What is aeration?
Perforation of the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots.
Why do I need to aerate my lawn?
Aeration helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Soil compaction limits the amount of nutrients and water to penetrate the roots of your lawn.
How do I aerate my lawn?
A smaller area of lawn can be aerated manually with aerating sandals (sandals with spikes that aerate the lawn as you walk) or a sturdy garden fork. Simply insert the fork into the lawn and punch holes into the soil. Aim for a spacing between the holes of around 8 – 10cm. In order to achieve adequate aeration, you may need to go over the area twice in a different direction each time.
You can also hire specialised aerators if you have a particularly large lawn.
How often should I aerate my lawn?
Different soil types require more frequent aeration. Clay soil compacts easily and should be aerated at least once a year. You can aerate a sandy lawn once a year, or once every two years. In harsher climates, aerating twice a year will encourage turf growth and health.
Test your pH
After aerating, it is a good time to test your pH and take action if required. pH affects your lawns ability to absorb the minerals and nutrients needed, in order to thrive.
The ideal pH range for your lawn is somewhere between 6 and 7. You can purchase a pH testing kit here at the Lawn Care Store.
If your pH is not where you need it, now is also the time to apply soil additives and conditioners to improve your soil type. A few additives and conditioners are listed below. For the best advice talk to your local Lawn Solutions Centre or closest Lawn Solutions Australia Turf Grower for specialised knowledge.
Tips to improve your soil type:
- Lime (calcium carbonate) helps raise pH and neutralise acidic soil.
- Gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate and helps break down clay soils.
- Fertiliser – Because aerating allows nutrients to better penetrate, straight after aerating is a perfect time to fertilise your lawn as well.