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Does Aerating Really Help My Lawn?

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 124

Every spring lawn care companies come to your door offering to poke holes all through your lawn, leaving thousands of small, round, clods of dirt. Does aerating really help a lawn grow better and if so, why? Also, what is the best approach to lawn aeration and what do you need to do before and after aeration is complete?

Does Aerating Really Help My Lawn?

The answer is "yes", if done properly. We will first talk about why aerating is beneficial, and then we will discuss how you can maximize the benefits of aeration.

Why Aerate My Lawn?

First, the primary reason to aerate your lawn is to promote the health of the soil under your lawn. A healthy lawn needs healthy soil underneath to supply adequate water and nutrients. Clay or sandy soils that tend to be common in Utah tends to compact and limit the movement of these nutrients, or they allow them to wash right though. Aerating loosens the soil and allows new nutrients to enter the soil. High traffic areas that are prone to compacting are greatly benefitted by these air pockets, which allow the ground to breath and allows the nutrients to spread evenly through the soil.

How to Aerate Properly?

There are two basic kinds of aerators; punch-core aerators, and spike aerators. Punch-core aerators are motorized with tube-like attachments that cut into the soil and remove apple core type chunks of soil from your lawn. This loosens the soil and provides all the benefits listed above. Spike aerators are less expensive and are typically pulled behind a riding lawn mower. However, spike aerators do not remove soil from the ground, but instead, they compact it further. It may have some benefit, though it does not provide the same benefit as a punch-core aerator.

When to Aerate?

Aerate your lawn at least once or twice a year for a stronger, healthier lawn. Aerating is most beneficial when done in spring or fall.

What to do Before & After Aerating?

Aerating works best if the lawn is moist, though not too wet. Typically we recommend watering your lawn 3 days in advance to loosen the soil and then allowing it to drain so that it is not muddy. Mowing your lawn on a lower setting before aerating, will allow for deeper penetration and will also make it easier to top-dress with compost. We will flag any sprinkler heads to avoid damage to your irrigation system. Afterwards, do not rake up the soil cores as these will break up in a few days and will work back into your lawn. If your lawn is being renovated, you can now apply up to one inch of lightweight, fine compost, and rake it into the lawn.

Source: EzineArticles
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