Turf aeration is the process of mechanically punching holes through the grass, thatch, roots and soil. These holes allow air and water to penetrate into the soil. The soil plugs that land on top of the lawn contain bacteria and fungi that help decompose organic matter like dead grass blades and thatch. As organic matter is decomposed, nutrients are returned to the soil. Therefore the soil plugs should be allowed to naturally break down on the surface of your lawn.
When is the best time to Aerate?
Contrary to what lawn mowing service companies would like for you to believe… March and April are not necessarily the best time to aerate. This is particularly true if the soil is dry. Trying to aerate a dry lawn is like aerating the driveway! It just doesn’t work. The soil has to be moist in order for the tines of the aerator to penetrate into the soil.
The best time to aerate is when the soil is moist. We schedule our spring aerating jobs usually in May. This gives our clients time to activate their sprinkler systems. We call at least 3 days in advance so you can water the lawn and mark the location of sprinkler heads before we arrive. Watering your lawn before aerating helps insure we pull the deepest plugs. Having the sprinkler heads marked before we arrive helps us to protect your sprinkler system.
How many times per year should I have my Lawn Aerated?
Jones Tree & Lawn, Inc. believes that aerating your lawn twice a year is sufficient for most properties. We recommend aerating once in the spring and once in the fall. If you have a serious thatch problem… aerating 3 or 4 time a season may be beneficial.
Aerating and Thatch Control
Thatch is an accumulation of dead grass stolens and grass blades. Thatch separates Lawn Aeration Plug Sample Image grass crowns from the actual soil surface. To tell if you have a thatch problem take a walk across the lawn. If it feels spongy, like walking on a mattress… you might have an excessive thatch buildup.
Most lawns have some thatch. 1/2″ to 3/4″ of thatch is quite normal. If it’s thicker, thatch can be a problem by not allowing water to penetrate into the soil. Grass roots will actually grow up into thick thatch seeking water. Unfortunately thatch dries out fast, stressing the turf. Excess thatch also encourages fungus disease.
Proper lawn practices can keep Thatch in Check
Jones Tree & Lawn, Inc. recommends the following methods to control excessive thatch:
Call Jones Tree & Lawn today for your free Aeration estimate at 303-431-8132.