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Aerate Your Lawn

July 31 2010

To keep your lawn looking great, consider aerating.

A lawn that is heavily used for touch football or fetch can become compacted, which negatively impacts your soil. Aerating is a simple process that gives the soil in your lawn some much needed breathing room.

Cleanairgardening.com says it best, “Compacted soil results in problems with air circulation, water drainage and nutrient absorption.” Your grass’ root system has to have oxygen to better absorb nutrients and water. Otherwise , your grass turns brown and thin as it struggles to stay alive.

Aerating is a process by which you either poke holes in or remove small plugs of soil to encourage growth, according to allaboutlawns.com. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to aerate, so before you go out and punch holes in your yard, think about the most effective easiest way to accomplish this task.  The wrong tool, such as a poker, can actually compact the very soil you’re trying to aerate.

There are two methods by which you can aerate – hand tools and machines. Costing around $30, Yard Butler’s M-7C Spike Aerator does the trick easily and quickly. It pokes holes without removing soil but it also takes more sweat and elbow grease than a walk-behind machine.

To ensure maximum benefit, mow your yard, then follow through with a healthy watering a day or two before aerating. Doing so will allow the soil to clod, as it will be moist enough that you’ll actually be able to pick up soil easily. While aerating, make sure that you’re that your holes are about 2 to 6 inches apart. When you’re through aerating, water your lawn again.

Don’t discard the clods of dirt. Leave them in your yard, and the soil will break up and redistribute its nutrients, says AllAboutLawns.com’s expert Shannon Dauphin. 

Remember, this process only needs to be done once or twice a year, depending on your soil type and use. With only a few easy steps, you will soon start seeing a thicker healthier lawn.