With summer winding down, it time to begin preparing your lawn for fall. Aeration can relieve the stress placed on your lawn due to high traffic from children or pets and can help rejuvenate your lawn after the high heat and humidity of the summer.
The Aeration Process
Aeration is when the soil of the lawn is perforated with small holes to alleviate compacted soil and remove thatch, allowing water, air, and nutrients to reach your lawn’s root system more efficiently. Two common aeration tools include:
- Spike Aerator. This tool is made of a solid tine or fork that is used to poke holes into the ground.
- Plug/Core Aerator. This tool has hollow tines and is used to remove plugs of soil and grass from the lawn.
At Superior Lawn Care, we use a machine called a core aerator for aeration. Using the core aerator, equipped with hollow tines, we mechanically dig into the roots of the grass and pull plugs of earth out which we then deposit on the ground. These plugs are usually 1” to 1 ½” deep and are spaced about 4” apart. It is important to leave the plugs on the lawn because as they decompose, they will increase the microbial soil activity which will help to reduce thatch.
Core aeration produces the best results and is more effective than using a spike aerator, which can lead to additional compaction of the soil around the holes.
Should you Aerate Your Lawn?
If you’ve never aerated your lawn before, you may have trouble determining whether your lawn needs to be aerated. Your lawn may be a candidate under circumstances such as:
- New Construction. The grass on newly constructed lawns tends to be compacted due to construction traffic.
- Heavy Use. With constant traffic from children, pets, or guests parking on it, your lawn can become compacted.
- Spongy or Dry Feel. If your lawn is spongy or dry, you may have a thatch problem which can be alleviated with aeration.
Benefits of Aeration
Aeration is a crucial part of lawn care, especially in Pittsburgh, where much of the soil is hard clay. Hard clay or soil that has been packed down by constant activity doesn’t leave a lot of room for water, air, or crucial nutrients to reach the roots of the grass.
If your grass doesn’t receive these nutrients and essential elements, your lawn can suffer a variety of issues such as:
- Uneven growth
- Loss of green color
- Higher risk of damage due to disease or cold winter weather
With aeration, soil compaction and thatch will be alleviated, allowing your lawn to receive the water, air, and nutrients it needs to grow a strong root system. With a strong root system, your lawn will be less susceptible to disease and will be healthy enough to survive the harsh elements of winter.
Let your lawn breathe again with our fall core aeration services! Don’t let your lawn lose its lush green color, call Superior Lawn Care today to learn more about our core aeration services and how we can help you prepare your lawn for fall!