November 29, 2014

As a home gardener, one of the most important steps in maintaining a beautiful and healthy garden is lawn aeration. If you reside in the Ann Arbor Michigan area, you may want to know all the steps necessary toward keeping your lawn completely healthy and attractive. The process of aeration provides much needed oxygen to the roots of your grasses and other plants. You can completely rejuvenate your lawn with this method. Knowing how to aerate your lawn can result in many years of a garden that will thrive and reward you for years to come.

Is Your Lawn a Candidate for Aeration?Lawn aeration

Generally speaking, lawn aeration is something you should consider after taking a good look at your lawn. If the grass is looking weak and unhealthy, there is a good chance that moisture is not adequately penetrating the surface of the soil. This is when you should turn to aeration most, especially if your lawn tends to see heavy traffic and the soil becomes compacted as a result. If your home is new or there has been a significant addition placed on it and the lawn was affected as a result, the soil will most likely require aeration. You will also want to consider aerating your lawn if the soil tends to dry out easily and feels spongy. This can signify a thatch problem in your garden that can be diagnosed by using a shovel and removing a four inch deep piece of lawn. If the thatch tends to be more than a half inch, you will absolutely want to aerate the lawn to repair it.

Soils that tend to be more compact, even if they are not that way as a result of excessive traffic, should be aerated. When the soil is more compacted, it will make it far more difficult for moisture to get through so that the grass and other plants growing on the lawn can grow healthily. When you aerate, the process breaks up the layers of the soil and results in water having better access into the ground and to penetrate the roots of the plants.

Steps to Take Prior to Aeration

You should prepare in advance for aerating a lawn for one or two days and do the following to ensure success.

• Add at least a good inch of water to the lawn to assist the aerator to better penetrate the soil so that the grass seeds can receive the moisture
• Use an irrigation system, sprinkler or garden hose
• Ensure that you aerate during the proper time of year. For instance, if you use a cool season grass in your Ann Arbor Michigan lawn, the best time of year to aerate would be around August through October because the grass is in its active growth period during this time. On the flipside, if you have warm season grass in your lawn, you will want to aerate during the months of April through June

Overall, no matter what type of grasses you use, a lawn should be aerated during the growing season as the grass is better able to heal itself during this time.

Aeration Process

Keep in mind that the majority of aerators only cover a certain percentage of soil at a time. You will have to go over the most compacted areas and avoid those that are fine. The best type of machine to use is the mechanical core aerator that can pull out the soil cores when they are no longer needed. Place compost material over the lawn after aeration.