Aeration of Your Lawn
What is aeration? What are the benefits? Do I really need to aerate?
Aeration is a simple process of removing “cores” or “plugs” of grass from your lawn either with a machine specifically designed for this or manually. Trust me, use the machine, it’s much faster and easier on you! The machine rolls over your lawn removing the plugs which allows for better air and water exchange in your grass. It also helps with compacted soils, i.e. from kiddos playing on the grass everyday. This compacts the soil making it harder for water and nutrients to get to the root system. The plugs will stay on top of lawn and deteriorate naturally. It looks a bit unsightly for a few days, maybe a week, but once they start breaking down and you mow over them, they disappear nicely.
After you have aerated, it’s a good time to put some fertilizer down since some of the prills will actually fall into the holes and get to work right away assisting the root zone. Seeding right after aeration is also a good idea since some of the grass seed will fall into the holes and the seed will germinate faster compared to being on the surface of the lawn.
Do you need to aerate? The simple answer is: it’s up to you. I have listed the benefits above and I believe it is worth the time, effort, and money to have this service done to your lawn yearly. The best time to aerate is right after the Minnesota State Fair. Temps begin to cool down, the grass goes into a natural growing cycle, and the cooler temps also help keep the lawn seed from burning up and not germinating.
Also, check out these two links to the University Of MN Extension Service. Great articles along with other helpful information about your lawn!
By Mike Fritsche, Lawn Manager at Barrett Lawn Care