Deep Core Aeration: What makes it better then Standard Aeration?
Just like you, your lawn needs air to breathe! why? well gas exchange between the soil and atmosphere is important. By aerating the lawn, we are allowing that all important gas exchange to occur, as well as better nutrient and water absorption through the root system. So what is the deep core in aeration? and why is it better then standard aeration? Glad you asked! There are a variety of aeration machines available some are smaller, some are lighter or heavier, some roll, and some punch the ground. The important variables here are the size and more importantly the weight. Our aerators are very large & come with the ability to add weight. These types of aerators also can have larger tines. This allows for deeper and larger holes to be made. The deeper and larger the whole, essentially the better!
How often should I aerate my lawn?
There is a huge misconception that you should only aerate your lawn every two years. This is not the case. Your lawn should at an absolute minimum be aerated every 2 years. But! it should ideally be done 1-2 times a year especially with how affordable lawn care companies make this service. The best times to schedule this is in the spring & fall. Pair it with overseeding and prepare to be amazed.
Okay, So What Is Aeration?
Simply put, it’s pulling a nickle sized diameter, 2-3 inch plugs out of the turf. These plugs will contain turf, thatch, and soil. Although, it may look funny for a bit, these plugs will biologically decompose back into the ground to provide more nutrients to make your lawn thick and lush! But that’s not the only benefit!
- Better gas exchange between soil and atmosphere
- healthier and more effective hydration
- Greater access to the air, nutrients and water improves the overall health of the lawn! keeping you and your lawn happy!
- improved resistance to diseases and pests due to a healthier root system
- Relieves soil compaction. Essentially, by removing the cores, it makes more room, in turn decreasing the soil density making it easier for roots to grow, water to be absorbed and organics to be decomposed, absorbed, helps the terrain self level, and develops a deeper root system for your grass to store the water & nutrients.
- Benefits of pairing deep core aeration with an Overseeding applications. It is beneficial to aerate before over-seeding. Pulling plugs, allows the seed-to-soil contact to be greater, in turn increasing germination rates, and creating a moist, protected environment for the optimal growth and development of seedlings.
Generally, aeration should be performed annually but ideally 2 times a year. As can be seen above, it promotes a healthier and happier lawn! Once in the spring and once in the fall for cool season grasses since it should be done during active growth.
What if I don’t really care about my lawn all that much, when do I absolutely need aeration?
Here is a few tips to check:
- Soil compaction will prevent water from being absorbed. You’ll notice puddles on the lawn after rainstorms, which essentially means that little water is being absorbed. This is bad, but aeration to the rescue!
- “Screwdriver Test”- an easy and accurate way to test the soil for compaction issues. Is it difficult to push the screwdriver into the soil? then you definitely need aeration!
- Excessive thatch build up is a great indicator for a need to aerate. Thatch is a layer of organic living and dead matter between the soil and the greens. If it’s over 1/2 inch thick, it needs to be dealt with. If it isn’t, lawn damaging insects and disease may prevail.
How Does Lawn Aeration Work?
A heavy lawn aeration machine is used to poke holes in the lawn, leaving cores on the turf. The cores are nickle sized in diameter and 2-3 inches long. After a few rainfalls and thorough watering, they will disintegrate and the nutrients will be recycled by your turf to improve its health!
- Clearly mark sprinklers, irrigation lines or anything else that could be poked by the machine on your lawn to avoid any unnecessary damage.
- Water well a day before the aerating to allow for larger cores to be pulled, maximizing effectiveness.
- Let the plugs bio-degrade, they contain vital nutrients that will be reabsorbed in your lawn!
- Over-Seeding and Starter Fertilizing can be done in conjunction with the aeration. The pairing improve seed-to-soil contact, water and nutrient uptake, and re-absorption of nutrients will aid in the development of young seedlings. The starter fertilizer adds phosphorous to the soil so that the seedlings can grow vast root systems very quickly!