Everything You Need to Know About Aerators for Lawns

If you're like most homeowners, you want a lush, green lawn that looks great all year long. Achieving this goal can be a challenge, especially if your soil is compacted or full of weeds. One of the best ways to improve your lawn's health and appearance is regularly aerating it. This blog post will discuss why they are important and how they can help your lawns.

Performing simple, regular maintenance tasks on your lawn will help create a healthier, thicker lawn. However, there are some tasks that you can do only once a year that will also help you maintain your lawn. One example is aerating the soil to relieve compaction and help the grass grow better. When done properly and at the exact time, aeration can benefit almost any lawn.

Why Aerating Helps Lawns

Air, water, and nutrients are essential for the health and growth of a plant's root system. When soil becomes compacted, it can be difficult for these essentials to reach the roots. This is why it's important to aerate your lawn occasionally. Aeration creates holes in the soil so that air, water, and nutrients can reach the roots easily.

Grass needs a lot of things to stay healthy, like water, air, and nutrients. When the soil is too compacted, it can't hold enough water or air. This makes it hard for the grass to get what it needs to stay alive. One way to help the grass is by aerating it. This means making holes in the soil to get through water and air.

When Lawns Need Aeration

Even though you may not think it, your lawn can get compacted. This happens when people or things drive on it. If you live in an area with a lot of clay in the soil, then you will need to have your lawn aerated every year to keep it healthy.

Dethatching and aerating are two different tasks. Dethatching is when you remove the layer of the decomposing organic matter right at the lawn surface. This is called thatch. When thatch accumulates up to a thickness of more than 1/2 inch, it makes it difficult for air, water, and nutrients to reach the grass, causing the lawn to become unhealthy. Aerating helps get through the thatch and reduces the build-up or prepares it for removal with dethatching.

If your grass often appears stressed, your soil is difficult to dig, and rainwater forms puddles where it used to be absorbed, you may have compaction problems. Do a "screwdriver test" to confirm your assumptions. Hand-drive an ordinary screwdriver into the dirt of your lawn. If the screwdriver slides in easily, your soil is not compacted. Still, your soil is compacted, and aeration can help if you meet resistance.

When To Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn is a good way to help it grow. You should aerate during or right after your grass is growing the most. Aerating can be bad for your lawn if done at the wrong time. Never aerate a lawn that is not growing.

The best time to aerate cool-season grasses is early fall or early spring. For warm-season grasses, the best time to aerate is in late spring or very early summer. When aerating coincides with active growth, grasses recover quickly and fill areas where aerator equipment exposes soil.

When the soil is moist, it is easy to aerate your grass. When the soil is too dry, it can be tough to do. If the soil is too wet, you should wait a few days before aerating.

How To Aerate Your Lawn

There are three types of aeration equipment: small, manual versions, larger tractor-like versions, and versions that you pull behind you.

  • Spike aerators poke a hole down into the soil with a spike-like tine. Some homeowners wear spiked aerator shoes to do yard work and help on a small scale. However, spike machines can worsen compaction by pressing soil together around the holes.
  • Rotating blades in slicing aerators chop or slice through grass and thatch. This helps to get air, water, and nutrients to the soil. They do not cause more compaction as spike aerators do.
  • Professional lawn aerators are also known as core or plug aerators. Use rows of hollow tines to remove dirt plugs from your grass and put them on top, where they decompose. The breadth and depth of the plugs and the holes they create vary depending on the equipment used.

You can either hire a lawn service or do it yourself like a professional... Aerating is like mowing the lawn but in different directions. You should concentrate on any known problem areas, like pet runs or backyard baseball diamonds. Make several passes to ensure optimal coverage and benefits.

What To Do After Aeration

Once you have aerated your lawn, let the soil plugs or extra soil dry where it falls. The rain or the next time you mow will break them down, adding beneficial soil and organic matter to your lawn surface.

Aerating your lawn is a good time to add new seeds. The aeration will help the new seeds get in contact with the soil. You can also fertilize your lawn at this time. This will help the new seeds grow quickly and make your lawn thicker and lusher.

If you want your lawn to be thick, healthy, and look beautiful, you need to do two things: add aeration to your annual task list and do regular compaction tests. Pennington is dedicated to helping you achieve your yard goals by providing the most excellent quality grass seed and lawn care products.

Frequently Asked Questions about Aerator for Lawns

When Should I Aerate My Lawn?

You should aerate your lawn to grow the best to recover quickly. You should do this in the early spring or fall if your grass is cool-season grass. If you have a lot of traffic on your lawn or if your soil is heavy clay, you will need to aerate every year.

Which Is Better Spike or Plug Aerator?

Plug aerators are usually more effective at relieving compaction in lawns with heavy clay soil. The solid tines used on spike aerators compact the clay soil further when they push into the ground. Soils that crumble easily are usually high in loam and sand, which benefit more from a spike aerator.

Is It Better To Aerate or Dethatch?

It is best to dethatch your lawn before aerating it. You'll be removing unnecessary detritus and promoting healthy root development this way. When there is a problem with compaction, aerating is the best solution.

Should I Mow Lawn Before Aerating?

Before you aerate your lawn, mow it low. (Timberline lawn experts recommend setting your mower to about 1.5-2 inches above the ground to maximize the effectiveness of aerating, being sure not to scalp the crown of the grass.) When aerating, the soils must be moist to allow the machine to permeate the soil.

Should I Pick Up Plugs After Aerating?

The aeration plugs are important for the health of your lawn. Do not remove them, even if it looks like the area around them is clean.

How Much Should Lawn Aeration Cost?

Aerating your lawn will usually cost around $15 to $17 per thousand square feet. The average lawn size is about 10,000 square feet, so the average cost for aeration would be around $150. It will usually take a lawn care company around 30 minutes to aerate a 10,000 square foot lawn.

Can I Aerate My Lawn Myself?

You can aerate your lawn on your schedule instead of waiting for a professional. If necessary, you can water your yard. When the soil is damp, aeration is most effective. You can choose how many times you want to run the aeration machine over the grass and how many times you want to impact particularly compacted soil.

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Aeration?

After aerating your lawn, be patient. You probably won't see the results right away. While the root growth and overall health of your lawn will improve immediately after aeration, you typically won't see visual results until after two or three aerations.

Can You Aerate Too Much?

You don't need to aerate your soil very often. You might need to do it more often if you have thick grass. However, you should only do it once a year.

When Should You Not Aerate Your Lawn?

Generally, you don't want to aerate your lawn in the spring. The soil is already very wet, and it's easy for weed seeds to grow in the aeration holes. However, if the soil is too compacted and the grass can't grow, you may need to do it in the spring.

To learn more about the best lawn aerators of 2022, click here.