Whether you own a yard or not, you probably know that any lawn should be mowed, watered, and fertilized. What is less commonly known, however, is that a lawn should also be aerated at least once a year as well.
Aeration is incredibly beneficial for your yard. If you're interested in giving it a try or want to know more about how a lawn care company can aerate your yard for you, then we’ve got you covered.
Here’s what you need to know to aerate your lawn in Dallas.
What is aeration, and why does your lawn need it?
Take a moment to let the life of your lawn flash before your eyes…you might remember your family and pets running and playing on the grass. You might also think about the beautiful sun shining down, or the cool rain falling on your yard. Our lawns experience a lot of activity!
Although we love to enjoy our yards, all of that hustle and bustle put a lot of pressure on your grass and soil.
Lawn aeration is a highly effective process that will assist in relieving the stress and strain that your yard experiences.
Lawn aeration, also known as core aeration, is the process of pulling a series of small tube-shaped plugs of soil from your grass and redistributing them across your yard. Opening these small spaces throughout your yard makes room for more oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach down into your soil.
Creating this series of holes in your yard is like turning your lawn into a giant porous sponge, making it able to absorb more water and nutrients. Stronger roots will be able to grow deeper, which enables your grass to grow thicker. The goal is, basically, to give your lawn a chance to breathe better (so to speak).
After a harsh season, the grass and soil in your yard can become compacted. Compaction occurs when the grass and soil have been pushed down very tightly creating a nonporous, hardened earth. The process of aeration loosens compacted soil by creating space and relieving the pressure.
You may also have observed a layer of dead grass and debris under your healthy grass that blankets the top of your soil. This layer of dead grass is known as thatch, and it can significantly hinder your soil's ability to receive air and water.
If thatch is left untreated, your soil and root system could starve. Aeration is an excellent way to combat thatch and other organic debris that line the surface of the soil. Keeping your yard up to date with aeration treatments is also a good way to prevent thatch from ever taking over your yard to begin with.
Have you noticed puddles popping up in your yard from time to time? The main reason for the puddles and runoff that you’re experiencing is that the soil in the Dallas area is mainly composed of clay – which, obviously, isn't terribly absorbent.
Core aeration is well known for curing puddling problems. Aeration significantly increases your yard's ability to absorb water deep into the root system, which means improved overall irrigation and moisture for your yard.
Need we say more?? The list of benefits from treating your yard with core aeration goes on and on!
How do I aerate my lawn on my own?
Now that you understand the amazing benefits of aerating your yard, you probably feel antsy to get started! Well…hold your horses! If you’re interested in trying “do it yourself” (DIY) core aeration, there are quite a few things that you’ll need to get prepared.
When should you aerate…
First and foremost, when is the right time to aerate? Timing is everything with aeration! You do not want to be random with your aeration treatments because it can cause stress and damage to your lawn if not timed properly. The point of aeration is to encourage thick growth from your grass so you’ll want to aerate during the growing season.
Your first aeration treatment of the year should be in the spring. During the spring growing season, your lawn can quickly fill the aeration holes allowing your grass to appear thick and lush in no time. Avoid aerating in the dry summer season, but consider treating again in the fall.
Extra rainfall is ample in the Dallas area during the fall season. We recommend a second aeration in the fall as a means of repairing the damage from summer and preparing your yard for the harshness of winter. Aerating twice a year is a great way to keep your yard healthy, especially if your lawn is growing on Dallas clay soils that are easily compacted.
What tools will you need?
Next on the list for DIY aeration, you’ll need the right tools to get the job done. Though it is technically possible to aerate your yard by hand without machinery, it would be a huge hassle. After all, we are talking about opening hundreds of tiny holes uniformly throughout your entire yard. Take our word for it, you don’t want to attempt this task by hand.
Thankfully, lawn aeration can be much more easily and efficiently completed by using an “aerator.” There are a wide variety of aerators available for purchase. The larger, more efficient aerators can get rather pricey, so we recommend that you find a local place to rent one.
However, be prepared – these machines are not for the faint of heart. They are large and heavy so you may want to leave the two-seater convertible at home and borrow your neighbor's truck for the day.
How to use your aerator…
An aerator is a machine that resembles a lawnmower in size and shape, but, instead of mower blades, has a tine base with dozens of cylindrical attachments. As the machine is pushed across your yard, the tube-shaped parts rotate and push into the ground pulling out chunks, or cores, of soil and grass that are about the size of your thumb. The aerator then drops each soil core as you continue.
To avoid missing spots while using an aerator, move across your yard in patterned rows just as you would for mowing.
You may want to mark any sprinkler heads or underground lines to be sure you don’t run over and damage them while aerating.
These cores of soil are packed with healthy nutrients, so it is best to leave them scattered across your yard. As they disintegrate over a week or two from rain or mowing, they return the healthy nutrients to the top layer of soil. As you are aerating, check to see that your cores are about 2 inches long.
A good tip is to water your yard the day before you aerate to soften the soil and make it easier for the aerator to penetrate the ground.
After you have covered your entire yard, keep an eye on your grass. You'll want to make sure your lawn doesn't appear stressed. Otherwise, you can just enjoy watching the benefits of aeration as your yard flourishes!
Why we suggest professional aeration services…
If you think that aerating your yard sounds like a lot of tricky work, then you’re right! As we mentioned above, aeration needs to be timed perfectly, or the lush benefits that you're expecting could become extra stress and damage instead. The tough soil and unique climate of Dallas, in particular, make aerating more challenging.
Aeration requires time, skill, and heavy equipment – three conditions that don't bode well for DIY.
Using lawn experts to aerate your yard takes all the burden off your shoulders. If you want the best possible results that aeration can provide, then consider hiring a professional lawn care service for a twice-yearly core aeration treatment.
Choose Gecko Green
Gecko Green is the expert lawn care company that guarantees all its services. Our experts are the best in the industry and can perfectly time and treat your yard with core aeration. If you want your yard healthy and looking better than ever, then call Gecko Green for a free quote today!