Aeration 101

As autumn arrives, it’s a good idea to think about preparing your lawn for the oncoming winter. Aeration is one of the must-do jobs, especially if your lawn is often waterlogged. Find out everything there is to know about aeration, with tips and advice from Essex turf supplier, Paynes Turf.

Aeration 101 Paynes Turf

What is aeration?

Aeration involves punching a series of holes in your lawn to allow water to drain away from the roots of the grass and to allow air and vital nutrients to reach the roots. This will encourage the grass (and roots) to grow healthier and stronger, and will alleviate problems with soil compaction. If your lawn becomes waterlogged after rainfall then it will definitely benefit from being aerated.

How to aerate your lawn

Aerating your lawn is quite a simple task – although it can be quite time consuming, especially if you have a large lawn. To aerate your lawn by hand the only equipment you’ll need is a garden fork. Simply use the garden fork to poke holes into the turf to a depth of around 15cm – and spaced approximately 15cm apart – across the entire surface of the lawn. If you have a large lawn then you might want to think about hiring a spiking machine or plug aerator to do the job. A spiking machine will literally do just that – spike holes into the lawn – while a plug aerator removes a core of grass and soil and leaves the plugs on the surface of the lawn. There are greater advantages of using a plug aerator as opposed to a spiking machine, as the latter tends to push soil further down into the soil which could make compaction problems worse.

After you’ve aerated your lawn, it’s a good idea to brush in a mixture of sharp sand and top dressing to help prevent future drainage problems. Don’t be alarmed however, the top dressing will not block up the holes that you’ve spend hours making – instead, it will allow nutrients from the dressing to reach the roots of the grass and will also allow water to drain away from the roots much faster, leaving you with a healthy lawn.

How often should you aerate your lawn?

In most cases, you should aerate your lawn every other year, however if your lawn is largely made up from clay soil then it would be wise to aerate it every year; clay-based soil often suffers from compaction and drainage problems and will really benefit from aerating, and what’s more, good results can be seen almost immediately.