After being smothered by snow for many months, your yard needs some time to breathe. The easiest way to provide your lawn with fresh air is through some simple aeration. By perforating the soil with small holes, your grass roots will have more access to air, water and nutrients, which will encourage greener grass to grow.
Aerating
Big Benefits
Did you know that every time you walk on your lawn, mow your grass or play with your kids in your yard, you are compressing the soil beneath you? Aeration not only breaks up compact soil, but it also makes the grass more responsive to fertilizer and other lawn care products. Here are some other big benefits of aeration.
• An aerated lawn requires less water than a non-aerated lawn.
• It improves the oxygen level in the soil, which stimulates root growth and helps decompose dead grass that's left behind.
• Grass grows back faster, thicker and fuller, repairing bare spots in the process.
• It makes growing grass more resistant to weeds and disease by enriching its soil structure.
The Appropriate Time for Aeration
You should aerate your yard during its growing season. This not only gives the grass ample time to recover, but it also encourages new grass roots to establish at a faster rate. Since warm-season grasses, like Bermuda and Zoysia, grow in warm weather, they should be aerated in late spring or early summer. Cool-season grasses, like Bluegrass, grow vigorously during lower temperatures, and should be aerated in the fall.
Aeration Tip
Approaches to Aeration
How to Aerate Small Areas
The easiest way to aerate a small lawn is with a rotary cultivator. Simply roll the cultivator over the soil, and the serrated tines will leave your lawn with four-inch deep punctures. This will provide new grass roots with plenty of room to grow.
How to Aerate Large Areas
For larger lawns, you can help your yard catch a breath by fastening a dethatcher or a spike aerator attachment to the back of a riding lawn mower. While each attachment is dragged across the grass, its galvanized tines will slowly slit the soil, creating hundreds of small holes that will help your grass succeed in the spring and summer.
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