Maintaining a beautiful lawn requires a lot of dedication, patience, and work. Some people like to get their hands dirty and take pride in doing the yard work themselves. Most people allocate their weekend mornings to mow and rake the lawn to keep it looking grand.
It is indeed your choice if you want to do it yourself or you can hire a gardener to do it for you. Either way, it does take a conscious effort to keep your grass looking great all the time.
A lawn that is admired by the neighbourhood makes it all worth the effort. How well-kept a lawn says a lot about the people that live in the home. It is a definite reflection of the families prosperity and well being.
It shows that they care about wanting to make their front lawn look beautiful. Which in turn makes their home more attractive thereby enhancing the rest of the neighborhood. The lawn is a source of pride among most homeowners, and it is a must to keep it looking presentable.
The weekly maintenance of blazing through the lawn with your trusty lawnmower is usually all that’s required in keeping your lawn looking pristine. Of course, raking the dried leaves and cut grass if your lawnmower doesn’t have a bag goes hand in hand with mowing the lawn.
How to Aerate your Lawn
Other than the necessary maintenance of mowing and raking the lawn, aeration or dethatching the lawn needs to be done annually. Thatch is the layer of live or even dead grass, twigs or any organic material just above the topsoil or the base of the grass.
Thatch is a bad thing for lawns because it blocks water from seeping into the topsoil. No water getting into the soil means no water for your live grass which sometimes causes it to die or turn yellow. Dethatching or aerating your lawn will breath new life into your struggling lawn.
Aeration will also help soil that is very compacted, thus, making it one of the ways on how to improve garden soil quality. There are many different factors on why soil gets compacted. If your lawn gets a lot of foot traffic that could be a primary reason why your soil is compacted. The weight of even water can also cause soil compaction.
Watering your lawn too often or simple rain could be factors to your soil being compacted. Have no fear because aerating your soil will relieve soil compaction as well as dethatch the base of your lawn.
Before aerating your lawn, it would be best to water it the day before. In case there is a substantial rain then go ahead and aerate your lawn the day after. The soil will be more natural to aerate if it is softer than it being bone dry and too hard to aerate.
There are two different type of aeration tools, spike aerators, and plug aerators. One method punches holes into your lawn while the other pulls out plugs of soil about two to three inches deep with a centimetre in circumference.
The spike aerators are usually manual aerating tools such as a fork or scarifier, these work well, but you would need to exert some effort using these tools. Some do not recommend using spike aerators as these only poke holes into your lawn compacting the soil even more.
For best results, use the plug aerator, these are usually mechanical. Choose a lawn aerator that takes soil cores that are at least three inches deep and three inches apart. Using these type of machines will make the job of aerating your lawn much quicker.
When to Aerate your Lawn
As a rule of thumb, it is best to aerate your lawn at least once a year. This should be included in a checklist for the annual maintenance of your home. It will ensure that your lawn remains healthy all year round.
If your lawn feels extra squishy when you walk on it, that means the thatch layer is already quite thick. Thatch in your lawn is to be expected, and it is normal. However, if your thatch is more than half an inch thick, then it could be obstructing the proper growth of your grass.
Grab a shovel and dig at least six inches into your lawn. If you see that the thatch is more than half an inch thick, then your top grass could be taking root in your thatch instead of the soil causing its poor health. In that instance, it would be best to go ahead and get it aerated right away.
The best time to aerate your lawn is when it is in its growing season. This is so that the grass can quickly grow and fill the holes left from aerating. If you are asking when is the best time to aerate your lawn it would depend on what kind of grass you have.
In case you have warm seasoned grass it would be best to aerate your lawn during late spring or early summer. If you have cool season grass, then it would be best to aerate during late spring early fall.
Some lawn experts say it is best to aerate your lawn during late spring and at the same time apply some fertilizer. This practice will allow your grass to absorb and store the fertilizer in time for the coming winter.
When the ground gets frozen during winter time, your soil will already have the nitrogen that it needs. Since you aerated and fertilized your lawn before the freeze it has the nutrients stored away to bounce back during the coming spring. This will give your lawn a lush bloom once spring arrives and will make it look greener than it’s ever been.
Maintaining your lawn does take a lot of work. Weekends are spent doing basic maintenance like mowing the grass and raking leaves. It can be a relaxing exercise while keeping your front and backyard in tip-top shape.
Make sure to aerate your lawn at least once a year during the spring or fall depending on what kind of grass you have. To save yourself some time when aerating, be sure to use a machine or plug aerator. This will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.