Achieving and maintaining a lush, green, and healthy lawn requires one to employ basic lawn maintenance practices like watering, fertilizing, and proper mowing. Another element that plays a crucial part in ensuring your lawn is healthy is aeration. What’s aeration? First, aeration is what makes it possible for water, nutrients, and air to penetrate the grass or lawn thatch. The process of aerating your lawn involves perforating the soil to allow for the penetration of nutrients, air, and water to the grass roots.
Why should you even aerate your soil in the first place? The basic reason as to why we aerate our lawns is to alleviate soil compaction. It’s important that the grass roots grow deeply so that they can produce a stronger, healthy, and more vigorous lawn. When the soil is compacted, it becomes hard for air, water, and nutrients to penetrate and circulate within the soil. So, how will you know it’s time to aerate your lawn? Here are the signs to look for.
Thick Layer of Thatch
If you see a thick layer of dead grass that has accumulated or is accumulating on your lawn, it’s clear indication your lawn needs to be aerated. That layer of organic debris or dead grass is what’s referred to as thatch. Note that a small layer of organic debris is beneficial to your lawn. However, when it becomes too thick, it creates a barrier that makes it difficult for sunshine, water, and nutrients to get to your grass. At this point, you’ll need to aerate your lawn to break up the thatch and prevent it from causing serious problems in your lawn.
As mentioned, compacted soil makes it almost impossible for nutrients, air, and water to penetrate and get to the grass roots. The soil in your lawn can be compacted as a result of foot traffic or vehicles. Without water and nutrients, your grass will end up having weak root systems thereby leaving your lawn vulnerable to disease and pest infestations, as well as drought. Aerating your soil will help create space around the grass roots thus making room for soil to spread out.
When water Starts Pooling in your Lawn
We already mentioned that water couldn’t percolate and penetrate through compacted soil. If water starts puddling up and pooling in your lawn when the sprinkler runs or after rainfall, that’s an indication that your soil needs to be aerated. This is especially true if the water is puddling up and pooling in areas where it used not to.
Sparse Grass in Parts of Your Lawn
If for the longest time you’ve had a uniform and healthy lawn in all parts, and you start seeing sparse grass or patches, it could be a sign that you need to aerate. Most likely, the soil in those areas might have been compacted as a result of so much traffic, and it’s difficult for the grass to grow healthy. If you see weeds such as chicory and quack grass in those areas, the soil is compacted and needs to be aerated.