Spring Into Aeration

Spring Into Aeration

Mar 29 2018

What is aeration and why it is important?

Aeration is the movement of air between the soil and the atmosphere. It’s important to do this in the spring or fall when adequate moisture and proper soil temperatures are present. We aerate because soil compaction and grass thatch build up over time and it limits the amount of air reaching the soil and roots.

The Benefits of Aerating Your Lawn

  • Improved airflow to the soil
  • Improved water flow to the soil
  • Helps fertilizer get to the soil
  • Creates stronger, healthier grass roots
  • Improved lawn resiliency; better heat and drought resilience
  • Reduced water run off

While lawn aeration benefits all lawns, it’s particularly beneficial to lawns with

  • Mostly clay soil
  • Heavy foot traffic
  • Dry out quickly or become spongy
  • A lot of sodded areas; new home construction
  • Areas where water tends to collect

How to aerate the lawn

Aerating a lawn is pretty easy

  • Prepare the lawn a day in advance ensuring the soil is moist
  • Make passes with an aerator over the lawn so the entire surface gets aerated
  • You can let the plugs break down naturally, or break them down using the back of a rake
  • Fertilize and over-seed

Whether you aerate the lawn yourself or hire a company to do it for you, the most effective way to aerate is by removing half-inch plugs, 3 to 4 inches deep. Over seeding and fertilizing occurs only after the aerated holes are filled and the grass is top dressed with organic matter. You can use peat moss, compost or composted manures for this.

Which seeding is best?

Choose a grass seed mix that matches the demands of your lawn. If you require a higher quality seed in the front, choose the newer hybrid blue grass, which will germinate in 35 – 45 days.

The average backyard lawn requires a more tolerant, sturdy grass seed mix of fescues, perennial rye grass and bluegrass. This mixture provides a beautiful dense sod with good drought and stress tolerance, as well as a good overall appearance.

The pH Balance of Your Soil

The pH balance of your soil is the key to a having a great looking healthy lawn. If it is off you could be wasting 20% to 70% of your fertilizer. Remember, lawn fertilizers acidify turf grass every time they are applied. Seemingly small changes in pH reading can mean big changes in your lawn. A pH reading of 5 is ten times more acidic than a pH reading of 6, and 100 times more acidic than a reading of 7. An ideal pH reading for your lawn should be between 6.5 and 6.9.

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Fence Armor - The Best Defence For Your Fence

Special thanks to Bruce Zimmerman of Open-Line Garden Show, receiver of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal and early adapter of Fence Armor for collaborating with us on this article.

If you would like to read more of Bruce's work, you can visit www.openlinegardenshow.com or join his live stream at cfbu.ca.

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