Patches of yellow grass, areas of uneven growth, and worn spots on your Chicagoland lawn are indications of unhealthy grass. Homeowners who notice these symptoms should improve their yard through the process of aeration. The following is an overview about the benefits of aeration and when to do it.
Lawns that fail to grow lush and green may suffer from the effects of compacted soil, thick thatch, or both. Due to the overly compacted nature of the soil, water, nutrients, and air cannot move freely through it to reach deep into the grass roots. Aeration is the best solution.
How does aeration improve the lawn?
Aeration is literally a breath of fresh air for an unhealthy lawn. Aerating the lawn requires the use of an aerator, which removes plugs of soil. A core aerator loosens the compacted soil, thereby allowing air, nutrients, and water to penetrate deep into the grass roots.
What are signs of compacted soil?
The screwdriver test is a simple yet effective tactic for determining whether the soil is overly compacted and would benefit from aeration. A screwdriver with a six-inch blade is all the homeowner needs to perform the test. Push the blade of the screwdriver into the soil in the lawn.
The results of the screwdriver test will be telling. Encountering resistance when pushing the screwdriver into the soil suggests that the lawn should be aerated. Being unable to push the tool into the soil so that it meets the handle is a definite indication that aeration is required.
What are signs of thatched grass?
Water is unable to penetrate the soil when it is compacted. Dehydrated grass responds by growing dense layers of shallow roots and rhizomes along the surface of the soil. Thatch, which is a layer of living and dead grass, is the outcome.
Excessive thatching can starve grass roots of vital nourishment, like air, water, and nutrients. Aerating the lawn corrects the problem by breaking up the thatch layer and loosening the soil. After the process, sufficient air, water, and nutrients can be successfully delivered.
When should the lawn be aerated?
One of the best times of the year to perform professional lawn aerations are in the late summer. Lawn aeration is not a weekly form of lawn maintenance. Aerations should be done to prevent the grass from weakening or developing a pest or disease problem. Look for signs of thatch buildup or compacted soil; symptoms of either indicate a need for aeration.
A healthy, growing lawn can be aerated atleast yearly. On the other hand, a heavy traffic lawn or one with sticky, wet clay soil that compacts easily can be aerated more often. Also, harsh climates and areas with cold, dry winters affect how often a lawn should be aerated, usually requiring more frequent aerations.
Avoid aerating the lawn during periods of drought. Performing an aeration when the sun is at its hottest and the grass is at its driest will expose the grass roots to excessive sun exposure. As a result, aerating the lawn will have a destructive, rather than beneficial, effect.
The best times of day to aerate the lawn are when the soil is damp, such as after stretches of rainy weather. Or soften the soil by running the sprinkler system a day before aerating the lawn; allow at least one inch of water on the lawn.
Aerating the lawn should also be done during the growing season, when the grass is on the verge of a rapid growth phase. Avoid aerating the lawn during summer’s high heat and drought or during winter’s dormancy so as not to stress the grass when it must conserve resources.
The type of grass you have on your lawn also makes a difference. Grasses can be either warm season (like Bahia, zoysia and Bermuda grass) or cool season (like fine fescue and Kentucky bluegrass). Warm-season grasses are nourished during bouts of hot weather, such as in summer. Cool-season grasses thrive when the weather is cool, such as in autumn and winter.
Aeration should be performed for warm-season grasses in late spring or early summer, when the grass turns fully green. Aerate cool-season grasses in early fall or early spring. Performing an aeration during these ideal times aids in the recovery of the grass.
After the aeration is complete, help the grass recover by watering the lawn well and applying fertilizer. Keep the lawn moist by watering it over the next two to three weeks; the abundance of moisture and nutrients ensures that germination takes place.
Lawn aeration improves the health of your lawn. Homeowners have the option of either renting an aerator or hiring a reputable and high-quality lawn care service, like Hendricksen Tree Care. Our crews of lawn specialists will give your lawn the boost it needs to regrow thick and healthy.
Using commercial aerators, technicians from Hendricksen Tree Care will effectively break up the compacted soil and thatch. The process opens up the soil, allowing it to breathe, giving nutrients and water an entry point and improving the soil air exchange.
Additional beneficial services that stimulate new lawn growth include overseeding. Specialists from our company will examine the lawn for thinning areas, collect the right seeds for your type of grass and, after aeration, scatter the seeds over the bare areas.
Homeowners in Chicagoland are advised to aerate and seed their lawns during the late summer and early autumn months of August and September—when the process of aeration would most benefit the cool-season grasses that predominantly grow in this area of the Midwest.
Contact Hendricksen Tree & Turf Care for a Lawn Aeration Today
Expect a fuller, healthier, and greener lawn when you choose Hendricksen Tree Care for seeding and aeration services. Our lawn specialists ensure the long-term health of your lawn. We are available to serve residential homeowners in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Contact Hendricksen Turf Care for the best in residential and commercial lawn services today.