Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn

A healthy lawn is an important part of your property’s overall aesthetic. A lush, green lawn will accent the curb appeal, while a dry or withered lawn will detract from the look. When growing a beautiful lawn, you are aware of the basic lawn care practices which are necessary, such as proper mowing, adequate irrigation, and periodic fertilizing.

What many Sarasota or Tampa homeowners may not realize is that their lawn may also need to be aerated. Aeration is an important step to guarantee that essential nutrients and ample water can effectively reach the soil beneath your grass.

Does Your Lawn Need Aerating?

Aeration creates small holes in your lawn to permit air, water and nutrients to reach the root system; allowing roots to grow more deeply and produce a healthier, more robust lawn. Soil compaction is the main reason for aeration. When soil is too compacted, air and water cannot properly circulate, and the roots are starved of nutrients. With some sod and grass types, thatch can grow thickly under the surface, which also can choke the roots. There are several circumstances which may indicate that your lawn needs aerating.

  1. If your home is new construction, not only is the original topsoil often stripped, it is also overly compacted by construction vehicles and materials. This layer becomes a sublayer which is difficult to penetrate.
  2. If your home is the neighborhood gathering place, and there is a lot of heavy foot traffic, soil may be more compacted than you realize.
  3. If your lawn consistently feel dried out and scratchy, yet almost spongy underfoot – you likely have a thatch problem. You can check by cutting out a 4 inch deep layer of sod. If there is 1/2 inch or more of thatch, you will need to aerate to break through that layer.
  4. If your original lawn was created with sod, soil layering may exist. Sod generally has a more finely textured soil, but it is layered over the existing coarser soil. This method can impede drainage, as water is trapped in the top layer of soil and does not reach through to the root system. Aerating disrupts the layers, allowing water to flow more easily to reach the roots.

How to Aerate Your Lawn

The best time to aerate your lawn in our region and climate is in late spring or the onset of summer.

  • Aeration works best when your grass and soil are moist – trying to aerate dry, compacted soil will get frustrating, fast! Therefore plan on aerating your lawn after a thorough watering, or even after a heavy rainstorm.
  • As many aeration machines cover very little surface space, be sure to go over heavily compacted areas several times to make sure that they are adequately aerated.
  • The sod plugs which result from aeration can be left on your lawn, as they need to dry before you break them apart. They are most easily broken up by your lawn mower. Just remember that your mower blades are likely to need sharpening after processing the sod plugs.If you have concerns about the condition of your lawn, including areas of overgrown thatch, fungus, dry spots or balding – we have the products you need at Big Earth Landscape Supply. Shop online or come visit us at one of our four area locations.Don’t forget to browse our unique stones and gravel, natural furniture, pottery, fountains and birdbaths! These gorgeous architectural elements are sure to add the perfect final touch to your yard and garden. Big Earth Landscape Supply is your one-stop shop for the most beautiful property on the street.