How Aeration works
Aeration is the process of mechanically removing cores of turf to improve the flow of air, water and nutrients in dense, compacted soil. Soil compaction, caused by lawn traffic such as walking and mowing, is one of the greatest causes of turf deterioration. When soil is compacted, dirt particles are forced together, reducing the area where roots can grow. Aeration relieves soil compaction by improving the exchange of water and critical nutrients to grass roots.
Benefits of Aeration
- Improving air exchange between soil and atmosphere
- Enhancing water and fertilizer uptake
- Reducing water runoff and puddling
- Strengthening turfgrass roots
- Reducing soil compaction
- Enhancing heat and drought stress tolerance
- Enhancing thatch breakdown
When Should I Aerate?
For optimal effectiveness, aeration should be performed at least once annually. In Calgary in the spring between end of April and May (sometimes maybe beginning of June) and fall between October and November are the ideal times to aerate.
Some lawns benefit more when it is done in the fall, while some others in benefit more in the spring.
Cool season lawn, such as perennial Rye Grass and Kentucky Bluegrass are better to aerate in the fall. Warm season grasses, such as Zoysia Grass and Bermuda Grass, benefit the most from spring aeration.
How to achieve best results from aeration
- Water area to be aerated the night before or aerate after it has been raining (the soil shouldn’t be soggy though). This will help to soften the soil allowing for maximum core penetration.
- Before beginning, map out any obstructions such as sprinkler heads or drains.
- Cover every inch of the lawn and go over high-traffic areas more than once.
- After aerating, water the lawn and apply fertilizer. This will promote growth and allow grass to compete with weeds as they grow.