How to Aerate a Lawn


Authored by Jaipi Sixbear in Gardening 
Published on 11-03-2009

What is lawn aeration? Why is aeration necessary? Which tools work best to aerate a lawn? What time of year is best to aerate a lawn? Should I hire a professional to aerate the lawn? How do you aerate a lawn? These are questions you may have about aerating your lawn. Read this article for the answers to these questions and some tips on how to aerate a lawn.

What is Lawn Aeration?

Lawn aeration is a process in which small plugs of lawn are removed to allow air, water and nutrients into the soil. It can be done by hand or machine. There are different types of equipment that are used in this process. You can aerate a lawn yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Aerating a lawn has many positive benefits.

Why is Lawn Aeration Necessary?

All year long the soil of your lawn is compacted through use. When you aerate a lawn you are giving water, nutrients and oxygen a direct path into the soil. An aerated lawn means less runoff and therefore more absorption. Aeration also improves drainage and reduces clumping. A healthy aerated lawn keeps weeds out and nutrients in.

Which Tools Work Best to Aerate a Lawn?

There are many types of aeration tools. The best ones are those that actually remove plugs of lawn. Beware of gimmicks such as the aeration shoes. These only compact the lawn further. Heavy duty commercial aeration equipment works best. You can also do an adequate job using smaller or hand equipment as long as it removes the plugs from the lawn.

What Time of Year is Best to Aerate a Lawn?

The best time of year to aerate a lawn is the fall. In summer, the lawn tends to be dry and damaged. That damage may be aggravated by the intrusive action of aeration. In the fall, aeration and fertilization or amendment can be done safely. Aerating in the spring could encourage weed growth. Loose windblown seeds can plant themselves in the aerated holes.

Should I Hire a Professional to Aerate the Lawn?

Hiring a professional to aerate the lawn is a good idea for those who can afford it. They have the equipment and knowledge to do the job properly. If you can’t afford a professional, use the best quality equipment you can afford. If a hand aerator is all you can afford to aerate the lawn with, be certain it’s the type that removes plugs completely from the soil.

How Do You Aerate a Lawn?

Two days before you aerate the lawn, mow it to about two inches in height. The lawn should be well watered for ease of aeration. Thoroughly aerate the lawn by passing the aeration tool over it in at least two directions. Break up the lawn plugs and mix with soil amendment, fertilizer or compost. For the last step, water the lawn well. This allows nutrients, oxygen and water to penetrate the soil.

To aerate a lawn use the best method you can afford. A professional can do the best job for you as their equipment and knowledge surpasses yours. If you plan to aerate a lawn yourself, be sure your equipment removes plugs completely from the lawn. Aerate in the fall. Mow and water two days prior to aeration. Fertilize and water thoroughly after aeration.


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