Everything you need to know about Aeration

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Rusty Thompson on February 20th, 2019

Lawn aeration, or core aeration, as it is often called, is one of the most simple and affordable ways to give your lawn a boost. Gainesville lawn aeration is the process of removing thousands of small plugs of soil, grass and thatch in your lawn as a way of opening it up so that it can better receive nutrients and hydration. These plugs will rest on top of your lawn and break back down to feed nutrients back to your lawn. This process is a great way to improve the effectiveness of irrigation, reduce soil compaction and encouraging healthy root development. 

How does aeration benefit my Gainesville lawn?

  • Relieves soil compaction
  • Creates an environment that encourages root development
  • Better penetration of water and nutrients including fertilizers
  • Reduces the risks of lawn diseases and damaging pest infestations
  • Improves absorption and drainage in heavy raining periods
  • Benefits pH Modification. Applying lime directly after lawn aeration promotes the change of pH deeper into the soil profile. This will let nutrients penetrate deeper in the root zone to become available to the turf.

When should I aerate my lawn?

In Gainesville we recommend lawn aeration every spring. In other areas of the country, you will often see lawn aeration done in fall as well as spring. However, in Gainesville, it is not recommended because most of our turfgrasses do not go completely dormant in the winter. This means that late season aeration has the potential for frost damage to the roots of the lawn. Completing the aeration in spring allows the lawn to take full advantage of the entirety of growing season to develop roots, access nutrients, and soak up the water before summer's high temperatures hit.

How often should I aerate my lawn?

Aeration is recommneded annually for most lawns. It is a vital part of your lawn's overall health, especially in Gainesville yards with our compacted soil from traffic and mowers and areas of clay soil that do not allow roots to penetrate without assistance. The longer you go without aerating your lawn the more the soil compacts. If you have traffic on any areas of your lawn, whether it be mowers, people, or pets - the problem only increases. That's why golf courses aerate their greens and fairways several times a year. As a homeowner, you won't need that kind of frequency, but it is a wise investment to aerate your lawn each spring. Lawn health is a long term project and consistent aeration will result in a healthier and more beautiful lawn when combined with an ongoing lawn health program.

What are signs that my lawn needs aeration? 

Signs that you can look for include puddles form on your lawn after a rainstorm or irrigation. This water sitting on top of the ground is going to evaporate quickly and not soak down to the roots of your lawn where you want it to be. This is preventing much-needed moisture and nutrients from reaching your soil. A second test is the “screwdriver test.” The screwdriver test is an easy and fairly accurate way to test your soil. Try sticking the screwdriver into the ground. Having difficulty doing so? This is a great sign that it's time for a thorough aeration. Ideally your soil will be loose and airy. A third indication that it's time for aeration is the build up of thatch. Thatch is a layer of living and dead organic matter that occurs between the grass and the soil. A thatch layer is normal and expected in Gainesville but excessive thatch can create an environment that is primed for lawn damaging insects and disease issues.

Are there lawns where aeration is not recommended?

Aeration will benefit most lawns, and will certainly not hurt any lawn. it's at worst going to be neutral. If you have a very sandy soil in your yard there may be no benefit from aeration. Picturing the screwdriver test mentioned earlier, if you try this and see that your soil is very sandy and the hole fills right back in with sand, it is likely not going to benefit from aeration. In these cases a long term plan to add more organic material to your soil is going to be the recommneded approach. For soils that are somewhat sandy but have compaction issues just beneath the surface a good watering on the morning of aeration can help to make the process work. 

How do I prepare for aeration?

  • Clearly mark you irrigation heads, irrigation lines and other underground lines and wiring to ensure that they are not damaged.
  • Water the lawn thoroughly on the morning of your aeration or the evening before. This softens the soil so that deeper plugs can be removed easily and for more sandy soils helps to bind the soil together for improved plug removal.
  • Plan your fertilization or lime applications to occur immediately after aeration. If you are on our lawn health program we will take care of this for you.
  • Don't clean up the plugs! The plugs contain nutrients that seep back into your lawn as they break down over a couple of weeks

Over time, your lawn becomes stressed by thickening layers of thatch, heat, and soil compaction from foot/mower traffic. With our service, a friendly and specialized technician will mechanically remove small plugs of soil and thatch from your entire lawn, helping your lawn breathe and creating ideal conditions to increase nutrient flow to it's roots for healthier, thicker, and greener grass growth. The Master's Lawn Care combines the simple mechanical process of aeration with our customized, superior lawn program to yield visible results for your lawn. Our experienced professionals receive on-going training, enabling us to customize the service and address each yard's unique needs. For lawn aeration in Gainesville, Florida that maximizes the benefits to your lawn and complete, transparent care from the best technicians in town, choose the Gainesville Lawn Experts - TMLC.

Space for spring aeration is limited, please call today to reserve your spot! 352-378-5296.



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