What is Aerating Your Lawn & Why You Should Do It
Pamela S Thibodeaux
Aerating is the process of putting tiny holes the soil of your lawn. This process allows water, air and fertilizer to penetrate the ground, encouraging better absorption of the things necessary for a beautiful lawn.
Two of the main reasons to aerate your lawn are poor drainage and inadequate absorption of fertilizer to the grass roots. Excess water washes away fertilizer and important nutrients necessary for a healthy lawn. If your lawn stays too wet or soggy, you need to get that excess water out of there! On the other hand, if your ground is too hard or dry, it prevents fertilizer from getting to the roots and hinders absorption of the nutrients that supplement a beautiful yard. Aeration solves both of these problems.
Another great time to aerate your lawn is just prior to applying seed, compost and or fertilizer. Aerating helps ensure proper absorption of these products assuring a more beautiful lawn.
Although earthworms and other organisms help break down and remove thatch (dead grass), it is important to remove it completely before aerating your lawn. This can be done with a special rake. Called a scarifying rake, this tool has a V-shaped head with long prongs and is perfect for removing thatch from your lawn in order to ensure the success of aerating.
The best time to aerate your lawn is either the Spring or Fall. Aerating can be done with a simple garden tool called an aerator or, if you have a large lawn, you can buy or rent a machine that does it for you. An aerator looks like a garden fork but has hollow tubes instead of prongs. Simply push it into the ground about four inches deep and space your holes six inches apart.
How do you tell if your lawn needs aerating? If your lawn is subject to heavy traffic including sports, parking and pet usage, chances are compacting has occurred. Compaction is the term used to describe the condition of a lawn in which the roots do not receive adequate oxygen for the roots to grow. Soil is porous and when those pores are clogged, it is ‘compacted’ and could use aerating. Another way to tell is if your lawn appears to be more dead than alive. If you water and fertilize your lawn on a regular basis and it still doesn’t appear healthy and beautiful, aeration may be the answer. Aerating your lawn ensures a healthy root system, resulting in a more beautiful appearance!
Lawn care professionals often offer this service as part of their maintenance program. They also suggest aeration at least once a year, twice if your lawn receives heavy traffic.
For more information on Compaction and Aeration, contact your local nursery, greenhouse or lawn and garden expert. Also check out publications such as Lawn & Garden or other magazines geared to answering your lawn care questions.
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Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
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