Top Benefits of Core Aeration in the Fall

After a summer packed with fun in the sun, you deserve a little breathing room — and so does your lawn. After months of barbeques, at-home waterparks and hot summer weather, your yard needs a break. Fall is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to treat your lawn before jumping into another busy season. But why is fall when you should aerate your lawn? 

Aeration gives your yard the proper care and fresh start it needs to stay healthy and look great. Read on to explore the best aeration method, learn about the major long-term benefits of this treatment and find out why OrganicLawns is the best option for aerating your lawn in Maryland.  

What Is Lawn Aeration? 

The topsoil on your lawn needs some extra care after a season of harsh sunlight, heavy rain and plenty of weekend yard work. Lawn aeration uses a machine with rotating spikes to perforate the top of your lawn. It is pushed like a mower across your yard and pokes holes in the ground along the way. The machine’s design allows 2-3 inch cores to roll over and dig up thatch and old soil down to the root zone. 

Aeration machines release the compact layer of soil from your lawn. The lawn cores are released onto the top layer of your lawn to be used later. Ultimately, the aeration process ventilates your yard to absorb fresh water, air and nutrients. Much like an exfoliant for your face, aeration removes any clogs and buildup under the surface and allows your yard to breathe. 

Differences Between Core Aeration and Spike Aeration

There are two different methods when it comes to aeration — core and spike. Although they may seem similar at first, the details make a huge difference in your lawn’s results. 

Core aeration releases the compression under your lawns using a machine with hollow, tube-like plugs. The rotation allows the plugs to pick up the old soil at the root level. Then, it releases the dirt cores onto the top of the lawn. You should not remove these cores right away — they will be useful for your lawn care later on. 

Spike aeration is exactly what it sounds like. It uses spikes at the end of the machine to poke holes into the lawn. This process does not dig up cores but pushes the soil down to open holes. The method doesn’t allow for any long-term benefits — only short-term ones that release compact pressure from the topsoil, not at the root level. Ultimately, spike aeration adds more pressure on the soil and may contradict what you intended to do for your lawn. 

When deciding between the two aeration methods, it’s important to keep your yard goals in mind. At OrganicLawns, we believe core aeration is more beneficial for your lawn — in fact, it’s the only method we use. Our aerator machines are accurate and efficient, which creates the necessary cores to give your lawn the right care in the future.

Top Reasons to Aerate Your Lawn 

You want your lawn to live to its full potential. Aerating your lawn will help you achieve the goals of bright colors, reduced bald patches and few weeds. The best ways to reach those goals are through prevention and preservation — which also stands as the two top reasons to aerate your lawn. 

Any yards in the northeastern states, like Maryland, experience all elements of the four seasons. Over time, frozen ground, harsh sun, heavy rain and other seasonal weather will start to affect your lawn. Winter damage especially could leave your grass looking weak and unhealthy when spring arrives. A proactive treatment, such as aeration, will prevent any unnecessary harm to your lawn throughout the year and leave your yard looking its best.

Along with these benefits, aeration will preserve the healthy soil growing in your yard. The aeration process will give your lawn the chance to circulate its nutrients and share them with areas that may need them the most. Although aerating your lawn may not be a quick fix, lawn owners need to consider the treatment to prevent damage and preserve their lawn.  

Benefits of Lawn Aeration 

Along with prevention and preservation, aeration offers your lawn even more long-term benefits. The perforations welcome much-needed water, air and nutrients into the ground while the cores take on their second purpose. The many long-term benefits of aerating your lawn include: 

  • Reduction of soil compaction  
  • Prevention of harmful buildup of toxins in your soil
  • Protection of plants in your yard from disease and pathogens
  • Elevation of the fertilizer and pesticides used during your usual lawn care 
  • Increase in new seed germination 
  • Decrease in weed growth 
  • Quick improvement in your lawns’ appearance

This list above is a great way to determine how the benefits of this lawn care treatment could help your lawn this season. Aeration is a lawn care method that works as the starting ground for creating a lawn you will be proud of. 

What Can I Do Once My Lawn Is Aerated?

Once your lawn is aerated, the rest of your lawn maintenance becomes easier. Anything becomes possible for a yard that has the chance to breathe because you’ve created a whole new playing field. Now that your soil is happy and healthy, you can avoid weed growth and even plant something new. An aerated lawn is easier to work with, but still requires care during the first couple of weeks and months. Keep an eye on your lawn and take action with the six steps below.  

  1. Leave the holes and cores Alone: The core plugs, or pieces of soil pulled during aeration, will sit on top of your grass and break down over time. This process all depends on the season and its weather, but eventually, the cores will fill in the holes with new soil. 
  2. Add fertilizer: The holes will give you access to the grassroots that need the most nutrients. Feeding fertilizer to them will allow fresher, healthier grass to grow in its place. 
  3. Water your grass: You’ll want to start with a heavy, infrequent watering schedule because it will help your grass grow deeper roots. As a result, this technique will make your lawn stronger and more resilient to the elements during the spring and summer months. 
  4. Add seeds:  Once the aeration treatment is finished, sprinkle seeds over the thinning or bare areas of your lawn right away. The seeds will sink into the ground with the core plugs that will break down in time. Pay close attention to these sections of your lawn so they can receive the proper care they need during this process.   
  5. Allow grass to grow: Avoid standing on your lawn or adding unnecessary pressure for the first month after aeration. This consideration gives the cores and new soil the chance to absorb and grow properly without any extra compression. Remember, alleviating pressure is one of the aeration’s purposes in the first place.  
  6. Avoid mowing: Make sure the new grass is higher than about 3.5 inches before mowing — you won’t want to cut more than one-third of it. If you’re unsure whether your lawn is ready, check to see if the soil is dry beforehand. Wetness is a good indicator that the soil is still too fresh. 

