Aeration is the process of making holes in the soil to let the essential elements like air, water, and other nutrients easily approach the roots. All your garden care practices can end up in vain if you fail to aerate lawn at the right time. Therefore, along with aeration, it is also important to know about the best time to aerate the lawn. However, in this article, I will brief you about lawn aeration, keeping wen to do it for the next time.
How to Aerate Lawn?
Before getting into the aeration process, let’s first have a look at the types of aerators.
Types of Aerators
- spike aerator
- core aerator or plug aerator
- slicing aerator
These tools come with different features and price ranges. You can use their manuals for a good understanding of how they work.
Spike aerators are tools with actual spikes that create holes in the soil. There are aeration shoes with spikes to make holes, but they aren’t the most convenient tools. Other than that, you’ll also find machinery for spike aeration, providing more effective results. You can also you a pitchfork for the purpose. It’s very practical for a smaller area.
Core Aerators or Plug Aerators
The best type of aerator is the plug or core aerator. It is usually used by garden professionals. A core aerator might be expensive, but you can rent it from home centers or rental stores. The aerating surface of a core aerator is equipped with small spikes that pull out a patch of soil from where they enter. The machines do not collect the removed plugs of soil, leaving it on your part. You can get these machines in a variety of sizes to meet a wide range of requirements.
Slicing aerators are machines with rotating blades. Their blades make deep holes into the soil, cutting through the grass, for better penetration of water and air. They work in a similar way as spike aerators, but if I were to choose between the two, I’d choose slicing aerators.
Which Aerator Is Good For You?
According to lawn experts, the aerators that pull out the plugs of soil or turf are the best equipment for the purpose. But that’s not the only thing you need to consider while selecting an aerator. You also need to check the type of soil you’ll be working on, the size of the holes you prefer, etc. I usually pressure aerators that can dig up to 2 to 3 inches deep with a diameter of about 1inch and spikes at a 4-inch distance.
The Right Way of Lawn Aeration
Here is a step by step guide to aerate your lawn in the right way. It also includes the steps you need to follow before and after aeration.
Step 1: Mowing and Watering
Prepare your lawn by mowing it before aeration. Also, water your lawn to moisten the soil for convenient and easy aeration.
Step 2: Aerate
It does not take a lot to prepare your lawn for aeration. When aerating with a machine, make sure to aerate the mot compacted spots thoroughly by running the machine over them multiple times. If you find some areas not needing aeration, leave them. It is better to put your efforts where it is required the most.
Note: If your soil is slightly compacted, then simply aerate the complete lawn twice. However, if your lawn is densely compacted, run the second pass perpendicular to the first one.
Step 3: Deal with the Plugs
Let the cores of soil stay where the aerator left them. The coming steps will help them break down and becomes a part of the soil again. You can also break them with a rake or by mowing them. However, for soil that is full of clay, it is better to remove the plugs and dress the processed surface.
Step 4: Feed Your Lawn
Now that you have cleared the food path of your lawn, you need to feed it. Water your entire lawn, ensuring every corner has the right amount of water. Once watered, spread lawn food to recover the lawn.
After aeration water your lawn 2 to 3 days a week for up to three weeks. It will ensure better germination and lush grass.
Step 5: Cover the Lawn with Topsoil
After aerating your lawn, cover it with topsoil. For most effective results mix your soil with an organic fertilizer. The topsoil layer should be a half-inch thick.
Step 6: Sow the Seeds
You can use your hands or the spreader to sow the seeds. If you choose a seed spreader, the first pass should contain half of the seeds. Apply the remaining half in areas that have to be reseeded.
Step 7: Roll the Surface
Settle your seeds after spreading by rolling the new lawn surface. This will ensure everything is in the right place.
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Aerating lawn is a necessary process and must be done the right way. You can aerate your lawn on your own by renting an aerator or pay professionals for the task. Either way, do not delay the process and make sure that the right tools and methods are being used on your lawn.