Our lawns need a steady supply of nutrients, water and air to look and feel their absolute best. Things like weather conditions, grass types, and foot traffic can sometimes make it difficult for these vital nutrients to penetrate to the root level of the grass. And when they don't, our lawns suffer greatly. Luckily, a process called lawn aeration can alleviate the things that prevent nutrients from getting deep into the pores of the grass and that make our lawns look sickly.
Lawn aeration is the process of using a machine with small hollow tines to remove nickel-size cores of soil and leaves them on the surface of your lawn. Typically, this is accomplished with a specialized piece of equipment called an “aerator” or “aeration machine.” The procedure is one of the best ways to get lawns back to their most attractive state.
It’s best to leave it up to your knowledgeable TruGreen® specialist to decide how and when lawn aeration can bring your grass back to full vibrant health; however, he or she can at least get you started with some valuable lawn aeration tips. Let’s first look at some lawn conditions that may require aeration.
Conditions requiring aeration
- In most cases, cool season grasses should be aerified in the spring or fall, and warm season grasses in late spring or summer. When establishing a new lawn, it is beneficial to begin a program of annual core aeration to help prevent thatch formation.
- Over the years, lawns build up thatch—that layer of stems, clippings, roots and other debris just under the grass. If your lawn feels spongy when you walk on it, chances are it has too much thatch. This, too, restricts the efficient movement of water and nutrients to grass roots, along with increasing the risk of grass disease outbreaks.
Lawn aeration tips
- Lawn aeration is most effective as a preventive measure, ventilating the soil before thatch builds up.
- Lawns growing on compacted clay soils generally require two lawn aerations annually, typically once in the spring and a second time in the fall.
- A good time to overseed is immediately following lawn aeration. This is when the openings made by the lawn aerator allow seed-to-soil contact, which is necessary for seed to germinate. (Your certified TruGreen lawn specialist can advise you of how you can combine these valuable services.)
- Extremely thick thatch layers over 2-2½ inches cannot be controlled by core aeration, and the lawn should be renovated.
And this leads us to the last (and most important) lawn aeration tip. Contact your local TruGreen lawn specialist today by visiting TruGreen.com or calling 866.688.6722, and see if lawn aeration is recommended for you as part of your tailored TruGreen lawn plan that will provide you and your family with a beautiful lush lawn you can enjoy together.