The benefits of having an aerated lawn
Aerating your lawn is common practice when trying to improve the quality of your lawn by increasing water and nutrient penetration, decreasing compaction in soil, improving root growth, and reducing thatch. Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of aeration. If you ask 10 people what they think about aerating their lawn, you will likely get 10 different answers.
Lawn aeration involves the process in which small plugs or cores are removed from your lawn to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots. Overseeding will also be necessary after the process because it allows for new seeds to grow into existing holes in your lawn.
Aerators can come in many different shapes and sizes; however, they typically consist of hollow tines attached to a wheeled frame that cuts into the ground upon rotation. The depth at which roots receive oxygen determines how strong of a lawn you will have. When you see the grass blades standing upright after cutting your lawn, this is because water and nutrients are not able to reach that section of soil. Aeration unplugs your lawn so roots can receive the oxygen they need, which allows for strong root growth.
If you have healthy soil with adequate organic matter content (4% or more), it may be beneficial not to aerate. Excessive tine penetration can damage soil structure by breaking up soil aggregates and increasing compaction in soils with good structure.
Aerating once per year in late fall when temperatures begin to dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will maintain drainage and allow for root growth in cool weather conditions. In addition, saturating your lawn in winter prevents clods from forming when you do cut your lawn.
Lawn damage after aeration is typically just a cosmetic issue, but sometimes compaction in soils can be so bad that it will impact the root system of the grass. Lawns may take up to 3 months to green back up after aerating if they are severely compacted or dry…even longer when compaction occurs during drought conditions.
With that established, let’s look at some of the key benefits of aerating your lawn.
1. Decrease Thatch Buildup
Thatch is dead plant material that accumulates on the soil surface and can suffocate grassroots if built up too high. If your grass appears thin, has poor color/health, or doesn’t seem to fill in holes in your lawn after mowing, then you may have buildup, which should be reduced through core aeration. Core aeration also allows for new seed germination into existing holes in your lawn because they provide an ideal environment for thatch decomposition. Core aeration effectively reduces thatch buildup because it only removes cores from the top layer of soil; therefore, reestablishing healthy soil structure without disturbing roots or the environment.
2. Improve Water and Nutrient Uptake
When soil compaction occurs, it prevents roots from obtaining adequate oxygen to survive, causing poor turfgrass performance and eventual death. Core aeration opens up the soil structure so water, nutrients, and oxygen can easily flow through while also improving root growth. Not only will your lawn receive more nutrients, but you’ll see improved bluegrass color, the thickness of grass blades after mowing, resistance to diseases/insects, decreased watering needs (because of increased water permeability), and an overall healthier looking lawn; therefore increasing your home’s curb appeal! Even if drought conditions exist in your area, it is still important to core aerate because decreased water penetration doesn’t allow for root oxygenation, which results in dryer soils.
3. Increase Traffic and Playability
Keeping a healthy lawn that’s able to withstand heavy foot traffic is easier when the soil has been aerated because it prevents compaction from occurring due to increased root growth, soil permeability, and water retention abilities. In addition, core aeration allows you to cut your mowing time by 25% because grass blades will be stronger and stay upright, resulting in faster growth. There’s also less chance of diseases/insects causing problems when soil is well-aerated, so you’ll have green grass all year round without having to worry about applying harmful chemicals throughout your lawn! Lawn aeration can be done any time of the year, depending on the type of grass you have and the climate you live in.
4. Decrease Watering and Maintenance Requirements
Not only will your lawn be stronger and healthier after core aeration, but it will require less water and maintenance due to improved soil health. You’ll also see a decrease in thatch which means mowing time will increase because of this! The average North American family spends almost $500 per year on lawn care products such as fertilizers, weed control treatments, insecticides, etc.; therefore, avoiding chemical usage is always recommended for better environmental health along with better overall financial benefit. Plus, you’ll avoid breathing in pesticides or herbicides when they drift onto your patio or other areas surrounding your home, which could make you sick over time. Do we really need another reason?
5. Increase Fertilizer Effectiveness
It’s important to understand that the amount of fertilizer applied does not always equal a greener lawn because it can be dispersed throughout the soil instead of being absorbed into plant roots where it should be. This is why lawns often have brown spots after applying fertilizers which can be frustrating to homeowners trying to keep their grass looking its best! When soils are compacted, water and other nutrients do not pass through easily, resulting in less absorption by your grassroots; therefore, homeowners will use more chemical products as a solution for this problem. In addition, core aeration creates open pores in soils allowing for better fertilizer effectiveness by helping them move down around the root zone rather than having them stay at or near the surface, which can cause burning of grassroots.
6. Decrease Insect and Disease Populations
Creating open pores in the soil allows for increased oxygen flow, which is beneficial to both plant growth and insect/disease population control. The more organic matter that exists within soils, the healthier it will be, resulting in improved overall turf health! Although many people often use chemical treatments to deter insects/diseases, they don’t always work properly because they cannot penetrate compacted soils, therefore, leaving roots exposed to attack. It’s very difficult to fight against both insects and diseases while also trying to reduce pesticide usage at the same time; however, core aeration does both of these things simultaneously!
