What is Lawn Aeration?
Lawn Aeration is the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere. Lawn Aeration helps reduce soil compaction without excessive injury to the grass plants. Core tines penetrate and eject cores onto the surface of the lawn. Practically speaking, aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve soil aeration.
What are the benefits of Lawn Aeration?
Lawn Aeration helps the lawn's health and vigor, and it reduces maintenance requirements, and provides the following benefits
Why is Lawn Aeration necessary?
In most home lawns, the building process has seriously disturbed the natural soil. Intensively used lawns are exposed to stress from traffic injury. Walking, playing and mowing are forms of traffic that compact soil and stress lawns. Raindrops an irrigation increase soil density by compacting soil particles and reducing large air spaces where roots may readily grow.
Most home lawns are subject to thatch accumulation. If thatch is left unmanaged, it can lead to serious maintenance and pest problems. For example, thatch accumulation of more than 1/2 inch on Kentucky bluegrass lawns impedes water, fertilizer and pesticide effectiveness. Core aeration reduces thatch accumulation, minimizes its buildup and modifies its makeup by incorporating soil into the thatch. As soil is combined with the thatch debris, soil organisms are better able to break down thatch and reduce its accumulation.
Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils, heavy clay soils and subsoil’s that are disturbed during building processes than on well-aerated soils. Therefore, lawns require frequent aeration to prevent thatch buildup. Most home lawns growing on heavy clay or highly compacted soils require annual aeration to restrict thatch accumulation.
What can your expect after Lawn Aeration?
Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within a week or two, these plugs of thatch and soil break apart and disappear into the lawn.
About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the hole will be filled with white, actively growing roots. These roots are the sign that the turf grass is responding to the additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients in the soil from the aeration process.
On compacted soils and on lawns with slopes, you should see an immediate difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall. After aeration, your lawn should be able to go longer between watering’s, without signs of wilt. With repeat aeration over time, your lawn will show enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.
Don't expect miracles from a single aeration, particularly on lawns growing on extremely poor soils. Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. Lawns that receive this care will be healthier, grow more vigorous, easier to maintain and have fewer pest problems than lawns that are neglected.
Scheduling Lawn Aeration for your home
You can read the paper written by John C. Stier professor of horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, or open and print our Lawn Aeration Brochure from the following Link: Kelly Lawn Maintenance Aeration Brochure.
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