Are you interested in learning how to aerate your lawn? If you’ve heard of lawn aeration as a lawn care best practice but are confused about the best way to go about it, this guide is for you.
The ideal time to aerate your lawn in Houston, Texas
The ideal time for lawn aeration in Houston, Texas, is late spring. Lawn care in spring is all about recovery from the winter months. Aeration frees up space while providing additional water and air for turfgrass roots. Consequently, aerating a lawn in the spring is a fantastic way to get nutrients into the soil and jumpstart the recovery process.
After learning when to aerate a lawn, people frequently ask, how often should I aerate my lawn? The answer to this question depends on the soil someone is working with. If the lawn is healthy, homeowners can aerate their lawn once every two or three years. However, homeowners should aerate unhealthy lawns with a large amount of foot traffic or clay soil once a year.
What is the best way to aerate your lawn?
Lawn aeration is basically a fancy name for poking holes in the yard. Lawn aerators create holes in the soil to allow easier access for air, water, and nutrients to grass roots. Consequently, the benefits of lawn aeration include improvements to the overall strength, health, and appearance of one’s lawn.
To reap these benefits, you need to follow these five simple steps on how to aerate your lawn:
- Mow the lawn: It is best to start with an evenly mowed lawn to make the most impact with lawn aeration efforts.
- Water the lawn: Water the lawn one to two days before beginning the aeration process. Homeowners need to add the correct amount of water, at least one inch, to their grass at this step. Watering the lawn helps the core aerator easily make holes in the soil and pull out soil cores.
- Flag hidden objects: After watering the lawn, it is critical to use markers to indicate any hidden objects on the lawn that the aerator might mistakenly hit. This step will save homeowners from expensive damage to items like irrigation heads and sprinklers.
- Decide on an aeration pattern: To aerate the lawn properly, first, homeowners must decide the pattern they would like to aerate their lawn in. The pattern someone chooses depends on how compact their soil is. If someone has never aerated their yard and, consequently, their soil is exceptionally compact, they can select a pattern that moves the aerator over the lawn two times. However, if a homeowner has aerated their lawn previously, they need to choose a pattern that allows them to cover their entire yard once.
- Let the aerator work its magic: Mechanical core aerators are the best choice to do this step well. This aerator aims to take plugs of soil from the ground and disperse them on the lawn. After that, these soil plugs will decompose from rain and other elements and deliver nutrients back to the earth.
What do you do after you aerate your lawn?
What to do after lawn aeration is just as important as the act of aerating itself. After you’ve completed the lawn aeration process, follow these three simple steps.
- Establish a regular watering schedule: Homeowners should be watering their lawns two to three times a week for the next several weeks after lawn aeration.
- Fertilize the lawn: Right after homeowners have aerated their lawns is prime time to apply fertilizer and deliver the nutrients their soil needs to stay happy and healthy.
- Seed the lawn: Immediately after fertilizing, individuals should reseed the lawn. Evenly spread grass seeds across the yard to help with grass growth in the coming months.
How beneficial is lawn aeration?
The short answer is hugely beneficial. Like you and I, the lawn and the soil underneath are living organisms that require air, water, and nutrients to survive and flourish. Everyday activities on the lawn compact the soil. As a result, compacted soil restricts the flow of these essential components required to grow healthy, thick, green grass in a yard.
Some of the benefits of lawn aeration include:
- Healthy grass: Lawn aeration helps turfgrass breathe by increasing the amount of oxygen that can access the soil and its roots.
- Stronger and longer roots: Aeration makes it easier to get fertilizer and nutrients to grass roots. By reducing soil compaction, aeration helps revitalize grass roots and stimulate new root growth.
- Decrease in thatch build-up: Thatch is dead grass that aggregates on the top of lawns. Thick layers of thatch prevent water and nutrients from accessing the soil. Lawn aeration helps bring organisms from the soil’s core to the top of the thatch. These organisms decompose thatch. As a result, this thatch decomposition benefits the overall health of a lawn.
It is advantageous to learn how to aerate a lawn. However, lawn aeration can be time-consuming and detrimental to the health of a lawn if done incorrectly. Homeowners who don’t have the proper equipment, time, or energy to aerate their lawn should use professional lawn core aeration services.
The experts at Green Bee Lawn Care have been providing high-quality, affordable lawn care services for customers in Houston, Texas, since 2011. Call us at 832-678-5900 to learn more about our lawn core aeration services today!