Lawn aeration is the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Although hand aerators are the most popular on small/medium sized lawns, aeration is also done mechanically with a machine having hollow tines or spoons mounted on a disk or drum. These are a core aerators, and extract 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-6 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart. Other types of manual aerators push solid spikes or tines into the soil without removing a plug (spiking). These are not quite as effective because they can contribute to compaction. Core aeration is a recommended lawn care practice on compacted, heavily used turf and to control thatch buildup. For a more eco friendly solution why not try a few dozen earthworms?
1) If there is excessive water run off, when watering the lawn. This indicates a compacted soil.
2) If your grass is beginning to thin.
3) If you are seeing more Poa Annua (English Meadow grass) getting established in your lawn.
|Fact: Aeration of putting
greens requires a different technique to a normal garden lawn.
See Putting Greens
1) Dig a garden fork into the soil to about 6". When you remove the fork, if the soil sticks to the fork you need to aerate.
2) After aerating you should also top dress with a mixture of sand and peat to improve the openness of the soil and prevent compaction of the soil in the future.
* The soil should be moist but not wet.
* Lawns should be thoroughly watered a day before aerating, so tines can penetrate deeper into the soil and soil cores easily fall out of the tines.
* If aerating after prolonged rainfall it is important to wait until the soil has dried, so soil cores do not stick in the hollow tines.
* Applying enough water may be difficult to achieve in a single watering. So smaller amounts of water applied every 3 to 4 days may be required to allow water to enter the soil without causing runoff.
* Aerate the lawn in at least two different directions to insure good coverage. Before you aerate your lawn, check for underground irrigation pipes and be careful on slopes, especially steep ones, as well as near buildings and landscape beds.
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