Herbicides Fertilizers & Aeration
Its best to aerate before you apply pre-emergence herbicides, rather than after. Aerating after a herbicide application can reduce the chemical barrier formed by the herbicide, allowing weeds to germinate. Applying fertilizer after aeration helps the lawn compete against weeds. Water the lawn after aeration, particularly in areas where drought and high temperatures are common.
What Month Should I Aerate My Lawn
As mentioned above, the best time to aerate your lawn is dependent on the type of grass you are growing.
Cool-season lawn grass is best aerated in April before pesticide application and September ahead of overseeding.
Warm-season lawn grass is best aerated when the grass is growing in the months of May and July.
Cool-season lawn grasses grow well in cold weather conditions like spring and fall. They grow and thrive, no matter how cold it gets.
Warm-season lawn grasses are tropical grass types that thrive in hot weather conditions.
Most of the growth is done in the summer, and the grasses become dormant during cold weather conditions like winter.
Types Of Lawn Aerators
There are two main types of rolling lawn aerators: spike aerators and core aerators.
As the name suggests, a spike aerator uses spikes fixed on a rolling drum to poke holes in the soil as the aerator is pushed or towed across the lawn. Used to prepare the soil for overseeding, spike aeration works best on soil that is only loosely compacted.
A core aerator uses hollowed-out tines to pull out plugs of soil from the lawn, leaving two- to three-inch holes. Both types can be motorized, manually pushed, or towed.
If a motorized lawn aerator is too elaborate for your needsmay be your yard is small or you just want to aerate the trouble spotshere are five other aeration techniques that can be used for smaller jobs and make this DIY task as easy as a stroll through your yard.
Core aeratorsCore aerators used hollow tines to extract cylindrical plugs of soil.
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Tips To Improve Your Soil Type:
- Lime helps raise pH and neutralise acidic soil.
- Gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate and helps break down clay soils.
- Fertiliser Because aerating allows nutrients to better penetrate, straight after aerating is a perfect time to fertilise your lawn as well.
For more great lawn care tips visit the Lawn Solutions Australia blog here
How Do I Know If My Lawn Needs Aeration
Lawn aerating shouldnt be viewed as a routine maintenance activity. Aerating the lawn when it isnt necessary weakens the grass and could lead to pest or disease problems. Instead, watch for indications of compact soil, such as worn areas, puddling, thin or dead patches, discolored grass, uneven growth, or thatch buildup. Any one of these symptoms could indicate the need to aerate.
If you think your yard needs to be aerated, perform a screwdriver test. Using any type of screwdriver with a 6-inch blade, attempt to push it into the soil. If you meet with some resistance, it could be time to aerate. If you cant push the blade into the soil all the way up to the handle, you should definitely aerate the lawn.
It would also be helpful to aerate before overseeding the lawn. Mow the grass low, then aerate the yard prior to applying lime, fertilizer, and seed. Doing so will help the grass seed stay put if it rains before germination. It also helps to promote healthy root development.
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How Does Lawn Aeration Help Keep Turfgrass Healthy
If your lawn is struggling to grow and keep its brilliant green color, it may be because the soil its growing in is compacted. Compacted soil is very common in northern Virginia. It prevents water, air, and nutrients from reaching the roots of turf grasses, and results in a yellowing or patchy lawn, stunted growth, and areas of moss and weeds.
Another common problem is thatch buildup. This layer of dead and living grass stems builds up on the soil surface and can be difficult for water, air, and fertilizer to penetrate. While all lawns have some thatch, it doesnt become a problem until it builds up to about half an inch or more. At that point, youll notice that your lawn has a spongy feel, it may be more affected by lawn pests and diseases, and will generally fail to thrive.
Can You Aerate Too Much
How often you need to aerate your lawn is dependent mainly on the soil type. Ideally, the lawn should be aerated once a year to three years. If your lawn contains loose soil and experiences healthy grass growth, it does not need to be regularly aerated.
The presence of thick soil that traps water easily will need frequent lawn aeration. Irrespective of the soil type, aerating the lawn should be done once a year and twice for thick soil lawns or heavy use lawns.
Aerating your lawn more than necessary can damage your lawn grass and create a growth imbalance.
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Dont Remove The Plugs
The plugs removed during aeration are best left scattered about on your lawn near the hole they left behind. Do not consider removing these plugs because they contain vital elements that need to be restored to your lawn. Instead of gathering and removing plugs, you can run over them with a lawnmower after they have dried. Running plugs over with a lawnmower or breaking them up with a rake allows the plugs to disintegrate and return to the holes they came from.
