Keep your lawn looking great and your soil in healthy condition by using a lawn aerator to circulate air and oxygen. The better the oxygenation in your lawn, the better it can grow during the warm weather months. You can select and use an aerator to avoid having to hire someone to care for your lawn for you.
Determine If Your Lawn Needs Aeration
Not all lawns need aeration, as the conditions in which they live are ample enough for oxygen circulation without that little bit of extra help. However, some lawns barely survive without an aerator run through the soil. If your lawn gets heavy foot traffic, then aeration helps break up compacted soil, allowing for better air flow. A newly constructed home's lawn usually needs aeration, as the topsoil has likely been buried deep down upon creation. If your lawn feels spongy, it is a good candidate for aeration as well. The spongy feeling indicates a thatch problem and an aerator can help break up thatch before it does too much damage to the soil.
When to Aerate Your Lawn
You do not need to use an aerator on a regular basis; however, you should use it at the beginning and end of the growing season. When spring arrives, prepare your lawn for several days before running the aerator over the soil. Cut your grass slightly with a lawn mower to remove dead ends and make sure to water it more than usual in the days leading up to the aeration process. You can also aerate your lawn in the late summer or early fall to prepare it for cooler weather.
Selecting an Aerator
You can choose from two main types of aerators. A spike aerator resembles a large fork and the tines poke holes in the soil, allowing for a better flow of oxygen. A plug aerator removes plugs of soil from the lawn, leaving holes and gaps for air to seep through. Experts recommend a plug aerator for lawns that need more work and you can find them in both manual and automatic electric forms.
Using the Aerator
Once you are sure your soil is moist enough for the aeration process, run the aerator over it several times. The more passes you make over a strip of soil, the easier it becomes for soil plugs to come loose. If there are areas of your lawn that you feel are healthy, leave those areas alone and concentrate on more troubled spots. Break up the soil plugs with a rake once the device removes them and then pound them back into the soil to fill in gaps. Once aeration is complete, make sure to maintain your lawn with regular mowing, watering, and fertilisation, as needed.