It seems like a straightforward question, doesn’t it? When should you have your lawn aerated for peak benefits? Usually, the best time would be during the growing seasons, so that the grass will be able to heal and then fill in open areas after the soil plugs have been removed. As a rule, aeration is done in early spring or fall for cool season growth grasses and late spring for lawns with warm growth grasses.
When Is the Best Time for Lawn Aeration in Louisiana?
Since the winters are mild in Louisiana, your lawn can be aerated at any time of year, says Briggs & Stratton. Maximization of aeration can be accomplished by first preparing the ground with a good watering. Aeration can be done in the spring, so that it will help the lawn to hold water, and once in the fall, to keep fungus and weeds at bay. Many homeowners have their landscaping companies aerate at least one time per year. In dry areas, it is usually done twice a year.
What Is Aeration?
Aeration perforates your soil with smaller holes, which allow water, nutrients and air to penetrate to the roots of the grass. This is helpful in the development of deeper roots and produces a more vigorous, stronger lawn.
Aerating alleviates the compaction of soil. This problem occurs when there are too many solids in a certain space. This will prevent the proper circulation of air and nutrients.
Does Your Lawn Need to Be Aerated?
Homeowners in Louisiana commonly ask how often their landscaping company should aerate their lawns. Your lawn can probably benefit from aeration if:
- It was laid after new home construction. Construction traffic compresses lawns.
- It gets heavy use, as happens when the children in the neighborhood use the lawn for a playground.
- It was begun with sod, creating layers of soil beneath it.
- It dries out quite easily and feels spongy. This could mean thatch problems, too.
Tools Used for Aeration
Aeration is usually done with a plug aerator or a spike aerator. Plug aerators, as their name would imply, remove plugs or cores of soil and grass from your lawn. Spike aerators make holes in the ground with solid forks or tines. Spike aerators are generally not as efficient for removing compressed soil.
How Lawns Are Aerated
Before your landscape company starts aerating, they will ensure that your soil is moist. Aerating dry soil is quite difficult. They may aerate your lawn the day following a rain or by asking you to water your lawn the day before they will be aerating.
Excavated soil plugs are sometimes allowed to dry before they break down. This will give your lawn a clean, uniform appearance. The plugs are sometimes broken up so that they will break down more easily.
What to Do After Aeration
After your landscape company aerates your lawn, they will continue basic practices of lawn care, including watering, mowing and fertilizing. Aeration will help your lawn to look more appealing, since it will be able to breathe more easily.
Aeration is important in ensuring that your lawn remains healthy, by allowing necessary nutrients to get to the soil. If you have lawn thatch or built-up grass, it won’t be healthy until water and air can penetrate it.
Getting rid of thatch and aerating your lawn can bring it back to life. Speak to your landscaping professional about aerating your lawn for nutrient access, and also about dethatching (http://www.fischerenv.com/lawn-horticulture/lawn-care-tips/), so that all those nutrients won’t be trapped in compressed soil. Then your lawn will have a much better chance to grow and thrive.
Filed in: Lawn Care Tips