Aeration is commonly used but often overlooked when it comes to maintaining the health and integrity of your lawn. The term itself refers to increasing oxygen flow into the soil while also allowing the earth to breathe and absorb nutrients through water and fertilizer. This process is done by literally scooping or “stabbing” holes into the earth. Fortunately, you don’t need to have any special skills in order to perform basic aeration techniques, but you can rest assured that your efforts will pay off!
Below, you will find some tips to help you start the process of basic maintenance.
1. Plug Aerators Are A Better Option
When it comes to aeration techniques, there are basically two types of tools you can choose from: plug or spike aerators. Plug aerators are deemed the better of the two as they remove plugs of soil from your lawn and allow for better drainage. However, beginners will often opt for spike aerators as they are easier to use and simply poke holes into your lawn to allow it to breathe sufficiently. The real downside to using the spike or fork method is that they leave behind compaction where the holes were created.
**It is best to choose an aerator that goes about two or three inches deep and leaves holes that are approximately half an inch in diameter.
2. Leave Plugs Behind
Aeration techniques mean that they will leave behind plugs as the holes are created. It may seem tempting to remove the plugs from your lawn, but they are actually essential to the healing and regeneration of your front lawn. Leave the plugs as they are scattered, and if necessary, simply go over them with your lawnmower. Another option is simply breaking them further apart with a rake to allow them to settle back into their respective holes.
3. Spring And Fall Aeration Is Best
Aeration is best carried out during the spring and fall seasons. Spring allows you to take advantage of the excess rainfall and ensure that your lawn has a healthy root system. However, aeration is also beneficial in the fall as that’s when most grass varieties grow. Having a strong root system for your grass ensures that no encroaching weeds can take over your lawn and wreak havoc on the growth process.
4. Employ Overseeding During Aeration
Aeration and overseeding often go hand-in-hand as overseeding allows you to address weak areas or bald spots on your front lawn. Using aeration as the basis for planting new seeds will allow for better growth and stronger rooting to take place as your planted seeds take advantage of their new healthy environment. As it’s likely you’ve already invested a good portion of your budget into fresh seeds and fertilizer, employing aeration can take your progress even further and ensure a much stronger lawn.
5. Aerate A Hydrated Lawn
Most lawns that require the help of aeration are the same ones that suffer from constant drought. It is important to avoid aerating your lawn without it having adequate hydration. This is the reason it’s best to wait until spring when rain showers naturally hydrate your lawn and make it easier for your equipment to bore holes or plugs.
Aeration is a technique that allows for the increase of oxygen and nutrients into the root system of your planted grass. It is the key to ensuring the longevity and vitality of your lawn. Whether you know everything or nothing about gardening, you need very limited skills to employ the aeration techniques described above. The right weather and some decent tools are all you need to get started!