What is thatch?
When pieces of your lawn die, the grass withers up and gathers above the soil. These patches of dead grass are called thatch. Usually, this can be broken down by the enzymes in soil and not create problems. Quite often, however, thatch builds up more quickly than it breaks down and creates a barrier between your lawn and the soil. This barrier makes it difficult for moisture and air to get through to keep your lawn healthy and vibrant.
What Is Aeration?
Aeration, coring, and aerifying are all the same process of punching small holes all over your lawn. This process involves removing plugs of soil throughout your lawn that help to let in air, water, sunshine, and nutrients that it needs to grow. Aeration makes it possible for the layer of thatch to be penetrated. These new holes all through your grass will allow the soil to be loosened up as well and keep your lawn from becoming too compacted. Aeration stimulates root growth and creates a healthy, mature lawn. This is most often done with a gas-powered machine called a core aerator. It can be done with other tools or by hand, but it is simply not as effective.
What Are Some Signs My Lawn Needs Aerated?
- When water doesn’t seem to soak down into the soil from high compacted dirt.
- Water puddles are present after watering.
- Dirt is hard and difficult to dig up or turn over.
- Pathways or walkways present from worn-down grass in high traffic areas
- Dry, dead patches of grass even when adequately watered.
What Should I Know When I Aerate My Lawn?
- One day before aeration water the lawn for an extended period of time to soften up and soak the soil.
- It is important to mark any areas you will not want the machine to damage, like utility lines, septic, or sprinklers.
- Make sure aeration is done twice over your lawn, the second time in the opposite perpendicular direction.
- Continue to water well after aeration is complete. At least every two days is best.
- After aeration is a great time to apply lawn fertilizers. Make sure you are in the best season for a healthy and supple lawn.
- We recommend aerating during early spring or fall about every 1-2 years to keep your lawn looking and growing it’s best.
- Do not worry about picking up the pieces of soil, or plugs or soil that come up. Leaving them on the lawn is best so that they will break down and return the nutrients into the soil.