Aeration: A Smart Move for a Strong Lawn
If you’re ready to aerate your lawn (as we described last week) – and perhaps have even reserved a lawn aerator (!) – let’s get to the actual process.
Aeration helps any lawn, especially those with seriously compacted areas. Loosening up soil allows air, water, fertilizer and seed to get deep into the ground. When the soil is already dry and hard (such as this spring in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI), the benefits of lawn aeration are even more profound.
First things first: Be careful moving the aerator, which weighs several hundred pounds. You’ll need a trailer, pickup or SUV to transport it. Be sure you have a strong helper (and maybe more than one) to lift in and out. These machines are seriously heavy. Hurt your back, and equipment rental won’t be the only cost you pay.
Second, learn how the aerator works. These are powerful units. Get instructions on use before leaving the rental store. Ask for a walk-through with the unit running. Be sure you know how to raise and lower the tines, and start and stop, before embarking.
Once working, an aerator is much like a self-propelled lawnmower. It pulls a user along.
If areas of the lawn are heavily used, or you notice are especially compacted, go over them more than once with the aerator. Clay soils, commonly found in southeastern Wisconsin, are especially susceptible to compaction.
Many homeowners are initially stunned after aerating their lawns. Soil plugs are everywhere. They resemble, well, animal droppings. It can be a bit unsightly.
Never fear. The plugs break down in a few weeks. In doing so, their stored nutrients are returned to the soil. Your lawn will be better off for the experience.
What’s next? Immediately post-aeration is the perfect opportunity for seeding or fertilizing a yard. Conditions are ideal for both to penetrate into the ground.
Want the benefits of aeration, but not the work? GMS is glad to help. Contact us to schedule a lawn aeration. Don’t be surprised if we wait until fall, which is also prime time for aerating a yard.
Lawn aeration isn’t difficult. If you like the results, plan to aerate every one to three years. All those soil plugs look a bit strange, but the benefits will far outlast them.
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