What is Aeration?
Aeration is a means of creating air channels within soil, allowing for easier movement of water, roots, and nutrients. Often overlooked, aeration is a valuable tool in maintaining a healthy lawn. If your soil is compacted, it is difficult for water to infiltrate into the soil and for roots to grow in the soil. This stresses turf and makes nutrient loss and erosion through runoff more likely. By aerating a lawn, you help to reduce compaction, improve water infiltration, and improve grass growth
Not everyone needs to aerate their lawns. Here are some situations that would call for aeration:
There are two types of tools used for aerating. The first is a spike aerator, which pokes holes in the ground. Sometimes people decide just to use a garden or spading fork for this. The disadvantage of aerating your lawn with spiked tools is that the spikes push the soil away from the hole, essentially creating tiny compacted areas around each spiked hole, defeating the purpose of the aeration.
The second type of tool is a plug aerator. This machine actually removes plugs, similar to core samples, from the turf, rather than compacting the soil, to create a passage through which air, water, and fertilizer can get to the roots of the grass. The plugs are dropped by the machine onto the surface of your lawn—we’ll talk about what to do with them in a moment.
Either type of aerating machine can be rented from a garden or home improvement store.
Here are the steps to follow once you’ve made arrangements to rent an aerating machine:
A lesser-known, and perhaps easier way to aerate your lawn is by applying gypsum. Gypsum is a natural mineral that works to coagulate soil particles, effectively creating channels from within the soil structure. Earth Science’s Fast Acting Gypsum® is an effective aerating solution, and can be applied with a spreader, or by hand.
It’s best to aerate during the growing season, so that the grass begins to repair itself immediately and fill in the spaces left over by the aeration. It will also give the grass its best chance to absorb the water and fertilizer that now easily flows to root level via those holes in the turf.
So shake up your lawn with some aeration this season and watch it thrive! For more information on Earth Science’s Fast Acting Gypsum®, or lawn aeration in general, contact us today!