What is aerating and why should I do it?

Aerating is introducing holes into your lawn by either inserting a rod and separating the soil or inserting a coil and pulling a “plug” from your soil.  There are many benefits to aerating a lawn:

  • Enables oxygen to reach the root system of your grass
  • Nutrients and fertilizers are able to enrich the soil and root system better
  • Water enters the earth at a better rate vs. running over the top of the soil
  • Compacted, hard soil is loosened to promote growth of foliage.

How often should I aerate?
Twice a year is recommended if possible.  Spring and fall are the best times to do this.  You can borrow an aerator, rent one, neighborhoods can join together to purchase an aerator, or hire someone to (like Taylor Lawn Care) aerate and maintain the lawn for you.  Regardless of how it gets done, aerating twice a year is a very good idea.

What is Thatch?
Thatch is an accumulation of roots, grass stems/clippings and various organic matters found on the top of your soil.  Thatch can be eaten by the microorganisms living in your soil and enhance the ecosystem by providing food for grass.  Unfortunately, lawn ecosystems will occasionally become unbalanced from too much or too little water and/or too much fertilizer causing decay and thatch buildup.

What is Dethatching?
Dethatching a lawn is the breakup and removal of the unnecessary thatch buildup.  When the thatch buildup reaches 1/2” or more it may be in your lawns ecosystems best interest to dethatch.  There are two basic methods to dethatch a lawn; manually with a rake (backbreaking) or with special equipment like a vertical mower.  Either method will break up the thatch to improve the soil.  Regular aerating can prevent the need to dethatch in most cases.

Adam Taylor
Taylor Lawn Care, Inc.

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