Why should my lawn be on an aeration program?
For years, professional groundkeepers have been able to keep their golf courses and athletic fields beautiful in playing condition by the mechanical processes of turf aeriation. Soil high in clay content and lawns grown on subsoil exposed when new houses are built are subject to compaction. Soil compaction results in reduction in the pore spaces in the soil through which water, nutrients and air enter. Grass roots cannot penetrate into compacted soils. The result is shallow rooted plants which lack vigor and are prone to injury during periods of plant stress like heat and drought.
Compaction and heavy clay soil also contribute to thatch layer development. Soil micro-organisms that help decompose thatch require oxygen to work. Without adequate oxygen the soil microbes cannot decompose thatch as fast as it develops.
How does turf aeration work?
Turf aeration is a mechanical process that involves the removal of many small cores of soil from the lawn. Thatch control is accomplished by decreasing soil compaction, introducing more oxygen to the soil so earthworms and soil microbes can help decompose thatch. The soil cores are left on top of the lawn and allowed to break apart, the soil filters down through the grass and thatch layer introducing thatch decomposing microbes into the thatch to assist in the decomposition process. The addition of soil to the thatch layer also creates a thatch-soil growing medium that is healthier for the turfgrass plant until the thatch completely decomposes.
Are there other benefits of turf aeration?
Turf aeration improves your lawns appearance by increasing turf thickness, vigor, and overall health. By improving the overall health of the grass plants, your lawn will be better prepared to resist the negative effects of drought, disease and insect infestation.