How to aerate your lawn
How to aerate your lawn
Aeration is a simple gardening task that can be completed whether you have a small or large lawn. To find out how to aerate your lawn, keep reading.
What is aeration?
Aeration is the simple act of creating holes or ‘pockets’ within your soil to help your lawn breathe. Opening up these spaces in your lawn helps water, oxygen and nutrients to flow freely through your soil. When your grass is receiving everything it needs to stay in good condition, it will create a much healthier and greener lawn.
Why would I need to aerate my lawn?
Lawns that see a lot of use from kids and pets can become compacted very easily, and yellowing grass and poor drainage can often be a sign of a heavily compacted lawn that would benefit from aeration. On the other hand, lawns that don’t get a lot of use but are purely for show should also be aerated as part of their regular maintenance regime. Lawns with heavy clay soils should also consider aeration as part of their seasonal lawn maintenance, regardless of what level of use they get. Clay soils are often full of nutrients, but because of their dense nature, it is difficult for these nutrients to get to where they need to be. Aeration is a great gardening process that can help alleviate this, and get even the most difficult of soils back to their very best!
How do I aerate my lawn?
Aeration should be completed in line with seasonal overseeding, so you can aerate your lawn in autumn or spring / summer when temperatures are 10 degrees and above. Make sure to never aerate when your grass isn’t growing – for example, during dormancy in winter or during a severe heatwave. Aeration should be completed after scarifying your lawn, which involves removing the top layer of thatch that may have been building up. Aeration can be completed in two ways, depending on the size of your lawn
Aerate by using your garden fork
If you have a small lawn, it can be easily aerated by using a garden fork. Dig your garden fork into your soil about 3cm deep. If you find this difficult or your soils are particularly hard, use your own weight to drive the fork into the ground. Wiggle the garden fork in circular motions to create 4 holes, and repeat this across your whole lawn.
Aerate by using a hollow-tine aerator / corer
If you have a larger lawn, a hollow-tine aerator or corer will be easier for you to use and will remove plugs of soil to create longer-lasting results. You should also consider using a hollow-tine aerator if you have an ornamental lawn. The same process applies, dig the hollow-tine aerator 3cm deep into your soil, and as you pull it up the plugs of soil will come out. Make sure to remove these from your lawn’s surface. If you have a fine ornamental lawn, you should then top dress it, brushing your topdressing of choice into the newly formed pockets.
Aeration is excellent at helping to keep your lawn healthy, but you should also remember to feed your lawn and get rid of weeds, moss and disease as they appear!