Lawn aeration is vital to lawn maintenance and is where special equipment removes tiny soil cores from the turf. Aerating your lawn allows for the lawn to breathe a little better after time or heavy use from play, sports, or vehicle traffic. Literally, aerating a grass lawn lessens soil compaction to let oxygen and water reach the roots better. However, many people make mistakes when aerating their lawns. These common aeration mistakes can lessen the beneficial impact of the treatment.
1. Aerating During the Wrong Season
Aeration works best at certain times during the year. If you aerate your lawn outside a specific seasonal timeframe, you might have poor results. Try to plan for lawn aeration during the spring or fall, depending on your type of grass.
A common aeration mistake is to aerate warm-season lawns in the fall. Warm-season lawns are best aerated during late spring or early summer. Meanwhile, cool-season lawns do best after aeration in the autumn.
2. Aerating During Dry Conditions
Even during the spring or fall, you should pay attention to weather patterns when planning to aerate your lawn. Aeration works best during moist conditions. If you are preparing to aerate your property, water it a day or two before unless rain is forecast.
However, you want the soil to be dry so that you and your equipment do not sink into it! You want the tines on the equipment to be able to quickly sink in and pull out a plug but not create a muddy mess.
3. Not Using the Right Aeration Equipment
If you do not have the right equipment for aeration, it is time to get it. A common lawn aeration mistake is aerating without your gear ready to go. If you attempt aeration with only some of the tools or similar tools, you will not have the results you want to end up with. The Maryland Cooperative Extension of the University of Maryland suggests using an aerator that pulls the plug out of the soil and not one that only punches holes in the yard. If you decide not to use the recommended equipment, you might not have the results you hope to get after the aeration treatment.
4. Not Doing Proper Research Before Aerating
In the same vein as having the right equipment, you must do proper research. A common aeration mistake is to jump in without understanding what your lawn needs or how to accomplish aeration. Different types of grasses may require special considerations, or you might need to choose a specific type of equipment. For example, the Virginia Cooperative Extension of Virginia Tech recommends using an aeration machine with deep tines and weight placed over the tines to ensure penetration into hard soils. After thorough research, you can determine the best time and best approach to lawn aeration.
5. Mowing Too Soon After Aeration
Do not get too eager after completing an aeration. Give your lawn a little time to rest before you mow it again. The lawn will have plugs of soil all over it after an aeration. A common aeration mistake is breaking those plugs up too quickly by mowing. Give the plugs a day or two to dry before mowing over them to break them up. These soil plugs provide excellent nutrients to the surface of the grass and fall down lightly into the holes left behind by the aerator machine.
|Number||Common Aeration Mistake||Why You Should Avoid|
|#1||Aerating During the Wrong Season||If it is too warm, you can harm your soil; if it is too cold, you cannot penetrate it.|
|#2||Aerating During Dry Conditions||Aeration machines cannot penetrate dry, hard soil.|
|#3||Not Using the Right Aeration Equipment||You can harm your grass if you do not prepare the right equipment. Or you might not have the best results.|
|#4||Not Doing Proper Research Before Aerating||Research what type of grass you have so you know how and when to aerate your lawn correctly.|
|#5||Mowing Too Soon After Aeration||You want the soil plugs to dry before mowing and breaking them up.|
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