A lawn can take a beating over time. Lots of foot traffic, insufficient moisture, infiltration and organic matter applications can cause soil compaction, an unhealthy condition that can make a lawn look thin and weak. Aeration is a regular maintenance task that can contribute to a thicker, healthier lawn.
What Is Aeration and Why Is It Important?
Aeration is a mechanical process that uses specialized equipment to punch small holes in a lawn's surface, displacing soil, grass and thatch. This technique provides an underground air supply by moving oxygen and carbon dioxide between the earth's pores and the atmosphere, preventing oxygen starvation and reducing harmful carbon dioxide levels.
Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
Regular lawn aeration offers a host of benefits:
- Reduces soil compaction: Compacted soil keeps air, water and fertilizer from reaching a lawn's root system. Aeration decreases soil density, resulting in thicker grass and fewer patchy spots.
- Prevents thatch accumulation: Thatch is a layer of organic material that can build up around the base of grass plants and keep water and nutrients from reaching them. Aerating injects microorganisms that decompose thatch into the soil.
- Promotes thickness: When combined with overseeding, aeration stimulates seed germination and creates the optimal environment for grass growth and development. The result is a lush, thick lawn that is healthy and aesthetically pleasing.
- Prepares plants for the winter season: Grass becomes dormant when the colder weather arrives. Aeration and fertilizer application in autumn promote nutrient absorption throughout the winter, resulting in a greener lawn in the spring.
- Reduces heat and drought stress: For homeowners that live in hot or drought-stricken regions, aeration can alleviate the damaging effects of dry soil by allowing water and moisture to reach the root system.
- Enhances fertilizer uptake: Fertilization delivers vital nutrients to a lawn's root system. By reducing soil compaction, aeration allows the roots to receive the steady supply of nutrients they need to remain healthy.
- Prevents puddling: Compacted soil can resist rainwater penetration, leading to the formation of pools of water on a lawn. Aeration helps to promote water absorption by decreasing soil density, which prevents runoff.
How Often Should You Aerate Your Lawn?
The best time to aerate a lawn is when the grass is in peak growing season. Climate and geography play a significant role when determining the most appropriate time. Homeowners in northern climates growing "cool-season" grasses should aerate in the early spring or fall. In the southern U.S., where "warm-season" grasses abound, the process should occur in late spring or early summer.
Also, aeration is less taxing on equipment if performed while the soil is moist. Avoid aerating when the soil is overly dry or saturated.
Contact The Cat® Rental Store for Your Aeration Equipment Needs
Because aeration is an occasional process, renting equipment to do the job is typically the most practical and cost-effective solution. The Cat® Rental Store near you has everything you need to manage the task. Call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or contact us online for more information and a quick quote.
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