What Is Lawn Aeration and Can You Do It Yourself?

Posted on Jan 19, 2017 6:00:00 AM by Stephanie Morgan

What Is Lawn Aeration and Can You Do It Yourself? | The Experienced GardenerIf you have any experience with lawn care you have probably learned that a healthy and beautiful lawn requires more than turning on the sprinklers and mowing occasionally. Your lawn needs nutrients that come from fertilizer and protection from weeds and pests that want to take over. Learning to feed and protect your lawn are important steps toward turning into something you can be proud of. Another way to help your grass thrive is to add lawn aeration to the list. Keep reading to learn about lawn aeration, its benefits, and how to get it done.

  • What is lawn aeration?

The phrase ‘lawn aeration’ is generally referring to the process of creating small holes in the ground throughout your yard. There are tools and pieces of equipment available that you can use to properly and uniformly pull plugs of soil from your lawn. Using equipment that is made specifically for aeration will increase the likelihood that the process is done correctly and results in a healthier lawn.

  • What are the benefits of lawn aeration?

If your goal is to create a lush, beautiful lawn the thought of filling it will holes may seem counterintuitive. The reality is that lawn aeration is an important part of creating a yard with strong and healthy roots. Lawn aeration does two main things; it reduces compaction and gives you access to the roots of the grass. The soil around your grass can become compacted over time as a result of normal use and maintenance. When it becomes compacted it is difficult for water and fertilizer to penetrate deep enough into the soil to reach the roots of the grass. If you aerate with a core aerator you remove some of the soil in the process and it allows the surrounding soil room to move and become less compacted. In addition, immediately following aeration you will have holes in the ground that allow you access to the roots of the grass. This direct access means that water, fertilizer, and air can easily reach the roots and provide the grass with everything it needs to grow and thrive. Your lawn only needs to be aerated once or twice a year in order to gain long-term benefits from the process.

  • Can you aerate your lawn yourself?

The size of your yard is the main factor you need to consider when you are trying to decide if you should attempt aeration on your own. If you have a small yard you can use a handheld tool designed specifically for aerating small areas. It will be time consuming and physically demanding to aerate a larger area with a handheld tool. There are pieces of equipment made for aerating medium to large sized yards that you can rent or buy. There are core aerators available that you can push and others that attach to a riding lawn mower or tractor. The specific piece of equipment that is right for your yard depends on the amount of space you have and the lawn equipment you already own.

If you decide to aerate your lawn on your own keep in mind that timing matters. The best time of year to aerate your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the type of grass you have so the aeration will result in the most beneficial results.

You always have the option of hiring a professional lawn care service to come in and aerate your lawn if you lack the equipment or time to do it on your own. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, add lawn aeration to your rotation of routine lawn care and maintenance. It is an infrequent process that can produce quality results for your lawn over a long period of time.

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Topics: Lawn Aeration