“Aerating your lawn is a great way to reduce thatch, loosen up compacted soils and make it easier for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass or turf.”
Even with the best care available, lawns can thin out and lose color due to excessive thatch buildup, too much foot traffic through specific areas that create hard or compacted soils, or periods of high temperature, high humidity, or drought. Aerifying and overseeding is recognized by turf experts such as golf course superintendents as the best treatment to control thatch, helps reduce those compacted areas, fills in bare spots and revitalize growth.
An aeration treatment removes small cores of soil and thatch to allow air, moisture and nutrients to penetrate down to the root zone. The cores brought to the surface contain microorganisms, which help the breakdown of the woody thatch tissue layer just below the lawn’s crown. As the thatch layer is broken down, it is converted into organic matter that will then combine with existing soil particles.Also, as the cores begin to breakdown over a period of several weeks, the holes gradually fill in with a mixture of organic matter and soil, and the filled hole allows roots of existing grass plants to spread out and grow deeper, creating a healthier, thicker lawn.
Ideal time for Aeration in Northern Virginia and Maryland
According to Don Saunders, president of Saunders Landscape supply ” the aeration process is stressful on lawns, it should only be done during periods just before active growth is expected. For Northern Virginia and Maryland, this would be in early spring or early fall, the 2 times of the year when cool season grasses really grow. In the spring we use a crabgrass control product and aerate before the pre-emergent application is made, which is as a rule around the time when forsythias first start blooming.”