Lawn maintenance doesn’t have to be hard work. You just need to be regular with a few things – mowing, weeding, watering, fertilizing and aerating – and you should be fine. Many people are usually mystified when they are told about how their lawn needs to be aerated. In truth though, aerating your lawn is truly vital lawn maintenance that can spell the difference between a beautiful, luxuriant lawn and a patchy one that looks half starved. How exactly does aerating your lawn work though, and how often do you need to do it?
The thing is that when your lawn needs fertilizing, weeding or even watering, it’s pretty obvious just to look at it. It isn’t ever that obvious that it needs aerating though. When your soil is compacted, dense and clay like, the problem lies under the surface. It’s hard to tell from above, but when the soil is compacted, plant roots have a hard time drilling in and holding on. Plant roots don’t function well when they are crowded. When this happens, usually, you’ll begin to see a lack of lushness in your lawn. The grass will begin to look sparse and thin. There are other ways to tell, as well.
If you see heavy clay soil or maybe a very thick layer of thatch, that could be your sign that your lawn is just about ready to be aerated. You’ll know when it’s heavy clay soil by how long rainwater takes to go in. If it doesn’t sink in quickly, or if your soil feels really hard when you try to press down on it, it’s probably time. Grab a screwdriver and try to push it into the soil. Or maybe try to push a shovel in. If your lawn is overdue for aeration work, you’ll find that it’s really hard to get anything into the soil. It’s that’s compacted.
How exactly does aerating your lawn help? Well, to begin with, your grassroots can really spread then. They don’t have to fight the soil to get in. Grass isn’t like any other plant. Grass needs to grow in a way that allows all the roots to tangle up together to form a thick mat. That’s what helps grass conserve water. When the soil is hard and compacted, those grassroots just can’t find one another. You’ll have a dry and brown lawn pretty soon if this is how difficult it is for your grass to grow. When your soil is hardened and compacted, your fertilizer just doesn’t have a way to reach the grassroots. You need to see how difficult progress can be then.