Spend less Money and get better Results with a Core Aerator
If you’ve been trying to figure out how to get your lawn looking lush and green, but haven’t wanted to shell out tons of money to a landscaper, then the answer could be getting your hands on a core aerator. Core aeration done once a year, greatly improve a lawn and usually only takes a couple of hours.
For both thatch buildup and compacted soil, the key is to create space that will allow roots to grow and will allow nutrients, water and air to better reach the roots of your grass. Lawn aeration essentially punches thousands of small holes in your lawn, creating that needed space.
To get amazing results, you need to use the right aerator. You can find many different types of spike aerators for a pretty reasonable price; however, almost all are a waste of money. Spike aerators use solid tines to punch holes, which sometimes compacts the soil, making your problem worse.
Core aerators, however, use hollowed tines to actually remove chunks of soil, creating more space for the roots to stretch out. Unless you only have a small patch of lawn, power aeration is far better than using a hand aerator.
Power aerators typically look like large, heavy-duty lawn-mowers and have a revolving cylinder surrounded by tiny spoons that remove the chunks of soil. They are typically gas-powered and are rented from most tool rental stores or big home repair chains for under $100 a day. They usually weigh about 200 pounds, so you will need either a large pickup truck or trailer to transport it, or you will need to speak to someone about delivery and pickup, usually for an extra charge.
Core Aeration Help to Control Thatch
Lackluster grass and patchy spots are often the result of compacted soil or a buildup of thatch. Regardless of your soil quality, it can become compacted over time from steady foot traffic, riding lawn mowers, or even heavy rain. If your soil has a high clay content, then compaction is even more likely. Roots need space to grow and space to allow in nutrients, water and oxygen. When the soil becomes compacted, there is no room for growth or access of essential elements. Over time, your lawn will become patchy, then limp, and then eventually, could die out altogether.
Thatch is another issue that affects almost all lawns if not addressed regularly. You can usually tell that you have a thatch problem if, when you walk on your lawn, it feels spongy and soft. Thatch is a collection of decomposing plant matter that gathers between the tops of the grass and the surface of the soil. Once thatch gets thicker than about ¼ inch, it begins to strangle the grass and keeps water and nutrients from penetrating the soil’s surface and reaching the grass’ roots. Heavy thatch buildup is the result of soil with too much alkaline, too much overnight watering, drought, or overuse of high nitrogen fertilizer. To determine how much thatch has built up, cut out a section of your lawn and lift up the edge. You will quickly be able to see the thatch buildup in the cross-section. If it is thicker than ¼ inch, it is time to aerate.
When done once a year, aeration will reverse damage caused by thatch or heavy traffic. The tool is easy to use and you can usually aerate 5,000 square feet of lawn in about 3 hours. With regular aeration, your lawn can soon be the envy of the neighborhood.
*After aerating, you should also consider seeding a lawn.