Did the summer heat, backyard barbecues and all those times you and the kids ran through the sprinklers do a number on your lawn? Aeration is the perfect way to help restore your lawn after the stresses of summer. Now is the time to act to get the healthy, thick lawn you’ll be proud of once spring rolls around.
Without aeration, the soil will struggle to provide the turf with ample water and oxygen suitable for proper growth. Compaction from lawn traffic, and the natural build- up of thatch, will cause your lawn to have difficulty late in the season. Core Aeration alleviates both of these issues in one process. If you’re not convinced yet, check out the seven benefits below to see how lawn aeration can help your lawn keep up with all your fun in the sun.
So, what is core aeration?
Core aeration for lawns is a mechanical process, which extracts cores of soil, thatch, and grass from the surface of the lawn to increase nutrient availability, water penetration, soil air exchange and reduce compaction. This improves the effectiveness of your TruGreen services and ongoing watering, leading to a healthier lawn.
7 Benefits of Core Aeration in the Fall
1. Relieves soil compaction. Compacted soil can prevent air, water, and fertilizer from reaching your lawn’s root system, causing dead spots, patches and/or thinning. By removing cores in the aeration process, soil density is decreased, thus relieving compaction.
2. Aids in thatch management. Thatch is a layer of dead and difficult to decompose grass roots and stems that accumulates in your lawn. It can build up to a thick layer, robbing your grass of necessary moisture and nutrients. Excessive thatch is also an excellent home for insects and diseases. Several lawn-damaging insects thrive in an unmanaged thatch layer. Core aeration helps manage thatch build-up by physically removing the thatch to a manageable level as well as stimulating thatch-decomposing microbial activity in the soil.
3. Increases nutrient availability. Aeration allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. When nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone, they become available to the turf. Aeration also stimulates microbial activity that helps nutrients in the soil become available to your turf. This improves the effectiveness of your subsequent TruGreen fertilizations to promote a healthy lawn.
4. Benefits pH modification. Soil needs to have a pH around 6.5 for optimal growth. Nutrients like lime and sulfur can help correct your soil’s pH levels, allowing your turf to get more from lawn fertilization. Applying lime or sulfur after core aeration promotes the change of pH deeper into the soil profile, ensuring a stronger, healthier root system and lawn.
5. Builds a thicker lawn. Aeration stimulates root development and growth, but cool season grasses need overseeding to help fill in bare spots and thicken up the turf, which helps crowd out weeds come spring.
Overseeding alongside aeration enhances seed to soil contact necessary for germination and creates a moist, protected environment optimal for seedling growth and development. Plus, you’ll benefit from TruGreen’s specially selected grass seed, which offers improved disease and drought tolerance to help your lawn withstand changing conditions.
6. Reduced water runoff and puddling. One of the best ways to improve a lawn's drainage is to aerate it. To facilitate the easy movement of water, oxygen, and nutrients to the roots, the lawn must be perforated. If you find your yard has runoff or puddling problems after a rain, aeration could be the fix you need.
7. Prepares grass for winter dormancy and a green spring. Before your cool-season grass goes dormant, make sure it’s in tip-top shape by pairing fall aeration with fall fertilization. Aerating prior to fertilizing will help the nutrients soak in more effectively for optimal results. Planning for aeration and fertilization in the fall gives cool-season lawns a better chance of recovering from summer heat and drought stress ahead of the first winter frost.
Why should I aerate my lawn this fall?
For cool-season grasses, late summer into fall is the perfect time to aerate your lawn because it enables optimal results from overseeding, and most importantly, sets up your lawn for a better spring. Aeration allows for better contact between grass seed and soil which encourages grass seed to germinate and establish a strong root system before cold temperatures set in.
Your soil may become compacted over time due to weather, outdoor projects, and foot activity. Roots in compacted soil lack space to expand and grow deep, and the soil has less space for air, water, and nutrients which are vital to plant health. Also, thatch, the layer of organic debris that lies between the grass and the soil surface, can accumulate and function as a barrier between roots and the nutrients they require. Fall aeration facilitates root uptake of nutrients, loosens the soil, enhances drainage, aids in thatch management, and promotes dense root growth for spring.
How do I ensure the best results?
The best results for lawn aeration are achieved through proper pre-service preparation and post-service care.
For pre-service preparation, you should:
- Consider marking underground sprinkler heads or invisible fences with flags or stakes
- Remove personal property & debris such as leaves from the lawn
- Mow your lawn 0.50 - 1.0 inches shorter than normal and lightly water your lawn 24 hours before your specialist is scheduled to perform your service
For post-service care, you should:
- Regularly water your lawn instead of relying on rainfall. Keeping the seed moist for 21-28 days after service will provide the best results.
- Limit traffic on your lawn to allow new seeds to germinate, establish and mature.
- Mow as usual until germination begins, then wait 10 days for seeds to establish before you resume mowing
Schedule your fall lawn aeration service with TruGreen today
If your lawn is ready for an aeration service, get your custom quote here. You can also give our team a call at 1-844-768-1221.