What is lawn aeration and when is the best time to do it?

Do you need to make lawn aeration? If you are a homeowner with a lawn in it that is not thriving with all the basic things like watering, fertilizing, and mowing, then stay here. We are informing you about the basics of lawn aeration. It is a simple method but contributes a lot to making a lawn healthy. So, let’s start.

Moreover, if you are a beginner in lawn aeration, then feel excited. We are starting a series of blogs on lawn aeration to help you become a pro. So, stay tuned.

Table of contents

What is lawn aeration?

Aeration is the non-chemical lawn-care process and one of the best things to make your lawn green and healthy. It is a technique to puncture the lawn with small holes to relieve the compaction of the soil.

How does soil compaction occur?

Soil compaction makes the lawn lifeless because of no breathability of the lawn. Compaction happens because of downward pressure on the lawn. It can be because of foot traffic, play, lawn care equipment, rain, gravity, etc.

Problems even with small packing

Even a very thin half centimeter compaction layer blocks the flow of water and nutrients to the grassroots. Furthermore, soil compaction restricts the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and oxygen (O₂), which is vital to make a plant thrive or keep it away from being dull.

It helps with aeration

Lawn aeration helps to loosen the compacted soil by making holes in it that make way for water and nutrients to penetrate in grassroots. It makes the soil breathe fully by allowing oxygen to enter the soil and carbon dioxide to leave. It makes the grassroots healthy and long.

Should you aerate your lawn?

It is the most asked question by homeowners that how can they figure out if their lawn needs aeration or not without calling an expert. Let’s get to know some facts.

Heavily usage

If your lawn is treated as a playground or race track by children other than a place for resting, walking, or sitting, and pets run around causing soil compaction.

If you tend to use heavy lawnmowers, the soil compaction chances are higher. 

Suppose your home is getting constructed or renovated, and the topsoil and subsoil of your lawn have been buried, stripped, or compacted by the construction machinery, then it needs aeration.

Type of Soil

The kind of soil you have in your lawn can also be the factor if your lawn needs aeration or not. Traditionally, there are two types of soils: loam topsoil and clay subsoil. Loam topsoil is dark in color, full of organic matter, and drains well. On the other hand, clay subsoil is lighter in color, high in clay content, and drains poorly. Therefore, if your lawn has clay soil, it will tend to compact more than other soil types.

Type of grass

There are a variety of grasses and some species produce more layers of thatch than others. The thatch is an organic layer between the soil and the grass that feels spongy. A thicker layer of thatch prevents nutrients and water from penetrating into the soil. Therefore, choose seed mixtures that are durable such as English ryegrass, meadow-grass and red fescue.

Feels spongy

If your lawn gives you a spongy sensation when walking on it and dries so quickly after watering the lawn, it means it has thatch. To check out the thickness of the thatch layer, take a shovel and slice out a piece of lawn. You need to aerate your lawn if the thatch layer is 50 mm to 190 mm.

Soil is hard

Compacted soil is hard. To check if your lawn’s soil is hard, take a knife and press it in moist soil. If you can easily insert the knife with only the force of thumb, then your lawn is perfectly fine.

Established by sod

If your lawn was established by sod, it has finer-textured soil layering with that sod that is imported and set down on the lawn’s soil. That soil layering creates a disturbance in water absorption in lawn soil, leading to compaction and poor grassroots health. At that time, lawn aeration is best to loosen the compaction of the soil and let the water absorb in soil that was only held in finer-textured soil before. It will make the grassroots healthy and let them grow lush.

When to aerate your lawn?

The best time to aerate your lawn depends on the type of grass growing in your lawn.

Suppose your lawn has cool-season grass like Kentucky bluegrass, then the best time to aerate the lawn is when weeds are less active and the temperature is cooler. The perfect time for cool-season grass lawn aeration is early spring or in fall, at least four weeks before hard frost.

If you have warm-season grass varieties like bermudagrass, the best to aerate is mid-spring or early summer before it gets too hot and dry as it is the season when grass actively grows.

Furthermore, lawn aeration should be performed once a year to keep it healthy.

Benefits of lawn aeration

Other than well water and nutrients penetration and increased breathability of soil, there are some other benefits of lawn aeration.

Lawn aeration improves the absorption of fertilization that helps the grass grow lusher and lessen the nutrients waste.

Where can you get the professional lawn aeration service?

You can either aerate the lawn yourself or you can hire us to do the heavy work for you. If you have a muddy soil, we recommend that the lawn be vented by us. In this way, we pull up clay sausages and in the lawn you get a slightly larger hole than if the lawn were to be aired. You fill the holes with sandy soil, which makes the soil more porous.

Do it yourself with a lawn aerator

The best part is that you do not need any expert or specific skills to use our affordable lawn aerator. Our lawn aerator has a strong design in stainless steel and is ergonomically designed for easy manual work.

Hire us for the aeration

We are TrädgårdSmart, a team of experts who provide tailor-made garden services for your lawn. Hire us to air your lawn or let us help you with a renovation of your lawn.

We can help you if you live in Stockholm or Uppsala. If you are unsure about something, you can contact Robert by phone: 010-214 61 50 or email [email protected]

Questions and answers

Some other questions and answers about the subject, what is lawn aeration.

Use what you have left of your existing lawn but make a retake of the lawn. This gives the lawn a restart. Read how to proceed point by point in our article on lawn renovation.

Airing and vertically cutting the lawn are two completely different treatments. In the article, you have learned about why you should aerate the lawn. Vertically cut the lawn is done with a machine that tears up moss and dead grass with knives while the grass roots are separated. The knives are usually let go into the soil layer only a few millimeters, which means that no air holes are created.
Absolutely, you can spot treat the lawn with aeration, for example in areas where the grass is difficult to grow. This may be because some areas of the lawn are compacted after something heavy has been lying there. As mentioned earlier in the post, the soil has been packed, which makes it difficult for air, water and nutrients to get down to the grass roots.

The lawn aerator that we sell is completely adapted to how deep the grass roots go into the ground. The height of the pegs is 100 mm.

More reading about aerating the lawn

Read our other articles if you want to know more about how to aerate a lawn and why it is good to do so.

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