If you want your lawn to look as healthy and green as possible, you need to do more than just water and mow it occasionally. Aeration is a key part of lawn maintenance.
So what is lawn aeration, exactly?
As you might have guessed, lawn aeration is the process of introducing air to the soil of your lawn. Soil becomes easily compacted, and when soil is very dense, it's hard for water, air, and nutrients to make its way around the soil so that you have the healthiest lawn in your garden.
What are the results of lawn aeration?
It's important to aerate your lawn because it will lead to the following:
- Carbon dioxide will be released from the lawn and fresh oxygen will find its way to your soil, and this will stimulate root growth.
- Improved drainage so that water can find its way through your soil and your soil won't become waterlogged.
- With more space between the soil, there is more possibility for nutrient uptake. This means that any fertiliser you apply to your soil will do its job more effectively.
- A breakdown of thatch. Thatch builds up when a lawn produces debris faster than it can be broken down, but aerated soil will ensure that thatch gets broken down into nutritious soil.
How to aerate your lawn
If you are sold on the idea of lawn aeration, you are probably wondering how you can do this in your own garden in early spring or fall. There are two pieces of garden equipment you can use: a spike aerator or a plug aerator.
A spike aerator is a simple spiked garden tool that allows you to poke holes into your soil manually. This can be arduous physical work if you have a large lawn, but if you only have a small patch of lawn, this is probably the best investment for you. Ensure the lawn is moist before punching holes in it or you'll find that the job is very physically intense.
Then there is a plug aerator, a machine that is normally gas powered. A plug lawn aerator will plug lumps of soil from the lawn and then disperse of them over the lawn. Depending on the machine, you may be able to set the hole depth and the space between the holes so that you can ensure a uniform job. A lawn aerator can be a good investment if you have an expansive lawn, but the machines can also be rented.