At any time of year, when the rains fall, you may notice your lawn becoming waterlogged. Fortunately, lawn aeration can help prevent this issue. With higher rainfall measured in the winter, you may be wondering: can you aerate your lawn in winter? Read on to find out!
When Is the Best Time to Aerate Your Lawn?
Lawn aeration involves sticking spikes into compacted soil, creating small holes through which vital air and water can reach grass roots. This helps the grass grow, keeping your lawn looking fresh and healthy all year round.
Ideally, you should aerate your lawn during the growing season of spring, or during the autumn. These are the times when the grass has the best opportunity to heal and fill the holes.
Aerating your lawn will help prevent waterlogging, because it improves soil drainage. However, aeration cannot drain soil that is already waterlogged. That is, you can’t run an aerator through waterlogged soil and watch as the water magically drains away. This is because soil that is too wet will simply seal up the holes as soon as they are dug.
During summer and winter, soil tends to dry out and freeze respectively, making aeration a much harder undertaking. So, while you can aerate your lawn in winter, you should aerate it well beforehand.
How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn?
You should also make sure not to aerate your lawn too frequently. A new lawn will need it once a year to prevent too much disruption to its less-mature root system. Established lawns on hard or clay soil should be aerated twice a year because they are more susceptible to compaction.
Otherwise, you should only aerate your lawn once very couple of years, or if the lawn looks particularly unhealthy.
How Do I Aerate My Lawn?
Aerating your lawn is not just a matter of sticking something sharp into the soil. You should prepare your lawn first, by mowing the lawn on a low setting the day before, scarifying any thatch, and mowing again with a collector on to pick up any clippings. Make sure you take away the clippings as well – this will ensure they do not get compacted into the holes.
Once you have prepared your lawn, you can aerate it. There are various tools at your disposal for aeration:
- Machine aerator – these cost a lot upfront, but are very effective for aeration.
- Solid tine aerator – great for general aeration but can cause compaction in the sides of the holes created.
- Hollow tine aerator – generally regarded as the most effective form of aeration, the hollow tines remove a plug of soil which helps prevent the hole closing up too quickly.
- Aerator shoes – best suited for a small garden, these slip-over outdoor shoes and have small spikes on to aerate while you walk. Aerator shoes are great for aerating while you mow.
- Hand aerators – tools like a pitch or garden fork can be used as aerators.
Aerate in straight lines, similar to mowing or scarifying, and then apply fertiliser and top dressing to give the grass more of the ingredients it needs to thrive. Alternatively, you can hire us to aerate your lawn for you!
If you have any queries about lawn aeration, or any of our other lawn maintenance services, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be only too happy to help.
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