Aeration gives you access to the root zone, which will allow air, water, fertilizer and seeds to sink into your lawn for a lasting effect. By following the steps listed above, you’re one step closer to your dream lawn. Aeration takes the tough work out of your lawn care and gives you more time to enjoy your space. 

Should You Aerate the Lawn Yourself?  

Although aeration is a fairly simple process, it does take time, equipment and the right budget. If you choose a DIY treatment, aeration could cause more harm than good. Many quick or fast-acting products use spikes to aerate, which will not offer the most beneficial long-term results. Without the correct machine or proper lawn experience, you run the risk of adding more pressure to your lawn’s soil.  

There’s also the possibility of buying your own aerator machine. However, you should only aerate your lawn every 2-3 years, especially if you have a healthy lawn. Spending your lawn budget to buy a machine to use once every couple of years may not be practical for you. That aeration machine will just collect dust in the garage while your money goes to waste. Renting a machine is another option, but the expense of the machine paired with the amateur job you get when you have little experience with aeration is not worth the hassle. 

That’s why hiring a specialist like OrganicLawns may be the best option for you. Our expert techniques will make aeration easy on you and your lawn. Not only will you receive all the benefits of core aeration on your yard, but we’ll give you a competitive price as well. Give yourself a break and let a professional aerate your lawn for lasting results.               

When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Your lawn sets the scene for the season of sunny activities — backyard games for the family, afternoon BBQ parties with friends and impromptu water balloon fights for the kids. Once the fun is over, you may notice that your lawn looks patchy in places, drier than usual or just unhealthy overall. These are good signs that it’s time to aerate. Late summer or early autumn is the recommended time frame for when laws should be aerated because it falls right after the toughest season on your lawn. As we start settling into the new season, give your yard a fresh start too.  

How to Tell When You Should Aerate Your Yard

If you aren’t entirely sure if your lawn needs to be aerated yet, it doesn’t hurt to check. Sometimes you can notice a difference in your lawn’s consistency just by stepping on it. Your soil should have a little bounce to it, so if the soil is hard beneath your feet, that’s a good sign that it needs aeration. Newly constructed or renovated properties experience this hardness because of all the foot traffic and added pressure. Besides the typical signs that the soil is hard and compacted, there are some other methods for inspecting your lawn. See if your soil is ready by trying these two techniques: 

  • Screwdriver method: Push the tip of the screwdriver into your lawn by hand. It should usually slide right into the soil. If there’s resistance, your soil may be compacted. 
  • Shovel method: Dig and remove a piece of soil about four inches deep and inspect the thatch. Thatch or grassroots bigger than one inch is excessive, but nothing a little aerating can’t fix. 

As you can see, with a couple of tools found in your garage, you can check the status of your lawn. It doesn’t take much time to detect, but catching it before it’s too late is always best. Don’t wait — consider having your lawn aerated by a professional if you notice compression in your soil. 

Best Time to Aerate Your Lawn in Maryland 

As mentioned before, the seasons take a toll on Maryland lawns with heavy rainfall in the spring and fall, hot summers and winter storms. We recommend Maryland residents aerate their lawns in late August or early September. As you start to gear up for the back-to-school season, crisp autumn mornings and fall foliage, start thinking about how your lawn will handle the upcoming season. 

Aerating your lawn in the fall will give the soil time to soften, breathe and settle before the ground freezes. Plus, any rain in October and November creates a natural, heavy watering process, so you won’t have to worry about it. Then, in the spring, the grassroots will come back stronger and you can begin the seeding process. By next summer, your lawn will be healthier and greener than ever!    

Benefits of Aerating with OrganicLawns

Aerating your lawn can be quite a weekend project. So, why not leave the job to the experts in lawn care? At OrganicLawns, we believe your yard deserves the best. That’s why we perform core aeration to wield the long-term results that keep your lawn healthy and strong. Along with the best practices in the business, we also ensure your yard receives the best products by only using eco-friendly treatments and organic lawn care. This selection of products ensures the safety of your family, pets and the environment. We are proud to serve our clients in many Maryland counties, including: 

  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore County 
  • Carroll County
  • Hartford County
  • Howard County
  • Montgomery County  
  • Prince George’s County

We love working with our customers — they’re like family. But you didn’t hear it from us. Read through our customer testimonials to understand exactly why our loyal customers keep coming back. 

Contact OrganicLawns for Aeration Today

We want to see your lawn looking its absolute best all year round! Let us help you aerate your lawn this fall so you can start with fresh soil and grass in the coming year. Get the process started by contacting us for a free quote and meeting with one of our specialists in the Maryland area.    

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