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A Homeowner’s Guide to Soil Aeration

Soil Aeration Machine
When it comes to enhancing the curb appeal of your home, nothing could be as important as a lush, green lawn. Yet many homeowners struggle to maintain thick, healthy grass. Instead, they often end up with hard, barren patches where grass simply won't grow. This frustrating problem can be an eyesore.

Aerating your soil is one of the best ways to promote healthy grass growth. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to understand the importance of aeration - let alone the best way to implement this technique. If you would like to learn more about lawn maintenance, read on. This article will present a useful introduction to the subject of soil aeration.

Soil Aeration

Aeration is the most effective way to off-set the troublesome phenomenon known as compaction. Compaction occurs naturally as time goes on, and soil settles downward into a hard layer. The pressure of people walking on the lawn will also contribute to compaction. The more use a lawn sees, the more quickly it will reach a state of over-compaction.

Compaction threatens a lawn and makes it difficult for grass to grow. The density of the soil prevents air and water from circulating in an optimal manner. The problem grows even worse for those with excessive amounts of lawn thatch. This built-up layer of dead plant material can make it even harder for the roots of your grass to receive the nutrients they need.

Aeration Tools

Aeration involves perforating the soil with a series of holes. This helps to break up and loosen the soil, while also allowing easy paths of entry for water, oxygen, and other essential nutrients. One way to do this involves the use of a manual tool known as a spike aerator. A spike aerator has a series of tines that simply poke holes into the soil.

Most landscaping contractors steer clear of spike aerators for two good reasons. First of all, it takes a lot of work to aerate an entire lawn using a spike aerator. Even more importantly, spike aerators often fail to alleviate compaction because they don't remove any soil. Instead, they push the soil around the holes into an even tighter configuration.

Plug aerators are a much better tool. These aerators also work to create holes in your lawn. In the process, however, they also remove spikes of compacted soil between 2 and 3 inches long. This allows the soil around the holes to relax, helping to relieve compaction as water flows into the soil.

Plug aerators come in a number of different forms. The simplest involves a rotating drum mounted to a long handle, which the user pushes along over the top of their soil. Powered aerators also exist and can be especially useful for those with expansive lawns. Check with a reputable tool rental company in your area to determine the best type of aerator for your lawn.

Aeration Preparation

The key step in successfully aerating your lawn involves learning how to use the aerator you rent. A good rental company should be able to provide all the instruction you need. Before you get started, however, you will need to prepare your lawn. Aerating won't be effective unless your lawn has been thoroughly watered beforehand.

For best results, water your grass well either one or two days before aerating. This will ensure that the aerator can easily penetrate your soil. While watering, use flags to mark off any buried or partially buried objects to avoid. This might include planter bed walls, sprinkler systems, and other landscaping features. 

Aerating your lawn is one of the most effective ways to promote healthy grass growth. For more information on getting the best results from your next aeration project, please contact the rental tool experts at Hudson Rentals.