7. Prevent Weed Growth
Although it might be tempting to use chemical weed treatments, you should avoid this method as much as possible because not only are they expensive, but they can also cause illness if inhaled or contacted with skin. It’s always best to eliminate the root of the problem by creating an environment where weeds cannot grow as easily by aerating soils! In addition, you’ll save money by reducing your usage of other lawn care products, which is a plus for everyone!
8. Maintain Healthy Soil
When soils have been compacted from excess foot traffic or heavy equipment being driven over them, it causes poor water infiltration and movement, which makes it hard for plant roots to absorb nutrients and oxygen. As a result, compacted soils can suffocate plants over time, causing them to wilt or die, but core aeration helps resolve this issue, keeping plants healthy and happy!
9. Increase Home Value
Since you will achieve all of the benefits mentioned above with lawn core aeration, you might expect a price increase when it comes time to resell your home. But this isn’t always the case! There are plenty of listings where homeowners have added these services before putting their house on the market resulting in better-looking grass as well as increased property value! Of course, having a beautiful green lawn is more attractive to potential buyers regardless of whether prices are raised or not. It’s up to you whether you want to sell now or wait for higher values before making that move into your next dream home!
10. Reduce Maintenance and Water Usage
Although your lawn may look beautiful on the outside, it might not be as healthy as you think, which could lead to problems if left untreated. Core aeration services improve soil permeability resulting in less water runoff and healthier grass that requires less maintenance over time! It’s important to develop a relationship with a lawn care company that can help maintain your lawn properly, so you don’t have to worry about increased rates from increased usage of resources such as fertilizers, pesticides, or water.
11. Increase Mowing Efficiency
Mowing is an important part of every homeowner’s routine because we all want our homes to look great whether we plan on selling soon or not. But it doesn’t always achieve maximum results! With core aeration services, you can get better mowing results because it will increase the penetration of your lawnmower blades to cut taller grass properly and evenly, which means less work for you!
12. Improve Crop Quality and Frequency
As mentioned above, aerated soil allows plant roots to absorb more oxygen and water, making it easier for them to produce nutritious foods faster than those living in compacted soil conditions. This is beneficial for people who grow their own products such as tomatoes and strawberries because they want a healthy harvest resulting in fresher products that last longer! It’s also great if you plan on growing your own flowers or just keeping up with your favorite fruit/vegetable garden!
13. Reduce Lawn Clippings
If you’re like most homeowners, then you’ve probably experienced windy days when grass clippings were distributed in unwanted areas, which makes it hard to enjoy an evening out with friends and family without stepping on the stuff! With lawn aeration services, your excess grass clippings are not produced, so you can reduce trimming times too. This is always a plus because no one wants to spend more time mowing than necessary!
14. Reduce Insect Populations
Another downside of compacted soils is that they attract bugs such as ants, worms, and mosquitos. Unfortunately, these insects also travel onto sidewalks and driveways, which can lead to costly repairs if homeowners aren’t aware of what they are doing. Core aeration eliminates this issue because it breaks up the soil, allowing for better water drainage, making it harder for harmful insects to survive, resulting in a healthier home!
15. Reduce Lawn Burn
When grass is exposed to excessive heat, you will notice brown, patchy areas on your lawn called “lawn burn”. This occurs when the moisture content of turf is reduced because of higher temperatures or less rain. Fortunately, aerating your lawn before summer will allow the roots and soil to absorb extra water and keep them cooler longer, which leads to greener and healthier grass.
16. Eliminate Weeds
If you’ve ever visited a public park, there’s no way that you didn’t notice weeds popping up all over the place. To avoid this issue at home, try having a lawn care company come over and aerate your property regularly to ensure that weed seeds don’t have a place to sprout up, which can lead to more work for you.
17. Reduce Water Pollution
Sometimes too much water is just as bad as not enough! If you think about it, when it rains, it’s probably the only time grass will grow well no matter what state your lawn is in. Unfortunately, excess water results in runoff that carries fertilizers pollutants into bodies of water which kills aquatic life. Because aeration increases drainage, it can reduce or prevent this issue because soil pores are opened, absorbing more rain than they would without the process!
18. Make Lawns More Resilient Against Snow Mold
Snow mold is a common disease that affects lawns during the wintertime. The fungus grows rapidly in wet snow and, if left unattended, can lead to discolored patches on your grass. But other than appearance, it’s not harmful to humans! To avoid this unsightly issue, try having a company come by and aerate your lawn which will prevent spores from getting trapped between soil particles where they can germinate into mold.
19. Increase Lawn Watering Efficiency
Based on what we’ve been talking about so far, you might be able to guess that one of the many benefits of core aeration services is that it allows better absorption of water into the soil at faster rates! Since water-stressed plants require more watering, aeration is a more efficient way to irrigate your lawn because it increases the amount of water that can get into the ground.
20. Improve Soil Compaction
Since grassroots grow and develop near the soil surface, compaction risks hampering their growth and development. But with core aeration services, this issue will no longer be an inconvenience! Suppose you were to do the process yourself. In that case, you’d probably agree that it would take some serious muscle-power which we all know homeowners don’t have (and shouldn’t want to!) so let a professional handle the task whenever possible if you’re interested in improving your property value like everyone else on earth!
While there are many other great reasons to aerate your lawn, we hope you can see the benefits of the process from the list above. If you have other good reasons for lawn aeration, let us know in the comments below.