Lawn aeration can be a lot of work but it has so many positive effects for your lawn that it’s worth it many times over. And, by using homemade lawn aerator shoes, it can be inexpensive and healthy as well.
Lawn Aeration Tips
Aerating lawns can be done in either of two ways – core aerating or spike aerating. Aerating lawns using core aeration is a technique of breaking up and creating finger sized air pockets in your soil. Aerating lawns using spike aeration involves jabbing holes in the the compacted lawn, but it doesn’t actually remove any of it.
Generally, for aerating lawns, core aeration is the more comprehensive and recommended way to go. Professionals and researchers have proved it to be a better method on the basis of various experiments and advise homeowners and golf courses to adapt it. Spike aeration, on the other hand, is not that effective. In fact, it increases soil compaction and hence is not recommended.
Why You Need To Aerate Your Lawn
Why is it even necessary to aerate your lawn? Lawn experts agree that aeration is necessary to combat soil compaction and heavy lawn thatch. This type of soil prevents air, water and nutrients from reaching the root zone. The result is that portions of the grass are suffocated. Even though your lawn is given enough fertilization, water and care, it is unable to reach the grass roots where it is needed. That is when aeration is necessary to open up the thatch and help relieve compaction.
There are some clear benefits from aerating your lawn. The movement of air, water and nutrients to the root zone are increased and the thatch is decomposed. Aeration helps to relieve soil compaction, stimulates new growth and improves drainage. A few aspects show an increase like the tolerance of heat and cold and the effectiveness of applied fertilizers and control products. Since the organic matter is incorporated into the soil a healthier lawn is the end result.
Homemade Lawn Aerator Shoes
Aerating your lawn is something you can do yourself. You can either build your own home lawn aerator from simple garden tools or you can rent a commercial lawn aerator for a small fee. If you have a set of spiked golf shoes around, you can use them as your homemade lawn aerator shoes. When you walk on your grass with spiked golf shoes, they function as a spike aerator. Doing aeration with a set of golf shoes is not only very effective, but you get a chance to exercise your legs as well.
This form of aeration is most effective if you are aerating because of thatching issues. If, however, you need to aerate due to soil compaction, then you really need to do core aeration.
Aeration should be a regular part of your annual lawn maintenance program. If you don’t feel like doing it by walking around, it can be done by a machine or other type of lawn aeration equipment which is equipped with cylinder-like spoons. These spoons penetrate and shatter the soil. It is also called a plug-removing machine. Plugs of soil are removed and left on top of the lawn to decompose. In the process, thatch and soil are pulled out of the ground.
The soil gets opened up and the grass plants can breathe. This allows the roots to become healthier and deeper. You can rent a machine from most lawn care companies and carry out the process of aeration yourself. Or, if you want to make it easier on yourself, you can simply hire a lawn service.
Natures Lawn Aerators
Aerating lawns is best done before the fertilization process in either the spring or fall. If your lawn has earthworms, they will actually give you a natural and organic form of free aeration. If the soil is clay-based, it gets compacted easily and is more prone to weed infestations. If the soil is badly compacted, it may require you using a core aerator several times over a few years.
Power units are easier to use, but you can use manual aeration tools as well in areas which are too hard to access with machines. But the process may be slower and not effective.