lawn aeration in spring

Top 4 Benefits of Lawn Aeration in Spring That Will Blow Off Your Mind!

Aeration is a lawn care routine that creates openings in lawn turf and underlying soil structure so as to penetrate the thatch layer and root, allowing essential air and water down into the soil where it can better be accessed by the grassroots.

Lawn aeration in spring is not the best time to aerate the lawn unless circumstances compel you to do so. If the soil in your lawn is so compacted that existing grass cannot grow, it may be necessary that you aerate it during spring.

Generally, though, lawn aeration in spring is discouraged because the aeration holes offer an excellent spot for weed seeds to germinate. Weed seeds (particularly crabgrass) are the first seeds to germinate in spring. So, aerating the lawn stirs them up and offers them an ideal home.

However, if the ground is compacted or there is excessively thin turf, late spring aeration may be beneficial. Late in the spring is a good time to aerate because it’s when weeds are grown but are yet to flower and go to seed.

The very best time to aerate is in the fall when the temperatures have cooled off, the grass is actively growing, and the weed pressure is minimal.

In this article, you will find some of the benefits of lawn aeration in spring, in the event you decide to do it during spring.

Read also: Amazing Six Types of Epic Layout of Vegetable Garden to Consider!

Benefits of Lawn Aeration in Spring

If you are looking to do lawn aeration in spring, the best time would be between March and May. Here are the benefits of lawn aeration in spring:

1. Relieving Soil Compaction

During the long winter months, the soil in your lawn gets pressed down and compacted through ice and snow buildup. After everything melts and begins to dry, your lawn needs help to decompress and accept nutrients properly.

Aeration helps in relieving the pressure on the soil and absorbs what it needs from both the water it receives and the nutrients you provide.

2. More Direct Path for Deeper Roots

When you conduct lawn aeration in spring, you help your soil to decompress and loosen up. This is important in creating paths for deeper grassroots which are necessary for optimum absorption of water and nutrients.

3. Breaking Up Thatch Buildup

Thatch is an organic layer that is made of grass stems, rhizomes (both living and dead), and stolons that have not yet broken down or decomposed.

A thatch layer builds a barrier that prevents the root system from accessing nutrients, water, and air. Additionally, it promotes insect infestation.

Conducting lawn aeration in spring will help in breaking up thatch buildup, enhancing the supply of water, nutrients, and air to the root system of grass in your lawn.

4. Enhanced Air Circulation

Lawn aeration in spring means your lawn will be punctured with spikes, permitting air to move through the soil. Small cores of soil will be pulled out and deposited on top of the lawn to permit your lawn to operate as it should.

When you break up thatch buildup and decompress your soil through aeration, air circulation in the soil will be enhanced. Air is vital for optimum grass growth during spring.

We recommend doing at least one lawn aeration yearly, particularly during the spring. If your lawn receives a lot of heavy foot traffic, you may need to do more aeration in a year so as to allow it to breathe properly and decompress.

When Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Depending on the grass type, soil type, and amount of use, you should aerate your lawn once or twice a year. If your lawn is well established with little traffic, you can aerate it once a year. But if it is experiencing heavy traffic, you should aerate it twice a year.

If You Have a Warm-Season Grass
• Aerate in the summer – lat May through July – when the grass is growing
• You have warm-season grass if your lawn is made up of Zoysia or Bermuda
If You Have Cool-Season Grass
• Aerate in the spring (April) before applying pesticides or in the fall (September) before overseeding
• If your lawn is made up of fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, you have a cool-season grass

How to Aerate Your Lawn

Lawn aeration can be tough work. In fact, the bigger your lawn, the tougher the work.

If you have a particularly big lawn, your good bet is to contract a lawn maintenance company. The benefit of this is that they will not only aerate your lawn correctly but also ensure that your grass stays healthy year-round.

Additionally, a lawn care professional will analyze your soil type, grass health, and the best time of the year to aerate your lawn. They have a wide range of machines with different-sized tines and weights for the optimum amount of penetration for your soil.

If your lawn is smaller or you are confident you are up for a big project, you can take up the task of aerating your lawn yourself. Here is all the information you will need to get started.

But before that, there are two critical decisions you will need to make:

Core or Spike?

Core aeration: This is what you should aim for. This method of aeration gets rid of small cylinders of soil about three inches in depth. The holes that it creates bring air and water into the soil, which encourages healthy grass growth.

Spike aeration: This creates small holes in the soil. But since the spikes do not remove any soil, all you will be doing is further compacting the dirt – precisely what you are trying to fix. Spike aerators are counterproductive. Therefore, take a pass on this method.

Manual or Automated?

Manual aerators: These are tools that are powered by you. The most popular manual aerators are handheld spike, aerator attachments for shoes, and core aerators.

Automatic aerators: There are motor-driven machines. In case you settle for these tools, renting an aerator from a home improvement store is perhaps the best option. Unless you are familiar with aerating, ask for a demonstration of how the machine operates before you carry it home.

Once you have settled for the method and the tool to use, it is time to get started!

What to Do Before Aerating Your Lawn

You need to do the following before aerating your lawn:
• Mark sprinkler cables, heads, septic lines, and any other obstacle that may be in the way while aerating
• Mow your lawn before aerating and watering it
• Do not aerate immediately after an extended season of rainfall. Excessively wet soil will stick to the inside of the tines instead of falling easily back into the lawn
• Thoroughly water your lawn two days before aeration. The tines on the aeration machine penetrate loose soil better than dry soil. If the soil is too dry, the tines will have difficulty effectively piercing the ground
• Plan to pass over your lawn in more than two directions. This will give a more even and thorough coverage. Most sources recommend that you should aim for 20 to 40 holes per square foot

What to Do After Aerating Your Lawn

It is important to do lawn care after aeration. The good news is that it is relatively straightforward.
• Leave the soil plugs on the lawn to decompose and filter back into the holes created by the aeration machine. Your lawn mower will help break them up and work them back into the soil within three weeks.
• Apply fertilizer immediately after lawn aeration to put nutrients into your grassroots. This permits the grass to better prepare for the summer heat. Having a thick, healthy lawn comes in handy in preventing weeds.
• Reseed your lawn, particularly in areas where the grass is thin. The seeds will mix with the soil plug, having better access to non-compacted soil after aeration.

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