Green grass is beautiful. Nothing improves the curb appeal of a home more than dense, lush turfgrass and a well-manicured landscape. Every yard is different, though, and even conditions in the same yard can vary drastically. Specialized treatments or programs may be necessary to maximize your lawn’s potential. Nature’s Turf offers many services and programs, and of those services, aeration should certainly be near the top of your considerations. Let’s discuss what aeration is, what it does for your lawn, and when you should aerate.
What Is Aeration and What Does Aeration Do?
Aeration is the act of using specialized equipment to remove soil plugs called cores. This creates voids that surrounding soil can settle into, effectively softening the soil profile. The metric used to measure this is called bulk density, which is simply the number of soil particles in a given volume. The more particles tightly compacted in a space, the higher the bulk density. High bulk density makes grass growth more difficult.
Lower bulk density encourages root growth and plant health. You may be familiar with the idea of compacted soils, which is a common name for high bulk density. When soil particles are crammed together tightly, the number of macro and micro pores decreases. These pore spaces are the voids that exist between particles of soil and are important for root growth, oxygen around the roots, water availability, nutrient availability, and the ease with which plants can pull water and nutrients from the soil.
High bulk density → voids in the soil decrease → roots and grass get less oxygen, less water availability, less nutrient availability = STUNTED ROOT AND GRASS GROWTH
Low bulk density → voids in the soil increase → roots and grass get more oxygen, more water, and more nutrients = HEALTHY ROOT AND GRASS GROWTH
Georgia red clay is notorious for compaction and high bulk density. Clay is the smallest of the three primary soil particles, meaning they are naturally capable of packing more tightly than a large particle such as sand. For this reason, regular aeration is ideal to improve and maintain a bulk density that is more conducive to root growth and plant health.
Do I Need To Aerate Every Year?
Yes. Aerating annually improves and maintains your overall bulk density over time. There is a balance when aerating. Disrupting the surface enough to be effective is important, but aerating too aggressively can be injurious for your turf, thus counterproductive. For this reason, the average aeration only disrupts a small percent of the soil surface.
While a single aeration is beneficial, repeated aerations over time compound, positively impacting the bulk density of the soil our roots exist in. This is especially true for areas of high traffic such as gates, common walking paths, and the turf surrounding children’s playsets.
- Aeration is the act of using specialized equipment to remove soil plugs called cores.
- This creates voids that surrounding soil can settle into, effectively softening the soil profile.
- The metric used to measure the number of voids is called bulk density (or compacted soils), which is simply the number of soil particles in a given volume.
- High bulk density makes grass growth more difficult.
- Aerate annually to improve and maintain your overall bulk density over time.
- At the time of this blog’s creation, there aren’t any chemical products capable of producing a measurable reduction in bulk density.
- Reach out to us at Nature’s Turf via email or by phone at (770) 637-7515 with questions about lawn care treatments specific to your turfgrass and solutions to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful lawn.