Aeration. Is the grass greener on the other side?

Aeration and Your Lawn Lawn aeration plug

Aeration, you may have heard term from a lawn care professional or perhaps, in your search to a get a healthier lawn. First let’s start with the basics. What  exactly is lawn aeration? Proper lawn aeration, sometimes referred to as core aeration, will boost the success of your irrigation, fertilization and pest control endeavors, especially here in Lakeland, FL and surrounding areas such as Winter Haven, Bartow and Mulberry. The aeration process removes small plugs of turf, thatch and soil from your lawn to let air and nutrients into the soil below. It’s like a breath of fresh air for your lawn, just like you need air to survive, so does a lively, green lawn. Simply put, aeration opens up your central Florida lawn and allows your lawn care efforts to be maximized to their full potential. If you’re looking for the best way to improve the health of your lawn you should consider aeration with your lawn care regimen.

benefits of aerationLawn aeration benefits: 

  • Better Grass Health. Aeration provides access to air, water, and fertilizer for your turf and grass roots allowing them to reach further and become more complex.
  • Helps Thatch Control. Thatch is the thick, matted debris and plant material layer sitting on top of your soil’s surface.  Thatch prevents nutrients from reaching the roots of your lawn.
  • Improves sustainability. With a healthier root system growing your yard’s ability to fight off diseases and pests increases.
  • Reduces Compacted Soil. As plugs of soil and thatch are removed, your lawn is relieved and soil density is loosened.
  • Efficient Water Use. With aeration water can flow freely to grass roots, meaning you use less yet still see great results.
  • Increases Nutrient Absorption. Nutrients penetrate deeper into the root system thanks to thatch and soil being removed at beneficial intervals.
  • Allows New Root Growth. After aeration soil is open and fertilizer is able to nourish roots more efficiently. It also provides a moist home for expanding roots to reach optimal growth and development.

When and how often should I aerate my lawn?

aeration machineTypically, lawn aeration should be occur annually. However, it may be necessary twice a year if your yard is tightly compacted. If you are noticing the problems below, it could be time to aerate your lawn:

  • Puddles on your lawn after a heavy rain. If  your notice your yard is not soaking up rain, it’s probably not getting any water…. from anywhere. This could prevent moisture and nutrients from reaching your soil, inhibiting growth.
  • You lawn fails the “screwdriver test.” The screwdriver test is a simple and effective way to test your soil (this test can also be done with a pencil).  Take a screwdriver and try to insert it into your lawn.  Is is difficult? If so,  it’s time for a professional aeration.
  • You notice a thick layer of matted debris (or thatch). Lawn clippings, weeds and other organic material between your grass and the soil. If thatch is extremely thick ( 1/2 inch or more) it gives a favorable environment for insects and disease to flourish, thus allowing more damage to your lawn.

Lawns are at their best for aeration when they are actively growing. Here in Lakeland and across Florida we have warm-season lawns, meaning it is most beneficial to aerate in late spring or summer.  

Ready to aerate your lawn?

Here are some tips to help you prepare for lawn aeration:

  • Label or tag your sprinkler heads, irrigation lines and other items that are buried under your lawn to avoid damage during lawn aeration.
  • If there has not been a sufficient rain in the past 24 hours,  give your lawn a thorough watering the day before your aeration service. This will allow easier removal of thatch and soil plugs.
  • Have Fertilizer Ready. Aeration initially causes stress on your lawn but, it also enables the lawn to better recover through improved fertilization. Be sure to distribute on your lawn immediately following your aeration.
  • Allow uprooted plugs to disintegrate into the lawn. Do not remove them. The plugs actually contain nutrients that will redistribute back into your lawn.  

The experts at Superior Spray know that proper lawn maintenance, such as aeration, plays a vital role in keeping your lawn healthy and green. Our specialists are qualified to identify conditions that can be hurting your lawn and suggest products and services to make it full and lush. Is it not time your lawn was green again and the envy of the neighborhood? 

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