the lawn in that area and its thickness? Most of us have and can now remember the thin or worn down paths, tracks, and/or bare areas left behind.

So now we know what needs to be done……..Aerate your lawn!

Aeration is as important as a weed control, fertilization, mowing, and watering. As compaction builds, it begins to have a negative impact on our lawns root system. The more compacted your lawn becomes, the more pressure or strangle it puts on your lawns roots and can eventually choke the life out of your beloved grass.

So how is this actually fixed?..

A Core Aerator Machine is a machine with open tines that pulls about 8-10 plugs of soil every square foot. The size of the cores vary but usually are about the size of your index finger. You have probably seen this on a golf course or somewhere similar these small plugs of soil laying all over the ground. Believe it or not these cores of soil can be misidentified as dog poop at times. It’s always best to leave the cores of soil (or poop haha) on the ground as they will quickly breakdown and be reused. You would also find nearby these holes in the surface of the ground that are evenly distributed throughout the aerated surface. This aeration process helps reduce the compaction in the soil and allow air, water, and nutrients to get beneath the soils surface which will allow the roots, the room it needs, to grow and expand.

Aeration’s are a great way to help thin areas of the lawn fill in much quicker.

Golf courses are held at a different aesthetic standard than residential properties. Not only are the expectations of a golf course appearance very high, but they also receive a lot of machine and foot traffic. Aerating is a vital part of keeping golf greens thick, healthy, and playable. Most golf courses aerate their greens 2-3 times per growing season. They will then maybe fertilize, top dress with sand, and water properly to allow for a quick recovery. Golf play returns to normal only in a matter of days.

Since golf courses have set the bar and lead the way in how important aerating is, turf care professionals have slowly but surely begun to follow suite.

If your lawn has not been aerated in the past few years or never, we encourage you to do so. We have seen the slow but steady benefits of using this cultural practice over time. Every golf course makes aerating their greens and fairways a priority and so should all turf managers.

In most homeowner cases, aerating once per year should be perfect. This would keep the compaction at a reasonable level and allow the important nutrients applied to be better used by your lawn.

If you would like more information about aerating your lawn or a free lawn care analysis, please reach out to our office. 731-264-0088

Have a great week!

Scott Riley


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