How to Aerate Your Lawn-DIY Project

Aerating your lawn with aerators is a good DIY project that will greatly benefit the health of your lawn. Find out how to aerate your lawn effectively and efficiently. Many homeowners may not know when to aerate a lawn. This process will cut down greatly on many types of lawn diseases that you might have in your yard and garden. Aeration stirs up the soil and makes way for new growth.

Your soil gets very compacted and the root system can become very dense. For this reason, aerators are needed to aerate the soil. The actual compaction happens slowly over time, and environmental stresses are often the cause. Foot traffic compresses the soil, and equipment bears weight on the ground. Your lawnmower is the number one offender. While pressure certainly is not fatal to turf, daily activities and lawn maintenance gradually compacts the soil.

"Aerating Lawn"

Aerating a Lawn

Roots grow quickly in the summer months and fill up the space underground. On the surface, your lawn looks thick and rich. But by the end of the growing season, roots are crowded, turf is tired, and your soil is hard concrete. This means it is not welcoming water or oxygen- a certain death sentence for your lawn.

Renting an Aerator

This ia a great DIY aeration project. Aerators can be rented for a reasonable price from a rental store. You could see if your neighbors may want to go in together on renting an aerator and use it themselves. The project will only take a couple of hours to do. If you rent a machine, ask the retailer for a quick lesson before taking it home. Aerators are not difficult to operate, but since you only run them once a year, a refresher course can’t hurt.

"Plugs from Aeration"

Aerating takes out plugs of soil from the Lawn

Before you begin, be sure the soil is somewhat moist, but not drenched. A little moisture will soften the ground and allow the core cutter to work efficiently. If you have too much moisture, you might turn your lawn into a mud pie. Be sure to clean your yard of any debris that you might have. If you have irrigation system heads, pet tie-ups, and other stakes or fixtures in the ground, be sure to mark them so you don’t run over them with the aerator.

How to Aerate Your Lawn (Step-by-step)

1. Be sure your lawn is the right moisture level and temperature for aerating. If necessary, water your lawn the day before so you don’t overwork equipment by forcing core cutters to drive into rock hard soil.

2. Most core aerators are self-propelled. Make even passes across the lawn as if you are mowing the grass. It will remove plugs, or cores of soil and thatch and deposit it on top of your lawn.

3. You may choose to rake up cores to avoid squashing them back into the lawn, or you can allow them to dry up and the material will return to turf and serve as a valuable nitrogen and nutrient source.

4. Be sure to water your lawn after aerating. Because one purpose of creating pores in the soil is to allow water and oxygen to enter the ground. Give your lawn a good soak so roots can drink up moisture and begin the rebuilding process.

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