Aeration and Double Aeration
Aeration is one of the most important procedures for maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. Typical North Carolina soil (Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Hillsborough, and Morrisville) is made up primarily of hard compacted clay. Compacted soils reduce drainage, increase runoff, and inhibit root growth. Soil compaction promotes weed growth as well. Aeration prevents soil from becoming overly compacted. Loose soil allows nutrients, water, and air to penetrate the soil and access the root zone helping the roots to dig deeper into the soil. Deep digging roots tolerate stress and drought better than shallow roots.
Aeration also helps to prepare the soil for over seeding. Due to the high clay content in Piedmont soils aeration should be performed at least once per year. Warm season grasses should be aerated in late spring/early summer and cool season grasses in the fall or spring. Contact us to schedule an aeration service.
4 Things to know about soil and the benefits of Aeration
- Compacted soil prevents turf from establishing a healthy root system. Adequate amounts of vital turf nutrients are unable to reach the roots.
- Aeration relieves soil compaction by removing cores of turf up to 3 inches in depth.
- Once the soil is aerated air exchange improves and the soil so that it can easily absorb water, fertilizer, and other nutrients.
- Aeration promotes deeper root growth for a lush, healthy and drought-resistant lawn.
Double aeration is the same as aeration except our technician will make two passes over the lawn. This is recommended for people with severely compacted lawns or those that are attempting to over seed a lawn.
Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn?
One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
When to Aerate Your Lawn
The best time for aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, aerate the lawn with cool season grass in the fall and early spring and those with warm season grass in the late spring and summer.