Aeration Tips and Tricks to Keep your Yard Nourished

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • September 23, 2017

Tips And Tricks For Beautiful Fall Grass

Aerating your grass is an important process for strong and nourished grass as we move into the fall. It’s the secret behind every golf courses’ beautiful green grasses. But since there are no secrets between us, we’re sharing all of the tips and tricks you’ll need to get beautiful fall grass:

Why aerate?

For those of you who don’t know, aerating is the simple process of plucking or poking small holes in the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the roots. We do this to alleviate soil compaction, which creates a better growing environment for your grass. By poking or plucking holes into the grass, you allow the roots to grow deeply, producing a stronger, more resilient lawn.

We keep referring to the aeration as ‘poking or plucking’ because depending on the tool you use, a spike aerator and a plug aerator, you will be doing one of those two actions. The difference you might ask? A plug aerator will remove a small plug of grass and soil from the lawn, leaving a hole for you, whereas a spike aerator simply pokes holes into the ground using a tine, or fork.

Tip: ‘Poking’ holes can be less effective (and possibly cause additional compaction in the areas around the holes). For the best results, use an aerating tool or machine that removes plugs of soil.

Where to start:

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. Here in Charlotte where cool season grass is grown, we would recommend aerating in the early spring or fall.

When you’re searching for your tools, look for one that removes soil plugs 2 – 3 inches deep and 0.5 – 0.75 inches wide for the best results. You can rent tools from your local lawn and garden shop or any home improvement store. Consider sharing the rental cost with your neighbors to get the most bang for your buck.

Before you get started, you should mow the lawn as short as possible and kill off any weeds. Also, be sure to mark any irrigation heads or invisible fences with flags to prevent damage.

You’ll want your soil to be moist – there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to aerate dry soil. Consider watering your lawn the day before you plan to aerate, or waiting a day after a rain shower to start plucking.

Most aeration machines cover small percentages of soil surface at a time, so you might have to make multiple passes over densely compact areas.

For aesthetics, allow the soil plugs (that have been plucked out of the ground) to dry and break up to give your lawn a uniform, clean appearance. You can break them up by running them over with a lawn mower or pounding them with the back of a rake.

To learn about the overseeding process, check out our blog post on Aerating and Overseeding.

After aerating, continue basic lawn care practices such as proper fertilizing, mowing andwatering.

Understand the need for aeration but lack the motivation? We’ll take care of your lawn service needs. Contact us to get your Killingsworth!

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