Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn

When the health of your lawn begins to decline, you immediately think that is one of the more common problems: insects, not enough water, disease, weeds, etc. However, there is one big problem facing lawns that tends to get overlooked – compaction. When the soil in the top four inches of your lawn gets too compressed, it limits air movement throughout the soil. As a result, water, oxygen and nutrients cannot make it to the roots of your plants, and so their health begins to decline. Compacted soil also contributes to the accumulation of thatch since earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms cannot move as easily through compressed soil.

lawn aeratorSo, what is the solution? Aeration.

Aerating your lawn removes pieces of soil, leaving cavities and holes. The best time to aerate your lawn depends on the type of turf you have. For warm season lawns, like Bermudagrass, now (late Spring, early Summer) is the perfect time for aeration. Cool season grasses are best aerated in the Fall. The other question you may be asking is “How often do I need to aerate.” Well, for this, there is no set answer other than “When it’s needed.” An easy way to test your lawn to see if it is compacted is to take a screwdriver or similar tool and push it into the ground. If it goes through the soil with little resistance, then your lawn should be just fine. However, if you are struggling to get the screwdriver through and meet a lot of resistance, it is time to aerate.