When it comes to lawn care, you may not think of decompressing your soil as a top priority. Your lawn’s soil compaction can be caused by high clay content soil, vehicles, or small equipment being driven across the lawn. But things you would not expect can contribute as well such as yard play by kids and even pets.
To put it simply, the health of a lawn is closely tied to the quality of its soil. When your lawn’s soil is highly compacted it makes it difficult for moisture, air, and nutrients to reach the lower grassroots. The best time to aerate your lawn depends on both where you live and what kind of aeration method you choose.
The Benefits of Lawn Aeration
Aeration is a process that loosens the soil to create a pathway for essential nutrients to reach the grass’ roots. When soil becomes compacted, it can affect the health and growth of a lawn. This compaction deprives the soil of its essential nutrients.
In stressful environments such as extreme heat and drought seasons, lack of nutrients can cause lawns to thin and eventually die out. Aeration sessions can ease the stress on a lawn. By creating easy access to air, water, and nutrients the lawns’ roots can grow deeper. This helps your lawn look healthy and luscious.
Lawn aeration is a regular, annual, lawn maintenance task for many homeowners. Simple annual tasks such as this go a long way to creating a healthier, more luscious lawn.
When to Aerate Your Lawn in the Kansas City Metro
The best time for lawn aeration in the Kansas City Metro area depends on the type of aeration and your plan for seeding. For core aeration the late fall is best if you do not plan on seeding afterwards. This is when the weather is cooler. During this time the trees will begin shedding their leaves. Leaving room for the sunshine to shine through to your lawn.
If you are planning on seeding after aeration any time after late August would be the most ideal. The cooler weather helps keep diseases that attack seedlings less active. Liquid aeration is a better alternative to core aeration in the spring. Instead of puncturing holes in the soil, liquid aeration simply loosens it. But it can also be done in early spring time.
When in doubt don’t hesitate to contact us and set up a professional evaluation for your lawn’s specific needs.
Types of Aeration and Best Times to Aerate
The intention of core aeration is to carve small cores of soil. Two to three inches deep and three to four inches apart. This can take place with a specialized tool by hand or, by more efficient powered equipment. The cores are then lifted out of the soil out onto the surface of the lawn. The opening creates a passage for the roots to receive water, air, and nutrients.
Core aeration is recommended to take place just before the most active growth period. The time of the growth period can vary depending on the type of grass being grown. It’s important to keep in mind that core aeration, especially core aeration, allows easier growth of ALL plant life. Including weeds.
Since weeds have higher activity in growth in the spring, core aerating in the spring could result in more weeds.
Additionally, lawn fungus and disease is more prevalent in the spring with higher moisture in the air and on our lawns. Core aeration creates an easy pathway to our lawns’ roots, exposing the roots to potentially harmful lawn diseases and fungus.
Liquid aerators do not need equipment to physically poke holes in the soil like traditional methods. Instead, liquid aeration is a liquid solution. When mixed with water, by hooking onto a hose-end or backpack sprayer, it applies the mixture evenly across your lawn. The mixture then breaks down dense clay particles. This loosens the soil and creates small pathways for essential nutrients to travel to the deeper grassroots.
At Green Seasons we use N-EXT AIR-8 Liquid Aeration. N-EXT AIR-8 is a pristine liquid aeration product designed to alleviate compacted topsoil while encouraging deeper rooting to allow for greater oxygenation of the root zone. While being safe to use on all turf and soil types, this product utilized key biostimulants and oxidizing materials at fundamental growth stages.
Liquid aeration is a great alternative to core aeration. It is less labor-intensive and allows for optimal soil conditioning. Make sure your lawn is thoroughly watered afterward for the next two weeks. This allows the solution to soak deeper into the soil. This type of Aeration can be applied in early spring, late fall, or during any growth period. The results of liquid aeration happen over continual applications. Many solutions contain added ingredients such as amino and humic/fulvic acid to assist in the gentle conditioning of your lawns soil.
Spike / Tine Aeration
Spike aerators are tools that have sharp tines you manually press into the ground. Handheld tools are sold as well as spiked shoes, designed to help physically press down onto the soil to create air pockets. You may have seen shoes like these advertised at The Home Depot:
This form of aeration does not remove any soil from the lawn. Instead, the tines push the soil further down and to the sides. This process can be physically exhausting and time-consuming and counter-productive. Most lawn care professionals do not offer this service since there are more efficient ways to aerate lawns.
Overseed After Lawn Aeration
If you choose core aeration for your lawn, don’t worry about the soil plugs on your lawn’s surface. They will break down in the rain or fall apart during mowing. Immediately after aeration is a perfect time to overseed and fertilize your lawn. Seeds and nutrients have a direct pathway through the fresh openings the aerator created. This helps the roots establish a quicker, thicker, more luscious growth during next seasons’ growth. Remember, anytime after late August is best for overseeding after aerating your lawn.
Should I Aerate My Lawn
Maybe… If you want to help ensure your lawn can reach its full potential for health and thickness add aeration to your annual tasks. At Green Seasons Lawn and Tree Service we are committed to providing you with professional services to help keep your lawn looking beautiful through each season. For more information about our services contact us today!