What are the benefits of Aeration?Aeration helps your lawn by creating a system of non-capillary holes that makes the movement of water, air, and movable nutrients easier. This fast movement of specifically water and air is known to alleviate the effects of soil compaction. Soil compaction prevents proper circulation of air and flow of water. According to University of Minnesota, "Soil compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing pore space between them." It simply impedes plant growth by lessening the desirable area roots can grow. So as moisture from air and nutrients from rainwater penetrate more deeply into the soil as a result of aeration, grass roots are encouraged to barrow deeper, thereby creating a stronger root system. This helps roots retain more moisture and be much more resilient during drought. In general, a strong root system tends to be more resistant to pests and fungal infections.
Make sure to place flags on sprinkler heads, soakers, and other sensitive areas. Aerate these areas manually by hand. Deals that are too good to be true often skip on these areas of the lawn. The bottom line is that if you do not see visible plugs on the turf, there is a high likelihood that it did not get touched.
Spike/Tine vs Core AerationAccording to Penn State University, "Equipment having solid tines or spikes should not be mistaken for aerating equipment. Aerators always remove a soil core whereas solid tine spikers do not. Spikers actually increase soil compaction as the movement of the soil to all sides by the penetration of the solid tine forces the soil into a denser mass." This is one of the reasons why we always use a core aerator on lawns. Aeration is performed by extracting 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and depositing them on your lawn. These holes are typically 1-4 inches deep and 3-6 inches apart.
Leave plugs and other aerated debris on the lawn. They are good for your lawn and will naturally wash away in a few days.
When to Aerate?Aerate at least once a year during the growing season in Spring is a general rule of thumb. However, aerating twice a year, once in Spring and another in Fall, is recommended when any of these are true:
1. at any point during the year the thatch is greater than half an inch,
2. the lawn gets regular foot traffic, or
3.the soil feels spongy for days on end after a rain.
Myth: Remember that you can still aerate even after a herbicide application. Research has shown that aeration has no effect on herbicide effectiveness.
Make sure to aerate areas people use as "short cuts". Better yet, add a Ground Cover. We typically lay gravel, pea gravel, decomposed granite and paver stones on pathways.
50K Professional Lawn Services LLC. 844-505-5296. Austin, Texas.