Aeration is a less intense form of soil tillage and is paramount to keeping growing systems alive and well fed by the elements. Charles Waters advises in Weeds: Control Without Poisons:
“Fall tillage is an important key to weed management. It is certainly one way to diminish the chances for foxtail and grass type weeds. If fall tillage is used to put soil system into ridges, those ridges will drain faster in the spring. They will warm up a week to ten days earlier. They will have germinating capacity restored earlier so that the economic crop can get a head start on weeds.”
Let’s unpack this.
It all comes down to a matter of degree. Full tillage and the turning of soil is a rare phenomenon in nature, however agriculture stands by this practice. Air is let into sub-surface soil structure every time a tractor or hoe digs into the surface of the earth. Cultivators do this to remove weeds and break up surface compaction. The ideal outcome is that nutrient transfer is facilitated via the movement of water to the roots of the plants you actually want to grow. While we do not rip up your lawn every season with a full till program, we do provide the less intense but nonetheless cultivating service of heavy aeration. So how does this all apply to your lawn and what we do as the season changes from hot to cool?
Your grass is a dense layer of erosion-controlling roots and photosynthesizing leaves (blades) that thrives in a well draining structure and beneficially bacterial biology. Holes are driven one to three inches into the soil when we pass over this living mat with our aerator. This creates a pock-marked surface of those “ridges” Mr. Waters speaks of above.
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