First things first, we should define what aeration is. According to Briggs and Strattion, “Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots”. You can be doing everything right- fertilizing, mowing, watering- but if the nutrients can’t get to the roots and the soil, it’s a moot point.
Your first question is probably “do I need to aerate my yard?” and it’s a legitimate one. Consider aerating your yard if:
- Your yard serves as the neighborhood baseball diamond. Heavy traffic across your lawn can compact soil.
- You purchased a new build. The topsoil on new builds is often stripped or buried and needs to be brought to the surface.
- It’s just dry and ugly BUT you’ve been watering, fertilizing and mowing on a regular basis. Chances are if you need your yard aerated, it will look like it.
So we’ve hammered out the why but what about the how?
Aerating your yard can be a complex decision and we recommend consulting with a professional to determine if your yard REALLY needs to be aerated or if there could be another underlying cause for a less than stellar yard. When consulting with a professional, ask about their methods used for aerating a yard. Poking holes versus removing plugs of grass can be more effective in achieving the desired results.
Aeration can be a critical part of yard maintenance that may mean the difference between being the embarrassment of the neighborhood and a Better Home and Garden winner.