Aeration is the process of puncturing the soil of your yard in order to improve the access of air, water, and other nutrients to the grasses’ roots. The perforations in the soil improve soil drainage and boost the activity of worms that add helpful nutrients to the earth.
Lawn aeration achieves two tasks:
- Reducing the amount of compacted soil below your lawn – Compacted soil is bad for your yard because it prevents vital resources from circulating correctly, essentially strangling plants’ roots.
- Controlling lawn thatch – Lawn thatch is a common occurrence in residential and commercial lawns, but needs to be monitored. Thatch is a compressed layer of stems, leaves, and other dead organic tissue that naturally build up over time. If too much thatch forms, it prevents resource circulation – just like in tightly compacted soil.
You should aerate your lawn twice a year: once in the spring and once in fall. Aerating your lawn during the transitional seasons leaves good opportunities for roots to strengthen and prepare for the seasons ahead, whether it be summer or winter. When you do choose to aerate your lawn, make sure the lawn is not super wet or excessively dry. If the lawn is too wet, it will clog the aerator. If your lawn is too dry, you will only expose the soil to extra stress and risk further dehydration.
After your lawn is aerated you can either leave the soil cores on where they fall or rake them into a compost pile. One decision doesn’t take precedence over the other because the cores will decompose no matter what.