Everyone knows that basic lawn maintenance includes watering your grass, keeping a consistent mowing schedule, and fighting off weeds. What you might not realize is that aeration is also a key step to ensure the health and quality of your lawn.
What is Lawn Aeration?
Lawn aeration is the process of perforating holes into a lawn to encourage growth. There is an array of tools that can be used in aeration, from pitchforks to lawn aerator shoes to gas-powered aeration machines. Moist lawns are best-suited for aeration, as the damp soil is easier for the spikes to perforate.
The goal of aeration is to loosen compacted soil and help fertilizers, seedlings, and water settle into your lawn.
Benefits of Lawn Aeration
Reducing Soil Compaction & Increasing Plant Health
Even if you encourage your kids to use your sidewalks and garden paths, chances are your lawn has been walked on before. And all that mowing you do to maintain your lawn’s appearance and avoid glares from your neighbors? Combined with foot traffic, the weight of your lawnmower can cause the soil in your lawn to compact.
Compacted soil contains less air-filled pore spaces, which plants depend on to supply their roots with oxygen. Root expansion is inhibited, natural water filtration systems are thrown off balance, and nutrient uptake is slowed.
Lawn aeration can help reverse the negative effects of ground compaction by creating holes that funnel air into the soil and make compacted soil become loose again. The air can reach the plants once more, allowing roots to flourish and improving your lawn’s overall health.
Root Expansion & Helpful Microorganisms
Once more air can reach plants’ roots due to lawn aeration, the roots can expand and allow microorganisms in the soil to do their job. Microorganisms are a vital part of soil health, as they release key nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and iron into the soil. They also increase soil fertility by breaking down organic matter found in soil so plants can use it, suppress pesticides and harmful chemicals, and prevent disease-causing pathogens from wreaking havoc on plants.
Rain, Groundwater & Runoff
After lawn aeration, water from rainfall or your irrigation system can soak deeper in the soil and replenish the groundwater in your area. According to the National Groundwater Association, the United States uses 79.6 billion gallons of fresh groundwater per day for public and private supply, soil irrigation, farm use, manufacturing, and power. You might use it in your own home for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning.
Lawn aeration also mitigates runoff from pesticides, fertilizer, stormwater, and greywater, which is water discharged from sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Chemical runoff can contaminate water supplies, while runoff of stormwater and greywater contribute to erosion and flooding.
Add Lawn Aeration to Your Lawncare Regimen
Undoing soil compaction, increasing plant health, replenishing groundwater, preventing dangerous water runoff--the benefits of lawn aeration are plentiful! Consider adding lawn aeration to your lawncare maintenance. Contact a local lawncare expert (like Olympic Lawn & Landscape, Inc. if you live in the Kansas City area) to discuss lawn aeration for your property. We’d be happy to answer your questions--just call (816) 875-9296!