|Do you really need to aerate your yard? If so, when is the best time to aerate your lawn? These are two common questions when in comes to aeration of the lawn. Asking a lawn care service may be helpful, but remember, they will be charging you for each time they aerate, so likely, they will recommend aeration twice a year, in the spring, before fertilization, and again in the fall, after de-thatching. The following paragraphs will provide some useful, un-bias information about when you should aerate your lawn, as well as some tips on how to aerate your own lawn by yourself.
Even though a professional lawn care service may recommend lawn aeration in the spring, as well as in the fall, most people do not find it necessary to aerate their yards twice a year. They have found that they can have a beautiful lawn by only aerating only once, in the fall after de-thatching. Since aeration helps your lawn more readily absorb fertilizer and pesticide applications, so it is always a good idea to fertilize and apply your pesticides directly after aerating.
Aerating your lawn is important. It is essential to aerate once a year in order to yield a healthy lawn because it is necessary for air and water to reach the root system. Two things commonly prevent air and water from reaching the root system are:
Excess thatch commonly happens when grass clippings have not been chopped up with a mulching type mower, and the grass clippings are not removed from the lawn after mowing. Over time, areas of your soil can become too compacted for water and air to penetrate. Some common causes of this are:
- Excess thatch build up
- Compacted soil
If areas of your lawn have become too compacted for water and air to penetrate, aeration of your yard may be necessary to ensure a healthy lawn.
- Heavy foot traffic
- Heavy weight on an area for prolonged time
- Vehicle Traffic
The best time to aerate is before the ground freezes in the fall, and if you want to aerate twice, you should do it once in the spring, before fertilization, and once in the fall, after de-thatching. The harder, more compact areas of ground may require aerating bigger plugs, but many gardeners claim that plugs should only be dug once every three years for the best effect. Most people find aerating once in the fall is sufficient. And if it is an expense you cannot afford, it can be done by yourself.
There are several types of aerators available for sale or rent. Renting a small, walk behind aerator can save you the expense of hiring a professional lawn care company and the results will be the same. If your lawn is small, or if you have a lot of extra time, you can use a pitchfork to aerate your yard. Ideally, the holes would be 2-3 inches apart, and 1-2 inches in depth. For more compact areas, generally, the holes would need to be deeper, around 3 inches in depth.
What it amounts to is this. In order to obtain a healthy lawn, you only need to aerate once a year. The best time to aerate your lawn is in the fall, after de-thatching. This will ensure that the root system of your grass will get the appropriate amount of water, as well as enough air. By renting or buying a walk behind aerator, and doing the aeration yourself, you can save the expense of paying a lawn care company to come out and do it.
While most people find one time a year is sufficient, some people prefer to have it done twice. Whether you are going to hire a profession service, or if you are going to do it yourself, if you are going to aerate your lawn twice in one year it should be done in the spring, before fertilization, and again in the fall, after de-thatching.