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Proper lawn care means timely aeration. We’ll talk about the rules of this important lawn procedure.
In the turf of the lawn, areas of compacted soil are formed, which extremely negatively affects the possibility of penetration of oxygen, nutrients, water, while carbon dioxide accumulates, which slows down the growth rate of grass cover. If you do not ventilate the soil, and this is the essence of aeration, then the appearance of the lawn will certainly suffer, bald spots, dead wood, moss will appear, the lawn will become less resistant to cold and moisture. Properly conducted aeration reduces soil compaction, improves access of oxygen, water and essential substances to the roots.
Now that the need for aeration is clear, he will tell you how to properly conduct this lawn care event. To improve gas and water exchange in the soil, it is required to make holes, aeration and consists in the process of piercing the soil.
When aeration is needed
Typically, aeration is enough to carry out once a year, but if the load on the lawn is quite high, then 2-3 aeration may be needed throughout the year. Aeration may be needed during periods of severe drought to improve the flow of moisture to the roots, and during periods of intense rain so that the air dries out excess moisture and does not begin to rot.
Having noticed on your lawn the areas covered with moss, trampled, or those where the grass is very yellow and looks lethargic, know that aeration is simply necessary here. Another method to determine whether aeration is necessary is to inspect the roots of the lawn. To do this, cut a small piece of turf and examine it, short roots (not more than 2-5 cm) clearly indicate the presence of compacted areas of soil, which means that you should hurry with aeration.
The type of grass used in the lawn also affects the time of aeration. For example, bluegrass and fescue are intended for cool seasons and it is better to ventilate the soil for them in early autumn, when these herbs are in a phase of intensive growth.
As for the lawn grasses of warm seasons (e.g. Bermuda grass), aeration carried out in the spring, or at the very beginning of summer, is optimal for them.
Aeration is carried out with different tools, for a small lawn in the country, the most ordinary pitchfork will fit, with which you need to carefully pierce the ground 8-10 cm deep. For larger lawns, there are more sophisticated vertical tools that can be hand-operated or equipped with an electric motor. Verticulators can be equipped with hollow or massive knives, the second ones are worse, because often they produce new areas of compacted soil. Noteworthy is such a product as "aeration sandals" - shoes, on the sole of which there are a large number of hollow knives. Walking in such a “shoe” on the lawn serves the purpose of aeration, although again this is more applicable to a small lawn.
Rules for competent aeration
A day or two before the planned aeration, the lawn should be well watered so that the earth becomes softer. You can add dishwashing liquid to the water used for irrigation, at the rate of 1 cap per 40 liters of water. You can take advantage of rainy weather and carry out aeration the next day, unless of course the earth is completely wet, but only moistened to the right degree.
It is advisable to carry out aeration on a large lawn with the help of a rotator on an electric motor. Perform aerator movements, as if mowing the grass, when the previous and next strips go with 3-4 centimeter overlapping each other. In cases of a heavily compacted lawn, a second procedure may be necessary in which the direction of movement will lie at an angle of 90 ° to the previous one.
After 2-3 days, the earth will dry out, and then, armed with a rake, it is necessary to crush it and level it. After airing the soil, it is recommended to water and fertilize it. If bald spots and rare grass were one of the causes of aeration, then seeds should be sown in these places and watered abundantly but carefully so that the seeds would not be carried away.
Never aerate in hot weather - there is a high probability of completely ruining the lawn.
Proper care, and aeration in particular, will reduce the likelihood of dry patches, give the lawn resistance to disease and improve its appearance. Therefore, do not neglect aeration and share your experience on this issue.