Lawn Renovation: Aeration
What Is Aeration?
Technically speaking, aeration is the naturally
occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding
atmosphere. Practically speaking, aeration is the process of mechanically
removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve
natural soil aeration. It’s commonly called “core
aeration” in the lawn service industry, and you may have
heard of it as soil cultivation (coring, spiking and slicing).
Most homeowners simply call it aeration.
Core aeration can help make your lawn healthier
and reduce its maintenance requirements through these means:
||Improved air exchange
between the soil and atmosphere.
uptake and use.
runoff and puddling.
and drought stress tolerance.
Aeration Equipment Affects the Outcome...
The type of aeration equipment can determine how effective the
treatment will be. In general, turf responds best when core holes
are close and deep. Equipment with hollow tines removes soil cores.
Equipment with open tines divots the soil surface. Aeration equipment
also varies in tine size up to
3/4 inch diameter and in depth of penetration up to 4 inches,
depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
How Often Should You Aerate a Lawn?
Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. Heavily used lawns,
or those growing on heavy clay or subsoils may need more than
one aeration each year. Again, turf responds best when tine spacing
is closer and penetration is deeper.
When is the Best Time to Aerate Lawns?
If you have cool season turfgrass such as Kentucky
bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, both spring and fall are ideal
times to aerate. In spring, aerate between March and May. Perform
fall aeration between August and November. Aeration before or
at the time of late season fertilization enhances root growth
and improves spring green-up and growth. Warm season turfgrasses
such as zoysia grass and Bermuda grass should be aerated in mid-spring
to summer. Avoid aerating when warm season grasses are dormant
– it may encourage weed competition. In addition, avoid
aerating warm season grasses during spring greenup, and not until
after their first spring mowing.
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