What Is Aeration?
Aeration is a process that involves the perforation of the soil with tiny holes. These openings allow nutrients, water, and air to get down to the roots of grass. This in turn helps grass roots grow deep so that the resulting lawn is stronger and has more vigor than before.
A primary purpose of aeration is the alleviation of soil compaction. When soil is compacted, it has an overabundance of solid particles within its space and volume, and that blocks a healthy circulation of nutrients, air, and water inside the soil. Roots can also be starved of what they need to live due to an excess of lawn thatch or heavy organic debris that is buried underneath the surface grass.
Does Your Lawn Need Aeration?
Homeowners have many questions about aeration, but the most common is probably how to figure out if they should be getting aeration done for their lawn? There are certain criteria you can use to see if your lawn is in need of aeration, which are the following:
-It sees heavy use. Is your yard the neighborhood play area or popular among the kids? Children or pets romping around your yard can impact the soil.
-It was created with a new home construction. In many cases of new construction, the topsoil is buried or stripped, and any grass established on what was previously subsoil got compacted by the construction traffic.
-It dries out easily and even feels spongy. These are symptoms of a potential thatch problem. Get a shovel and take out a 4-inch slice of your lawn. If your thatch layer measures more than half an inch, then aeration is a good idea.
-Your yard was established from sod, and there is still soil layering. Imported sod often has soil of finer texture and during the sodding process, this finer-texture soil is layered on top of the coarser soil natural and native to the area. Drainage is disrupted by this, since the new soil retains the water. Poor root development is one result of this, as is compacted circumstances. This layering is broken up from aeration, so water flows with ease again and can get to the roots.
When Aeration Should Happen
In the Colorado Springs area, the growing season is the ideal time for aeration. That gives the grass a chance to heal as well as time to fill in open areas once soil plugs are pulled out. The ideal thing to do is to have your lawn aerated with cool-season grass early in the spring and/or fall, or aim for late spring if you have warm-season grass.