Aerate means to expose to air.
Lawn Aeration is the process by which the surface is punctured through the turfgrass into the soil creating small holes. These small perforations, expose soil and roots to allow more nutrients, water and fertilizers to be absorbed through the soil.
“Thatch” is a layer of organic material that normally accumulates on lawns at the base of the turfgrass above the soil and roots. When this layer becomes too thick or compacted, it can be a barrier that is preventing your grass from getting all the necessary nutrients to grow. Thatch build up will leave your grass feeling dry yet spongy.
Benefits of aeration include:
- Allows your lawn to better absorb vital nutrients.
- Helps your lawn flourish, making it healthier and easier to maintain.
- Allows water, air, and fertilizer to filter down to the roots.
- Strengthens the roots of your lawn and stimulates growth.
- Works to reduce standing water on the surface of your lawn.
Steps you will want to take prior to aeration:
- Mow. Be sure to mow your lawn to a short height of 1-2″ as you will not mow for 1-2 weeks after aeration to allow for germination.
- Water. You want your soil to be moist enough to penetrate. If you haven’t had a rain, be sure to water the lawn thoroughly. You don’t want to aerate in soggy soil however. Be sure you wait if you have just had a significant downpour and be careful not to oversaturate when watering.
- Mark. Flag or label all sprinkler heads, cables, cords or any other obstacles on the surface of your lawn to prevent damage from aeration tools or machines.
The benefits of lawn aeration can be the difference between a gorgeous, lush carpet of turfgrass and a spotty, bare yard. Some other tips when aerating are to keep your seed and fertilizer handy. Right after aeration is a great time to seed or reseed and to feed your lawn with the appropriate fertilizer for your soil and turfgrass.
- Lawn aeration will allow the seed and nutrients to penetrate better into the underlying soil and create a great base for growth. While lawn aeration is key to lawn health, keep in mind that we have sandy soil here in Florida which typically drains well and doesn’t compact.
- Lawn aeration can be done typically once a year or even alternating years if you have a particularly sandy area. Have patience, as the results of your lawn aeration will take a few weeks to become visible. In the meantime, make sure you water properly and sit back and watch the greening begin!