What is aeration and do I need it?

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By Dalton Quigley

Why should a lawn area be aerated and what is aerification?

Nashville Core Aerification

Most home properties in the Nashville TN area have a problem with compaction of the soil in turf areas. This occurs because of a high clay content in soil, weather conditions, and weight on turf areas like walking or machinery. Aeration for Nashville Lawns means to make either holes or slices in the soil to allow oxygen and other airborn nutrients into the soil. There are two most often used methods of aerification one is core aerification and the other is ground slice aerification. Lets go over the first below:

Core Aeration

This is the process of using a heavily weighted machine that pushes tube like rods into the soil, when they are pulled back up a small ( about 1/2 ) diameter plug is pulled up and deposited on the surface. This plug takes

nurtients from below and deposits them on the surface while making a hole airborn nutrients can get into to satisfy your plants nutrient needs. Some properties may never have the lawn they could have if they are not properly aerated. There is another popular method called ground slicing.

Ground Slicing

When ground slicing is performed an attachment is usually towed behind a motorized riding machine. There are blades that slice the ground on a 45 degree angle which oopens up the soil to airborn nutrients, in many years of experience I find clients prefer the results from core aeration. I do believe both are beneficial and have benefits.

Aeration Provided Quigley’s Landscaping of Nashville Tennessee 615-715-8216

What time of year should I aerate?

You should aerate when the soil is not soaked with water or too dry. The time of year does not matter when aeration is performed but many people choose to aerate at the time of seeding to have the additional benefit of seed falling into the new holes where it can germinate faster because of warmer ground temperatures and a more moist environment.

In the Middle Tn Nashville area aeration is recommended at least once a year. If you aerate at the time you seed a place is created that allows the seed to germinate better. The ground temperature is typically warmer than the night air in Spring and Fall so aeration provides an opening into those warm moist conditions seed loves. Consider Aeration when seeding and if you don’t seed because of the type of grass you have then you should still aerate to improve your turf grasses health.

Aerification of your lawn has the benefits of giving the roots of your turf oxygen, and other important nutrients, reduces compaction, and can make a  place for seed to germinate faster. Now that you know what aeration is and the different common types I need to tell you that yes you need it. I hope you consider core aerification for your yard this year. If you are seeding and aerating you should learn about protecting grass seed from cold temperatures using this method.

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