As a child we have all had those times when we were on our way to school and as we skipped across the lawn in the school yard we noticed that we were stepping on what appeared to be a present left behind by a stray dog. However, our horror quickly subsided as we realized that it was only dirt and it covered the entire schoolyard lawn.
Memories from our childhood are wonderful, however, as an adult (or as we pretend to be adults) we know now that the process of removing cylindrical pieces of earth from the lawn is known as aeration. In fact, aeration is necessary for most lawns, especially school yards, where the soil gets compacted towards the surface, obstructing water seepage to the roots.
There are many ways to know whether or not you need to aerate your lawn, one way is to, using a shovel, dig a square-foot section of grass about six inches deep and examine. If grass roots do not extend further than two inches deep into the soil, it would be beneficial to aerate your lawn.
You should water your lawn at least one to two days before aerating your lawn; apply at least one inch of water to the grass. An easy way to know if you have watered your lawn enough to aerate it is to place an empty can of tuna fish on the lawn, and then let your lawn sprinklers water the lawn. If the can is full, then you have applied enough water.
Remember as well, that different types of lawn are best aerated during different times of the year. Determine what kind of grass your lawn consists of and search out what time of the year would be best.
To aerate you lawn, run the core aerator over the lawn in such a way that it covers the whole area only one time. It is suggested that a mechanical core aerator is ideal for aerating your lawn, as the tines of this type of machine are hollow inside.
You can rent a core aerator from most garden centers for about thirty to seventy-five for a few hours. Make sure to have a couple of friends and truck handy as the equipment is quite heavy and awkward to move.
Make sure to inspect and mark where sprinkler heads and other hidden objects in your lawn so as to not cause any unnecessary damage. This can prevent a lot of frustration.
Remember that soil cores can be left on the ground, and will compose after two to four weeks for the soil cores to break down naturally. Sprinkle compost or sand onto the lawn to fill in the holes.
There you have it, the process is quite easy, and for some quite nostalgic. However, make sure to watch out if you have children, because those cores may very well cause a war to erupt over your lawn.