All About Lawns
Lawn Care Service Lawn Mowers and Mowing Lawn Maintenance and Care Grass Types Lawn Weeds and Pests Backyard Basics Lawn Care Provider Directory  

Got Brown Grass? Get the Lowdown on Aerating Lawns

by Shannon Lee, All About Lawns Columnist

Many homeowners offer a blank stare when someone suggests aerating might help their lawn become more healthy, green, and lush. That's because aeration has long been considered the realm of the lawn care professional, and many homeowners were content to leave the job to someone else.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
Do you own your home?
Yes   No
Enter your zipcode:

But when the economy gets tough, homeowners turn to doing more things on their own. Lawn aeration is one of those things that is easy to learn and almost as easy to do.

What Is Lawn Aeration?

When soil becomes hard and compacted, the roots of your grass can't reach deep enough to receive the nutrients they need. Rainfall runs off the soil instead of seeping into it, essentially starving the roots of your lawn. The result is a lawn that doesn't grow, looks unhealthy, and eventually becomes barren and brown.

Aeration remedies that situation by pulling small cores of soil from your lawn, breaking up tangles of roots and opening up more room for water and oxygen to saturate the soil.

When Should You Aerate?

Most aeration is done in the spring and fall, but there is a surefire test you can try to determine whether your lawn needs aeration. Using a common screwdriver, press the point into the soil in several different places. If the screwdriver passes into the soil easily, you're in good shape. If it encounters resistance, it's time to aerate.

Choosing a Lawn Aerator

The best lawn aerator is one with tines, which pull up plugs of ground. Smaller lawns might benefit from an aerator you can pull behind a small tractor or mower, while larger yards might need a riding aerator or something with similar muscle.

Choose it, and then use it! The health of your lawn depends on it.

About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

© 2019 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.