When you look out at your lawn, is it as healthy as it could be?
Are weeds, moss, pests, or disease ruining that perfectly groomed appearance?
If so, you might consider Aeration.
What are the Benefits of Lawn Aeration?
- Improves Grass Root System
- Reduces Soil Compaction
- Breaks Down Thatch
- Reduces Weeds Over Time
- Improves Your Lawns Drought, Cold & Heat Tolerance
- Saves Water & Reduces Run Off
- Stimulates Beneficial Micro-Organisms
- Improves Germination of Grass Seed
What is Lawn Aeration?
Core Aeration is the process of taking out deep plugs of soil using a machine called a “Core Aerator”. This gives the soil “room to breathe”. Soil can become hard and compacted over time which negatively affects how nutrients and water are absorbed by the grass roots. This condition of compaction can encourage molds, insects, disease while limiting the growth of grass roots. This results in leaving your lawn in less than ideal shape.
After Aerating, oxygen levels are enhanced to the roots and encouraged to fill the empty spaces, thus, crowding out weeds as well as allowing crucial nutrients to penetrate the soil. It also reduces the amount of thatch. Thatch can suffocate your lawn when it becomes too thick. Aeration allows the growth of microbes which breaks down the thatch naturally, allowing a denser, more beautiful & lush lawn. Arguably the most overlooked lawn care service that can greatly assist your Anchorage Lawn in reaching its full potential!
What Machines or Tools are Needed?
There are 3 general methods of aerating:
1. Core Aeration Machine
2. Spiked Aeration Machine
3. Manually with hand tools or spikes
The 1st method is the preferred choice by lawn professionals. A core aerator is a machine which uses hollow tubes to essentially pull plugs of turf/soil out of a lawn. We prefer the commercial grade “Billy Goat” brand of core aerators.
The 2nd method uses an aerating machine equipped with spikes to essentially poke holes in the lawn
The 3rd method of aerating is performed manually by any number of ways including the use of “Lawn Aerator Shoes”, Spiked Wheels & even a pitchfork.
The last method is only feasible on very small yards. The 2nd method is more efficient than doing it manually although the quality isn’t on par with the 1st method. None can match the effectiveness of a commercial grade Core Aerator.
How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn?
The answer to this varies depending on the type of grass you have as well as the temperatures where you live. In Anchorage, Alaska (as well as many areas with cool season grass ) a good rule of thumb is every one to two years. Here’s a simple test to see if now is a good time to aerate your lawn. With either a sharpened pencil or screw driver, push into the grass pushing it down at least 4-5 inches. If it is difficult to insert, its probably a great time to aerate.
If you can’t remember the last time your lawn was aerated, now is the time!
Is This Something I Can do Myself?
There are rental facilities where you can rent an aerator by the day. If you decide to do it yourself, pick a day with sunshine and relatively dry grass. Rainy weather or excessively wet soil makes the plugs that you are attempting to remove, will stick to the tines and further compact the soil. Bulky aerating machines can be a lot of work to maneuver but the results more than make up for the effort.
Over-seeding after Aerating
The perfect time to overseed is after Aerating your Lawn. The holes from aerating are 4 to 6 inches deep & make for the perfect environment for new seed growth. In addition to the grass seed germinating in these holes, they will also germinate directly on the dirt cores which lay on top of the lawn after aerating. These will then break down over the next week+. You should ultimately over seed within a day of aeration while the holes are open and before cores begin to break down.
Want to learn more about Over-seeding after Aerating? ” See our “Over-seeding Article“
Can Alaska Premier Services Aerate for Me?
If you have neither the time nor energy but want to maintain or create a beautiful green lawn we can handle the Lawn Aeration for you! See our primary “Lawn Care” Page OR “Sign Up Form” to view this seasons prices. We aerate in August due to cooler & wetter weather which helps the machine pull large “cores”. If overseeding, the cooler, wetter weather also improves the germination rates.