Aeration is like a facelift for your yard, and the plugs are a necessary part of the process. The plugs will disappear in less than a few weeks, and the overall improvement in the health and appearance of your lawn will be dynamic.
What To Do After Aerating A Lawn In Spring
Spring is the optimal time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide after aeration in any climate. If you are having severe weed-control issues and you did not overseed after frost the previous year, a pre-emergent herbicide used after aeration can help your grass to get a head start on the season. This is one of the few things you can do to increase the thickness of your lawn without adding more grass seed.
If you are not applying a herbicide in the spring, this is a good time to overseed your lawn, especially in warmer climates. Alternatively, fertilizer applied to the spring may get more mileage than it would if it were applied in the fall, in colder climates.
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When Is The Best Time To Aerate Your Lawn
The best time to aerate your lawn depends on the condition of your lawn and growing region. It can be done throughout the year, except for when it is winter and during the warm summer months. It may take some trial and error to find out when your lawn needs aeration. In general, it is best to aerate in early spring or fall.
What Is Lawn Aeration
According to Cambridges Dictionary, aeration refers to “a process that allows air to act on something. When it comes to gardening, aeration is the process of poking small, long holes into the ground in order to provide the soil with good air circulation and improve the grassroots water and nutrient consumption.
Air circulation is very important as it lets stale carbon dioxide out, in turn, making room for fresh new oxygen to go in.
Lawn aeration also helps break through piled-up thatch in high maintenance lawns and reduces lawn compaction, which is the main cause of moss.
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When Is The Best Time To Aerate A Lawn
There are two ideal times for lawn aeration in the UK, one is in spring and the other is in autumn. These are the seasons when the soil is usually naturally moist and is suitable for holes to be poked into it easily.
Most people prefer to aerate their lawn in spring as it coincides with the growing season of the grass. This way the grass has the opportunity to heal properly. However, since the weather in the UK can vary greatly and aeration depends a lot on weather conditions, its important to tread lightly. As if, for example, the soil is too wet, the holes you make will not let any air or water reach the roots as the holes sides will seal up quickly.
So lets move to a schedule which best represents when and how much you should aerate. Also bear in mind that lawn aeration frequency all depends on the lawn you have.
Improves The Quality Of The Soil
Aerating the lawn allows different nutrients, water, and air to reach deeper parts of the soil, which penetrates the roots of the grass.
The roots can grow stronger when they receive enough air and nutrients and will allow you to have a more vigorous lawn that thrives.
There will be improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere, along with enhanced soil water uptake with the small holes that are created.
Aeration doesnt have any side effects and is a natural process. The best times of the year to aerate the lawn are during the spring and fall seasons.
The soil compaction will ultimately determine how many times the soil needs to be aerated.
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Does Your Lawn Need A Breather The Importance And Benefits Of Aeration
Sometimes we need to take a breather, and your lawn is no different. Aeration the process of extracting cores of soil, thatch and grass from the lawn surface lets your lawn breathe and gain access to essential nutrients, so it can continue to look and grow its best.
While aeration is arguably the most important lawn maintenance task, it’s often overlooked or misunderstood. We have compiled some common myths around aeration and how you can incorporate it into your lawn maintenance routine to reap its benefits.
Leave The Plugs And The Holes Alone
After core aerating, youll have grass and dirt plugs scattered over the lawn. Leave them where they are. After a couple of weeks, theyll have fully broken down, returning up to 25% of the grass nutrients back onto the soil.
Also, dont fill in the holes with anything. Ive seen some people suggest filling them with sand, but that seems like the exact opposite of what youre trying to do to relieve compaction. Like the plugs, the holes will disappear on their own, either by old grass spreading or new overseeded grass growing.
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How Do You Tell If Your Lawn Is Compacted
The most common signs of compacted soil are: Puddling of water in low areas of your lawn Water running quickly away from high areas of your lawn Trees with shallow roots Thin, patchy areas of grass Bare dirt areas where not even weeds will grow Heavy clay soil Soil so hard a shovel can’t pierce it If you’ve noticed any …
What Are The Benefits Of Lawn Aeration
You might be wondering how a single aeration every year could help improve your lawns quality. Think of a lawn aerator as a way to create pores for your lawn. These pores need to be made and left open in order for your lawn take in nutrients and moisture. They also promote root growth in the open spaces and added air and oxygen in the soil.
