The basic idea behind lawn aeration is that, like you, your lawn and the soil under it need to breathe. Providing much-needed lawn aeration for your grass entails dealing with thatch. Soils can become compacted in high-traffic areas or in areas that have mostly clay soils. This can kill off grass very quickly. Lawn thatch is the layer of dead turf grass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed (a process known as "de-thatching") to maintain lawn health. Lawn thatch is derived from stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots.
The build-up of lawn thatch makes it difficult for your lawn to breathe. Lawn aeration performed in spring or fall helps control lawn thatch. You should have your lawn aerated once a year.
The process of lawn aeration can be as simple as poking holes in the soil throughout the lawn by walking over the lawn with spiked shoes such as golf shoes. You should also faithfully remove as much lawn thatch as you can in fall by raking deeply, rather than just skimming the autumn leaves off the top of the lawn.
Lawn aeration also reduces soil compaction, allowing water and fertilizer to permeate into the root zone. Grassy areas submitted to constant foot traffic require lawn aeration more frequently.
Lawn aeration may be undertaken in the spring, as soon as the soil has thawed. But for Northern lawns, the fall season is better suited to lawn aeration. The ideal air temperature is around 60 degrees to perform lawn aeration.
If the soil is severely compacted, simple lawn aeration methods such as that mentioned above may not be sufficient. In such cases, go to a rental center and rent a piece of equipment especially for lawn aeration, called the "lawn aerator." This lawn aeration equipment will pull "cores" or plugs of soil out of the ground, letting air in.
These plugs should be 2"-3" in depth. Such a plug should be pulled out of the lawn at about every 3". The plug-removal process is facilitated by watering the lawn the day before, but don't water to the point of muddying the soil.
Likewise, if your thatch problem is severe (say, 3/4" thick or more), rent a vertical mower from a rental center. If you don't think you can do this job yourself, there's nothing wrong with hiring a lawn service to aerate your lawn. You also need to take care of your lawn properly when it gets too long. Start with the right equipment.
You might think that lawn mowing would be a simple subject, and basically it is. However, there are some things you need to know about how to mow, when to mow, and what kind of lawn equipment you'll need.
There are all sorts of different lawn mowers on the market, you might be a little confused as to which one you should get. Well, let's see!
Learn about lawn grubs and lawn fungus at the Lawn Tips site.
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