As nice as it would be to have a beautiful lawn with very little effort, lawn maintenance is required to achieve that perfect, luscious green lawn. One of the most overlooked jobs when it comes to lawn care is lawn aeration. Some people think it lawn aeration doesn't makes much difference, which couldn't be further from the truth! Aeration plays a key role in making sure that water and nutrients can get to the roots of your lawn.
What is aeration?
Aeration is the process of perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and essential nutrients to travel deeper into the soil and reach the roots of the grass. Aeration strengthens the health of the grass roots, allowing your lawn to grow stronger and healthier, allowing for lush green growth.
Aeration is a process usually applied to lawns suffering from compaction, where the lawn has been trampled and compressed, reducing the amount of air and moisture the soil can hold. Aeration can help improve drainage and the overall health of a compacted lawn.
When should you aerate your lawn?
We generally recommend aerating your lawn during the spring/summer months when the lawn is in its fastest growth phase. This gives the grass opportunity to 'heal' any damage that might be caused during the aeration process. Soils that are rich with clay will need to be aerated more often than sandy soils but both need to be aerated at least once a year (minimum).
What are the different methods of lawn aeration?
There are a few different ways you can aerate your lawn, some are manual and some are mechanical. Of course, there are pros and cons of each, so determine the best way to aerate a lawn we're going to have to break the different methods down and look at them closely.
How to aerate a lawn
Hand-held hollow tine aerator
This aerator is designed to take cores or plugs out of the soil as opposed to poking holes in it. With this method, you'll be left with a lot of tiny plugs of soil which can be mulched back into the coil to recycle their nutrient content and to promote healthy bacteria. Is this the best method of aerating? In our opinion - no. Here's why.
First of all, this hand-held method of aerating can be fairly time-consuming and the remaining plugs (although nutritious) can make your lawn feel bumpy if they don't decay properly. People who are keen to have a pristine lawn tend to shy away from this method because it can leave their lawns looking pretty dishevelled. Let's move on to the next method.
Now, aerator sandals are loved amongst most small lawn owners for a few reasons. They're small and easy to store, they're easy to use, they're cheap and quite frankly, using them is a lot of fun. All you need to do is strap these aeration plates to your regular shoes and set about strolling up and down the garden. Your body-weight will drive the aeration spikes into the ground which means all you have to do is plan a route around the lawn and get going.
Now, this method of aeration might seem like the most appealing, but it does have its flaws. First of all, people can easily miss patches of their lawn when they use aeration sandals. It's very hard to aerate the lawn evenly when you're trotting around across the surface. Second of all, this method can take a fair amount of time, especially if you have a large lawn.
Rolling lawn aerator
Now, we move on the rolling lawn aerator. Probably one of the most common aerating methods you'll come across. Unlike the previous two methods, the rolling lawn aerator allows for greater accuracy because it can be walked up and down the lawn in a similar fashion to a lawnmower to create even aeration throughout. The rolling mechanism means that you don't have to put in too much physical effort to get the job done, which makes this aeration method so appealing.
Is it the best way to aerate a lawn? It's a close call! It's certainly more effective and convenient than the previous two methods we've discussed - but it's not quite the best.
Petrol lawn aerator
Now, moving on to the final method - the petrol aerator. This really ticks all the boxes as far as we're concerned. These machines (which look a little bit like small lawnmowers) offer the quickest, most convenient and most accurate lawn aeration service. If you're someone who really wants to achieve that 'show-lawn' standard, we'd highly recommend investing in a petrol aerator. When you make a job simpler, you're more likely to do it and you're more likely to get the desired outcome.
Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we use professional grass aeration machines that punch metal spikes 2-3 inches into the ground. Our machines ensure that the ground is aerated in them most even and thorough manner. We can also attach hollow tines if you would prefer a more aggressive aeration treatment. This will help remove troublesome thatch and will ensure your grass gets the air, water and nutrients it needs.
Our Lawn Aeration Service >
So, to conclude. In our opinion, the best way to aerate a lawn is by using a petrol aerator. You'll get the job done faster and you'll get a more even and consistent finish. If you'd rather not fork out on a petrol aerator, we'd highly recommend you enquire about our lawn aeration services - 0800 111 4958.