What is lawn Aeration and why is it beneficial?
Lawn aeration is a very important, yet often overlooked service that provides long-term benefits. A mechanical aerator removes thousands of small soil cores (1 to 3 inches) from your lawn. After rain showers or manual watering, the cores will effectively dissolve back into your yard and mix with the existing thatch to speed up its decomposition.
Thatch is a tight layer of organic material that accumulates below your grass and above the soil. It can stop water and nutrients from reaching the grass’s roots. The holes created in this process act as catch basins for fertilizer and water, which causes the roots to thicken and grow towards the nutrient-dense pockets. In addition to thickening grass and controlling thatch, aeration also helps compacted soil by relieving pressure and allowing oxygen and water to circulate beneath the thatch. For the best results, lawns should be aerated 1-2 times per year, in the spring and fall.
Could my lawn use an Aeration?
You just read about the benefits of regular lawn aeration but it can also treat specific problems in addition to promoting overall turf health. If your lawn is not regularly aerated and you notice the grass has almost or completely stopped growing, developed brown spots or an excessive thatch layer, and/or incurred any damage from foot traffic or pets, an aeration may be beneficial.
Where does Over-seeding come into play?
Over-seeding is a service commonly paired with aeration. A spreader is used to evenly distribute seed it across your yard and into the holes left by the aerator. You already read that aeration encourages deeper root growth and thicker turf; adding grass seed 1-3 inches deep has the same effect.
Microbial aeration is a new technology in the Green Industry that uses microbes to aerate the soil under your turf without disturbing the surface of the lawn. The product, C20 Soil Builder, is a concentrated consumable carbon food source for soil microbes. Check out this 3-minute video by Precision Organics, the company that created microbial aeration and C20, for more information!
The Bottom Line
Aeration is a service that helps regulate thatch, optimize root performance, loosen soil, and spur new growth. It is commonly done with a mechanical aerator that removes thousands of small soil cores that will dissolve back into your lawn, but it can also be done by feeding existing soil microbes. After a mechanical aeration, lawns are typically over-seeded to help thicken your lawn and replace blades that have reached their life cycle*. Best results are seen when performed at least once if not twice a year.