Everyone has a neighbor or friend with a perfectly lush, green lawn cut to the perfect height. You’ve never seen them do anything with it, but no matter the weather, their lawn always looks perfectly green and healthy.
If you want a green lawn, your first thought might be to mow it, sprinkle fertilizer on top of it, and focus on giving your lawn the perfect amount of water. You might even clip the tops of it with scissors, though that won’t make your lawn any greener. Even after all that hard work, your lawn might still have brown dead patches of grass that refuse to grow. Though it might feel like you’re doing everything, you’re missing one of the most important elements of lawn care: lawn aeration. Lawn aeration can keep lawns healthy and thriving in ways that a simple watering or mowing can’t. Lawn aeration is the missing ingredient to a perfectly green and lush lawn and can take your grass from brown to beautiful.
This post is split into 4 sections. If you have a specific question, skip down to one of the sections below:
- What is Lawn Aeration?
- Benefits of Lawn Aeration
- Why Regular Lawn Aeration is Vital for a Healthy Lawn
- When to Schedule an Aeration Appointment:
What is Lawn Aeration?
What is this secret, magic step to a beautiful lawn? Lawn aeration has to do with your lawn, but what does aerating mean, and how does it work?
Simply put, lawn aeration is a process where you remove small plugs of soil from your lawn to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots. This is normally done manually with an aerator or with a machine called a power aerator.
You might have seen a lawn that had just been recently aerated and noticed the small plugs of soil on the surface of the lawn. It’s important to be aware that your lawn might temporarily appear uneven after an aeration service, but those soil plugs will break down quickly. The holes in your lawn will refill with soil and grass within a week or two. Any “odd” appearance of your lawn after aeration is temporary and won’t affect its long-term health or appearance.
If you want more detail on what lawn aeration is, check out our services pages on landscape maintenance!
Benefits of Lawn Aeration
Now that we know what lawn aeration is, how does it keep your lawn green?
Aeration is important for maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn. When a lawn is properly aerated, nutrients can reach grass roots more easily. How does poking little holes in your yard help your grass absorb nutrients? Lawn aeration helps in three ways: eliminating soil compaction, improving root growth, and breaking up thatch.
Soil compaction happens naturally to your lawn over time from using it. Heavy equipment or even foot traffic can push the soil in your lawn down and make it harder. This makes it difficult for the roots of your lawn to grow and can cause water and other nutrients to run off or puddle on your lawn instead of being absorbed. Over time, this can stunt the overall growth of your lawn. Aeration solves this problem by breaking up compacted soil and making it easier for the grassroots to absorb vital resources. Because it’s easier for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn, your lawn becomes more drought-tolerant while also needing less constant watering and fertilization. Aeration breaks up all of that compacted soil and promotes healthy lawn growth.
Lawn aeration improves the root growth of your lawn. Roots are the foundation of a healthy lawn, and without a healthy root system, your lawn will not be able to thrive. Aeration creates small holes in the soil which gives roots a chance to grow deeper. As discussed above, aeration also loosens up the soil, so the roots have less stress on them. These deep roots increase your lawn’s tolerance to drought or other environmental stress. When the roots grow, the rest of your lawn does too.
Aerating your lawn also means that you’re reducing the buildup of something called thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots, and other material that builds up between grass and soil. It’s the enemy of any green lawn. Thatch buildup doesn’t just prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil. It can also block new grass from growing. It can even make a great home for bugs and pests that can do further damage to your lawn. Luckily, aeration helps to break up thatch, which keeps the bugs in your lawn homeless. Breaking up thatch also helps water and nutrients to reach the soil and can encourage new grass to grow.
Why Regular Lawn Aeration is Vital for a Healthy Lawn
Even if you aerated your lawn last year, that doesn’t mean your lawn is done with aeration forever. In fact, it means you just started. All the benefits of lawn aeration don’t happen overnight. Eliminating soil compaction, improving root growth, and breaking up thatch is a process. Although it’s a great step if you only aerate your lawn every few years, you’re not giving your lawn a chance to reach its full potential. Only aerating your lawn once (or every few years) doesn’t give your grass time to fully bounce back from harsh winters, heavy usage, or other elements that could damage your lawn. Like any other living thing, your lawn will need consistent care to be healthy.
Think of aerating your lawn the way you think of exercising. Going to the gym once is a great start. Going to the gym every few weeks is a fantastic hobby. Still, going to the gym once or every month won’t give you the same health benefits as going to the gym consistently. Without consistency, your muscles won’t get as strong, and it will be hard to see the positive effects of your habits. Just like going to the gym once is good but doesn’t do much for your muscles, lawn aeration is only beneficial when it’s consistently and regularly done. If you aerate your lawn once or twice, it’s still good for your lawn. If you aerate it consistently, you’ll be able to see the positive effects of aeration as your lawn continues to get healthier.
Luckily, unlike exercise, lawn aeration doesn’t need to be done once a week or even once a month. Regular aeration means you aerate your lawn once a year. Once you begin to aerate your lawn consistently, you’ll be able to enjoy a lush green yard every year. If you want a green lawn, that means that aeration needs to become a regular step in your lawn care routine.
When to Schedule an Aeration Appointment
Even though having a regular lawn aeration service is important for a healthy lawn, when you choose to aerate your lawn is just as important as the service itself.
It’s very common to aerate your lawn during the spring months when everything is growing. This could help your lawn to quickly grow to cover the small holes left from the aeration service. However, aerating your lawn in the spring also leaves your lawn more vulnerable to other things that like to grow in your grass, such as dandelions and weeds. Everything grows in the spring, including weeds. Because of this, we normally recommend a fall aeration service. This way, your lawn isn’t as vulnerable to other weeds, but still has time to recover before the snowfall.
It’s recommended and common to aerate your lawn at least once a year, but you might need to do it twice a year depending on the type of soil you have. Of course, if you don’t know when your lawn was last aerated or when it needs to be done next, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to consult with you on the best course of action.
As an overview, remember that regular lawn aeration is an extremely important part of lawn care that has many benefits. It improves the health of your lawn by eliminating soil compaction, improving root growth, and breaking up thatch. Aerating your lawn regularly will help your lawn look green and lush. Skipping lawn aeration won’t give your grassroots adequate time to grow and absorb vital nutrients. If you aerate your lawn at least once a year, your grass will experience long-term health. Don’t underestimate regular lawn aeration in your yard care.
When you include regular yard aeration in your yard care, you’ll have the lawn that you once admired from the other side of the fence. It will take less effort to keep your lawn green and beautiful. You might even have people coming up to you and asking how you keep your lawn so green and lush. When they do, remember these three words: regular lawn aeration.
If you want to know how much aerating your lawn costs or want a consultation about when aerating your lawn is best for you, contact our office. We’re here to make sure that your property is beautiful and healthy.