Lawn aeration is an important part of proper lawn maintenance but it is not something you'll need to do every weekend, like mowing. So, how do you know when your lawn needs to be aerated? The best way to tell is to pay attention to the condition of your lawn.
Is the soil compacted
When the soil in your yard becomes pressed down it makes it harder for water and nutrients to get to the roots of the grass. A lack of water and nutrients can result in grass with root systems that aren't strong enough to sustain the plant. Weak root systems can leave your lawn vulnerable to many threats such as drought, disease, and pest infestations. Soil can become compacted over time from regular use and maintenance. The type of soil you have can also affect the chances of it becoming compacted. Aeration helps eliminate the problems related to compaction because it removes plugs of soil from your lawn and creates space around the roots of the grass. This extra room allows water and nutrients to get to the roots and gives space for the soil to spread out. If you want to check for soil compaction, get a shovel or garden tool and try to push it into the ground. If you find it difficult or impossible to get the tool into the ground it may be a sign that your lawn is compacted and needs to be aerated.
- Thick layer of thatch
Thatch is a term that refers to a layer of dead grass and other organic debris that accumulates on a lawn. A small layer of thatch can be beneficial for you lawn but there is a point where it can turn into a problem. Too much thatch can create a barrier that prevents water, sunshine, and nutrients from getting to the grass. Aerating your yard will breakup and redistribute the thatch and keep it from causing further issues for your lawn.
- Unhealthy grass
If your lawn does not seem to be thriving aeration may be just what it needs. Unhealthy grass can be a result of several factors including the ones mentioned above. Aeration can help in a number of situations. For example, if you have a problem with weeds you can apply herbicide immediately following aeration and increase the likelihood that it will keep weeds at bay. In addition, you can add fertilizer directly to the roots of your lawn after aeration in order to strengthen the roots. A lawn with strong roots systems can fight disease and weed growth much more effectively than one with weak root systems.
The final factor to consider before you aerate your lawn is the time of year. Certain types of grass need to be aerated at different times of the year. Be sure and take this factor into consideration so you end up with the best results possible. You can aerate your lawn on your own by purchasing or renting aeration tools or hire a lawn care company to complete the project for you.