ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding What Lawn Care Aerating

Updated on December 26, 2012

Lush, thick, green lawns

That’s the dream of almost any homeowner. Your lawn is where your kids play, your pets frolic, and where you enjoy cocktails with friends on warm summer nights. But unfortunately, most homeowners end up with lackluster lawns that don’t even come close to the visions in our minds.

So, what’s the problem? Where are you going wrong? Well, as odd as it might sound, most homeowners have very little knowledge about proper lawn care. Sure, you know you have to cut it and water it. You might even throw some grass seed down in the spring or fall. Oh, by the way, the birds thank you for that. But, in reality, most people have no clue how to solve their lawn care woes.

So, when your landscaper or garden and nursery expert throw out terms like aeration, you probably have no idea what they are talking about. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Even better, we’re here to help. Having a working vocabulary of important lawn care terms is vital to any homeowner who dreams of having a beautiful, emerald carpet of grass in their yard. Knowing the words and when you’ll probably hear them will help you solve and prevent problems before they become disasters. Let’s go back to our example of lawn aeration. Simply put, aeration means getting air into the soil of your yard.

Think of it like this, “AIRation”

I can hear you saying, “Well, why didn’t you just say that?” Uh, I just did! Aerating your yard can help alleviate drainage problems, bald patches, and help supply your lawn with the proper nutrients it needs to stay healthy and green. Let’s face it; your yard takes a pounding.

Over time, the soil under the grass becomes compacted, more solid and pressed down. When this happens, nothing can get in. Water, fertilizer, clippings, and that grass seed we talked about earlier just sit on top of the soil, which does your lawn no good at all. In its most basic sense, lawn aerating is punching little holes into your soil. The little holes loosen the soil and allow air to circulate. They also allow water and fertilizer to penetrate making your lawn healthier and more beautiful. Now when you water your grass, the grass’s roots will actually be able to receive the water and nutrients you are giving it.

Aerating also breaks up some of the root ends encouraging new growth. And, you guessed it, new growth is better for your lawn. Now that you know what lawn aerating is I bet you’re asking so how and when do I need to do this? Well, those are fairly easy questions to answer. Let’s talk about how first.

There are several ways you can aerate your lawn.

  1. Let me start by saying that you’ll probably want to give your lawn a good watering the night before you aerate. This will soften up the soil so it’s easier to work with.
  2. Just be careful not to water so much that the yard becomes muddy. That’s not what we want, at all.
  3. The greenest and probably most economical way to aerate your lawn is to get spiked sandals that you just strap to your shoes. T
  4. Then all you have to do is walk back and forth over the grass. As a side bonus, you get a good leg workout.
  5. A second, way to aerate is to get a lawn spike tool. A garden fork would work as well. Think Grant Wood’s American Gothic when trying to determine which of your garden tools the fork is. After you have your tool, you’ll walk around and punch it into the ground. It’ll give your arms a workout but it’s cheap and green.
  6. Plus, if you look into the back of your shed behind all the pink flamingo lawn ornaments your Aunt Myrtle gave you, you’ve probably got one on hand already. Another way to aerate is to rent a lawn aerator from one of your local lawn and garden shops.
  7. There are several kinds from push rollers to motorized aerators. Motorized aerators are by far the easiest and fastest way to get the job done. There are two types of aerators, a spike aerator and the core aerator that pulls soil plugs from your yard. Either will work unless your yard is particularly hard and compacted, and then you’ll want the core aerator.
  8. If you end up with the soil plugs all over your yard there’s no need to pick them up, just leave them there. They’re not pretty to look at but, after a few days, they’ll break down and all the root material and other nutrients will go back into the soil, which is what we’re after.
  9. How often you aerate will depend on where you live and what type of soil you have. As a general rule, every other year is probably good enough.
  10. However, if your yard gets a lot of traffic you may have to do it every year. If you live in an area with a lot of clay in the soil, you may have to aerate as often as twice a year. Most people aerate their lawn in spring or fall.
  11. You want to avoid aerating in the hot summer months if you can. Summer time is not a high growing season for your grass so you won’t get as much benefit from aerating if you do it in summer.

If you know what kind of grass you have you can easily do a search for the best time of year to aerate your lawn. Now that you know all about aerating your lawn you can head out and get started. You’ll have a happier, healthier, and more beautiful lawn. It may even be better than you ever dreamed. For more information on lawn care aerating, visit my website. There you’ll find all the tips and tips you need for getting a great lawn. You’ll also find packages, tools, and equipment for all of your lawn care needs.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting ideas here, but we don't have much of a lawn the small section doesn't need much care thanks for this information.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We used to do this once every year in the spring when we had a lawn to maintain. It makes the difference between a healthy lawn and a poor one. Great advice and tips.