Core aeration defined
Core aeration uses a machine known as a lawn aerator to remove cores or plugs of soil from the lawn. It reduces soil compaction and creates a way for oxygen, water and nutrients to enter the soil. In core aeration, you’re creating holes of a diameter of around ½ to ¾ of an inch. It’s more effective than spike aeration which punches spikes into the lawn. The holes are much smaller and don’t let as much oxygen, water and nutrients in.
Why aerate my lawn?
Aerating a lawn provides big benefits. The biggest is that it allows sufficient oxygen to reach the grass’ roots. Soil compaction can reduce the pore space around grass and limits the amount of oxygen allowed in the region. Without oxygen, roots can’t grow and absorb water and nutrients like they’re supposed to.
Other benefits include:
- Fertilizers and nutrients get access to the roots. It also prevents run-off.
- Water can better soak the soil and reach the roots.
- Thatch can more easily be broken up.
- Compacted soil is loosened which allows the root system to grow.
How do you aerate your lawn?
The best way to aerate your lawn is to hire a professional to do it. They have the equipment and the know how to make sure your lawn is aerated properly. The professional will most likely use a core aerator. They will make sure the lawn is moist before they attempt to aerate because a dry lawn is not easy to aerate. The aerator will have a hard time penetrating the soil if it’s too dry. Your lawn care professional will probably aerate as fast as he/she can mow so that the soil is lifted quickly and efficiently for maximum effect.
Most lawn care companies will use a power aerator instead of a manual one. The power aerator is easier to use and more efficient.
Some tips for aeration
- Your lawn care professional will be careful of sprinklers so as not to puncture the lines
- They will aerate in the spring or the fall
- If you live in an arid/dry climate, you may want to hire someone to aerate your lawn twice a year for the full benefit
- After core aeration, they will probably leave the plugs on the grass. Allow them to dry out. Then you can rake the plugs into the grass if you want. You don’t have to if you don’t want to because they will just break down with the first mowing after the lawn is aerated and return back to the soil. They’ll help break down thatch by providing microorganisms that eat thatch.
We suggest that you don’t attempt to aerate by yourself as the soil can be difficult to work with and so too can the tools. A professional like Emerald Lawns knows how to handle a tricky lawn and make aeration an easy process for you. Call us today at 512-990-2199 for more information and set up your spring lawn aeration.