Creating Healthy Lawns
Have you been working on getting a thinker, greener lawn for some time, and it just seems like your lawn has reached a point where it won’t improve any further? Let’s discuss the benefits of lawn aeration. For starters, getting your lawn aerated will go a long way to fix most lawn issues! Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores from the lawn. Although hand aerators are available, most aeration is done mechanically with a machine with hollow tines or spoons mounted on a disk or drum. Known as a core aerator, it extracts 1/2 to 3/4-inch diameter soil cores and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-6 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart. Other aerators push solid spikes or tines into the soil without removing a plug (spiking). These are not as effective because they can contribute to compaction.
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Why Aerate Your Lawn?
Core aeration is a recommended lawn care practice on compacted, heavily used turf to control thatch buildup. But thatch in the lawn is not a problem in northern lawns, and it is actually a beneficial layer that holds moisture and allows for the development of health and bacteria in your soil. A lawn that is continually compacted and requires aeration indicates that multiple issues are going on with that soil. We want to work towards an organic growing option for our lawns by encouraging deep root growth, long top growth, recycling of clippings, regular feedings, and limited chemical usage. You should aerate twice per year, both spring and fall, with spring being the best time to aerate because it will penetrate the surface layer in hard clay lawns when they are not penetrated deeply enough in the fall due to too warm of weather conditions and lack of adequate rainfall and soil moisture.