How to Aerate a Lawn

staff writer
How to Aerate a Lawn

Sometimes you wonder why your lawn doesn’t look healthy. It’s alarming that all your plants die.  The surface of the ground seems compacted or the soil is extremely hard. It’s time to rescue your yard.  How to aerate a lawn will be helpful in achieving a greener and healthier surrounding. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Test your soil. Compacted soil is a sign of an unhealthy lawn. If the grass does not look good, there is a real problem.  Your lawn has difficulty in air circulation, water drainage and nutrient absorption. Other beneficial soil organisms like earth worms can hardly penetrate your soil. If you notice that the grass roots don’t grow at least 2 inches deep into the soil, dig your lawn to create some holes. Get a shovel, cultivate a square foot of grass about 6 inches deep and examine your soil. In this manner, you can determine the needs of your lawn. It is not advisable to aerate a lawn that has been seeded within a year of planting.

  2. Consider the climate before preparing for lawn aeration. The best time to aerate cool-season grass, such as fescue, bluegrass or rye, is in August through October. Aerate a warm-season grass, such as Bermuda, Zoysia or St. Augustine, in April to June. To start the procedure, you need to water the lawn one to two days before aerating it. You may need to set-up an irrigation system.  A garden hose or sprinkler can help in this process. Place an empty can of tuna in the middle of the watering zone – to accomplish the necessary measure of at least one inch of water. This procedure will help the aerator to penetrate the soil.

  3. Start to aerate the lawn. Core aerator is the best equipment you can use. It is a wise idea to just rent an aerator from a garden center. It is also recommended to use a sod-coring tool. It is not too expensive, but is more efficient. If you have a small to medium lawn, manual aerating tools can do the job. Aerate your lawn at least once a year.

  4. Do not over water your lawn. Watering your lawn depends on your local weather conditions and type of soil. It is advisable to water your grass at least once a week with one inch water level. To have a healthy lawn, water deeply and less often.  Running your sprinkler everyday will not be a big help to your lawn. Examine the soil before you plan to water it. Use an electronic soil tester to test the soil moisture. Take a trowel or a screwdriver to open the soil and feel it with your fingers. In addition, watering is best in the morning when there is no wind. This will help reduce quick evaporation.

  5. Use natural fertilizer on your lawn. Natural fertilizers are proven effective and they are eco-friendly. Grass clippings or “grass-cycling” helps to improve soil texture. It is the most convenient material to use. You can just leave it on your lawn after mowing.  It is a natural organic fertilizer that helps reduce wastes that go to the landfill. You can save time and money by not relying on chemical-based fertilizers. If you desire to have a clean and neat lawn, making a compost bin for the grass clippings is also an option. On the other hand, the use of mature compost will also be helpful.

How to aerate a lawn is one of the basic procedures to accomplish a green and beautiful surrounding. With proper home gardening, you will achieve a healthy environment and experience better living.