Aeration is the process of creating the opportunity for better circulation in your lawn. It provides better drainage, better penetration of water, and better air infiltration in the soil—in other words, a better environment for your lawn’s root system. Aeration reduces compaction. Compaction can be caused by a number of things—excessive traffic, hard rainfalls, rainfalls that cause flooding and/or standing water (forcing all the oxygen out of the soil,) sodium in your city water, or just the type of soil you have (clay, for example.)
Lawn aeration promotes lush, green grass but is a task often overlooked by property owners. We at Fairway Lawns strongly recommend aeration for all lawns once each year.
Lawn Aeration with Sup-R-Soil
We’re always looking for services and products that help bring our customers healthier, greener yards, that’s why we use a natural, liquid aeration called Sup-R-Soil that we apply during the growing season. Sup-R-Soil is a liquid aeration product unlike any other soil amendment on the market! We recommend Sup-R-Soil because it gives complete coverage.
What is Liquid Aeration?
Liquid aeration is a lawn treatment that reaches deeper soil and loosens it better than other lawn aeration tools can. While mechanical aeration has its benefits, it only covers about 3–5 percent of your lawn. Sup-R-Soil, on the other hand, covers 100 percent of your lawn and provides other benefits that mechanical aeration does not. This environmentally-friendly product loosens and aerates compacted soil and is completely natural and biodegradable.
How Sup-R-Soil Impacts Your Yard
Sup-R-Soil is a natural polymer with both a negative and a positive charge. If you’ve ever played with magnets, you know that aiming the positive end of one at the positive end of the other will push the magnets apart, because opposites attract. The principle behind Sup-R-Soil is somewhat the same—the positive and negative forces work together to push it through your soil and aerate it. Sup-R-Soil:
- Improves nutrient retention, maximizing the benefits of fertilizer
- Eliminates the need for aeration with a machine
- Maximizes the benefits of rainfall or your watering, even during drought
- Reduces thatch, soil erosion, and soil compaction
Only one application of Sup-R-Soil per year is necessary, as the effects are long-lasting. Our lawn care experts provide quality lawn aeration services with Sup-R-Soil that can improve the health and beauty of your lawn!
Fairway Lawns offers mechanical aeration in the fall only, in Tulsa, Memphis, and Springdale, in conjunction with the fall seeding of cool season grasses like fescue, rye, and bluegrass.
If you are out of our select service area or prefer to mechanically aerate on your own, you can rent an aeration machine. Equipment rental companies and lawn and garden stores that rent out aerator machines should provide basic operating instructions for the model you choose.
Mechanical aeration equipment comes in three main types, from small manual versions to larger tractor-like or pull-behind machinery:
- Spike aerators: These poke a hole down into the soil with a solid, spike-like tine. Some homeowners wear spiked aerator “sandals” strapped to their shoes to aerate as they do yard work. While these can help on a small scale, spike machines can make compaction worse by pressing soil together around the holes.
- Slicing aerators: These poke a hole down into the soil with a solid, spike-like tine. Some homeowners wear spiked aerator “sandals” strapped to their shoes to aerate as they do yard work. While these can help on a small scale, spike machines can make compaction worse by pressing soil together around the holes.
- Core or plug aerators: Typically preferred by lawn professionals, these use rows of hollow tines that remove plugs of soil from your lawn and deposit them on top, where they break down. The size of the plugs and the holes they create vary in width and depth, depending on the machine used.
Aerating is a lot like mowing as you work back and forth across your lawn. Concentrate on any known problem areas, like pet runs or backyard baseball diamonds. Make several passes in different directions to help ensure optimal coverage and benefits.
Why Lawn Aeration is Important
In order for grass roots to grow thick, deep, and strong, they need air, water, and nutrients. Aeration loosens the soil and allows those essentials to penetrate more easily. If you notice that water always runs off your lawn when you’re watering, you really need to aerate to save on your water bill!
Thatch is a tight layer of organic matter (living and dead stems, leaves, and roots) that accumulates between the layer of actively growing grass and the soil underneath. Thatch and compacted soil create a significant difference in the health and beauty of your lawn. When thatch gets more than a half-inch thick, it prevents the flow of air, water, and essential nutrients.
The nutrients in Sup-R-Soil help reduce thatch. It also forces sodium down below the root zone. Removing sodium from the root zone of your grass is so important because the sodium occupies spaces (called exchange sites) in the soil that should be occupied by nutrients, like fertilizer. Once the sodium is gone, the grass can more readily absorb the nutrients, which means you get the most benefit out of your fertilizer. High sodium levels prompt deficiencies of other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Unfortunately, excess sodium is frequently present in your local water source that you use to water your lawn.
When Should Core or Mechanical Aeration Be Done?
Core or Mechanical aeration is great for lawns, but if done at the improper time, it can stress your grass. It is best to aerate during or right before the time your grass reaches its peak time for natural growth. When aeration coincides with active growth, grasses recover quickly and fill in areas where aerator equipment exposes soil. Never aerate dormant lawns.
Additionally, aerating is easiest on you (or your equipment operator) and your lawn when your soil is moist from irrigation or rainfall the day before. Overly dry soil can be tough to aerate, so moisture eases the process. Never aerate overly wet lawns — wait a few days instead!
Cool season grasses that are common in northern lawns (fescue, rye, bluegrass) should be aerated in the fall, at the same time that overseeding is done. Warm season lawns that are common in southern areas (Bermuda, zoysia, centipedegrass, St. Augustine) should be aerated in the spring or early summer. The beauty of liquid aeration is that it can be done anytime!
What To Do After Aeration
After aerating your lawn, let the soil plugs or extra soil dry where they fall so they can break down in rain or crumble the next time you mow to add beneficial soil and organic matter to your lawn surface.
Post aeration is the perfect time for fall overseeding and fertilizing or doing any lawn repairs. Seeds and nutrients have direct contact with soil through the openings left after aeration and roots have fresh pathways for the things they need. The combination can help put your lawn on the fast track for quick seed establishment and thicker, lusher growth.
Is Lawn Aeration Worth It?
Yes! Annual aeration can help ensure your lawn can reach its full potential for thickness, health and beauty.
Benefits of aeration include:
- Reduced soil compaction
- Improved air exchange
- Improved water penetration
- Improved resiliency and cushioning
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduced water runoff and puddling
- Improved rooting
- Enhanced thatch breakdown
Lawn Aeration Service
Fairway Lawns is committed to providing you with the best lawn care products and services to help you achieve your lawn goals. Contact our lawn care technicians today for professional lawn aeration services you can count on!