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Lawn Aeration Tips To Give You A Better Lawn
A great lawn does not happen by accident. Every homeowner would like the kind of verdant lawn that you see at golf courses or major league ballparks. However, many homeowners forget that maintaining a lawn requires the diligence and knowledge of a farmer cultivating a cash crop. The more you know about what your lawn needs to thrive, the better your chances of achieving the kind of lush surface that will make your neighbors green with envy.
Soil compaction stifles your root system and can result in stunted growth, poor color, and an overall unhealthy look to your yard. Compacted lawns have too many particles pushed together, which reduces water, air, and nutrient absorption. Compaction is prevalent in high-traffic areas, but any yard can be rejuvenated by paying attention to the turf structure. Lawn aeration is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to improve turf viability. Here are some simple tricks to ensure you get the greatest benefit.
How To Dethatch Your Lawn
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How To Aerate Your Yard
If you’re convinced that your lawn is in need of aeration, here are some lawn care tips on how to do it:
- Before you get started, make sure the soil is moist enough. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to aerate soil that is bone dry. Aerating the day after a rain shower or watering your lawn the day before is advised.
- Most aeration machines cover only a small percentage of soil surface per pass, so make multiple passes over the most compacted areas. Save resources by leaving unaffected areas alone
- The excavated soil plugs should be allowed to dry and then broken up to give your lawn a uniform, clean appearance. Break them up by running them over with a lawn mower or pounding them with the back of a rake.
- An aeration myth is that if you apply a pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn in the spring, aerating your lawn will destroy the herbicide “barrier.” This is not true research shows that aeration will not affect crabgrass control or weed prevention.
- After aerating, it’s important to continue basic lawn care practices such as proper fertilizing, mowing and watering.
Aeration is a beneficial practice toward achieving a beautiful lawn, but most people don’t realize it or understand the process. If your lawn is a candidate, make it an integral part of your lawn care regime. Your lawn will thank you for letting it breathe again.
The Cost Of Lawn Aerators For Diyers
You can purchase or rent a home aerator at a home improvement store or garden center relatively inexpensively.
- Hand-held manual aeratorsBest used to aerate small trouble spots, a manual core aerator can be purchased for about $25 or $30.
- Towable core aeratorIf you have a larger area to aerate and plan to do it regularly, buying a core aerator that can be towed behind a riding mower may make sense. You can buy a towable aerator for about $200.
- Walk-behind aeratorYou can rent an aerator for about $60 for four hours or $90 for an entire day. Dont forget that most rentals require a deposit, and you may need to make special arrangements to transport the aerator to your home.
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What Do You Do After You Aerate Your Lawn
To fully enjoy lawn aeration benefits, you need to do the following after aerating your lawn.
- Fertilizer Application: Apply fertilizer to the soil immediately after aeration. It fills your soil with nutrients to feed the roots of your lawn grass.
- Ignore the Holes: The gaping holes left behind by aerating the lawn may irk you at first, but best to leave them alone. The holes will be filled with new roots within a few weeks.
- Lawn Watering: The lawn may become dry after aeration. Water your lawn heavily after aerating to encourage deeper grass root growth. Heavy watering helps after aeration improves the growth of your lawn grass.
Can I Mow Right After Aerating
Mowing your lawn immediately after aerating offers the benefit of mixing nitrogen-rich grass clippings into the aeration holes. This can help to improve the overall quality of the soil.
If you are overseeding your lawn after aerating, however, it may be best to wait. The air movement of the blades will likely blow your seeds away. So keep that in mind. Personally, I believe that mowing right after aerating has real value. The more organic material we can actually get down into the soil, the better the quality of soil will be in the long term.
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Aerate In The Spring And Fall
Spring and fall are the best times of year to take advantage of aeration. The additional moisture of spring is beneficial to root growth, and aeration allows your lawn system to take full advantage of the increased moisture. For most grass varieties, the majority of growth takes place in the fall, and the extra space of aeration encourages your root system to take full advantage of the growing season.
A strong root system acts like a carpet beneath your lawn and creates a network that makes it impossible for weeds to encroach upon. A strong root system can even help reduce bug infestations as its more difficult for insects to build nests in thriving root systems. Healthy roots are also more able to absorb water and nutrients, which make your yard healthier and reduce drainage problems.