Whether present in your garden of lawn, compacted soil isn’t conducive to a healthy plant growth. With dirt packed so tightly around them, the grass’ roots require more energy to expand, which means the plant produces fewer roots. Combined with an overly thick layer of thatch, compaction decreases the amount of water and oxygen your lawn can absorb, stunting its growth and causing unsightly dead patches.
What is Lawn Aeration?
Lawn aeration relieves compaction, decreasing soil density and allowing nutrients to make their way down to the roots. Spike aeration, which simply punches spikes into the ground without removing soil or thatch, can be performed by hand or roller machine (or foot, if you’re using aerator shoes). This type of aeration is best used for smaller lawns that have a moderate level of compaction.
For larger lawns and more serious cases of compaction, core aeration is the better choice. Core aeration removes small-diameter plugs—cores—of soil and thatch from your lawn, which are left on the grass as a top dressing.
For Minnesota homeowners looking to aerate their lawn, it should be done once a year between late August and early October. Fertilize about a week before aerating, and make sure your lawn is moist—not soggy or muddy—when you do it.
Benefits of Lawn Aeration
Better Looking Lawn
With less compaction, your lawn will be able to absorb more nutrients, improving the aesthetics of your lawn. If overseeding is necessary to fill in thin patches, aeration also makes it easier for seed to sprout.
Prepare Your Lawn for Winter
Especially when done in conjunction with fertilization, core aeration strengthens your lawn’s tolerance for stress and prepares it for winter dormancy.
Added Nutrients and Thatch Breakdown
In the case of core aeration, it’s recommended you leave the cores of soil and thatch on your lawn to decompose, reincorporating the nutrients back into your grass. Additionally, those cores of earth contain microorganisms that assist in decomposing the thatch on the surface of your lawn.
Because aeration should only be done once a year, you may find it more cost-effective to rent a core aerator or hire a lawn care professional. The end of summer is a busy time for many homeowners, but it’s important to consider your lawn maintenance before the weather turns cold.
Need a team to take the lawn care off your hands? Land Concepts specialized in core aeration—and we’re happy to help! Request a free estimate today.