If you love your yard, especially if you’ve created an outdoor living space, chances are you spend a lot of time enjoying it. Maybe you have kids who like to play tag or hide and seek, or you host a few summer barbeques. So why have a yard if you don’t use it right?
Perfection agrees wholeheartedly! But the cost of enjoying your yard is compacted soil, and you pay that price with aeration. So while the cost is high for your soil, aerating is a bargain for all the joy you get from your outdoors.
If you’re unfamiliar with an aerator or dense soil, or if this is your first full year in your New Kentucky Home landscape, we have a crash course in everything you need to know to get your soil back in shape!
Why Does Soil Get Dense
So first off, let’s talk about how you got here. Soil compacts over time from the effects of gravity. When foot traffic increases, the earth gets packed.
Other factors that can increase the density of the ground are excess water, lack of vegetation, and erosion.
What’s the Problem with Compacted Soil?
Ok, you’re thinking, that makes sense, but does it matter? Dense soil is bad for your grass and other plants. A lawn can’t grow well in compacted soil.
When the ground is too packed, it’s difficult for water to get to the plants’ roots. It gets stuck in the upper layers or rolls off of them. In addition, that can cause standing water and flooding.
The flooding and extra water can cause further plant loss and erosion, which, as you recall, is what may have caused the density in the first place. In other words, it’s a negative self-perpetuating cycle that harms your yard.
What Are Signs You Need to Aerate Your Soil?
Now that you know the problem of dense soil, the signs that you need aeration will be familiar to you. The first sign you may need to aerate your soil is unhealthy grass. Unhealthy grass can advance to bare patches in your lawn where the grass has died.
Other signs include standing water, flooding, and erosion. Like so many landscaping issues, these signs can also indicate other problems and are best diagnosed by a professional. Guessing incorrectly can lead to treating the wrong problem.
How Does Aeration Work?
Aerating your soil is adding air and making space in it. In this way, it’s very similar to sifting flour. Unlike flour, however, your packed soil is not conveniently divided into one-pound bags, so we need to get more creative with how we aerate it.
Do the Hokey Pokey?
We use a professional aeration tool to poke holes in your soil. But what makes this tool different from just poking holes with extra long cleats is that the aerator also brings up plugs of earth. This distinction is crucial.
If you were only to poke holes in the soil, you would be making the ground denser as you packed the earth down. The plugs negate this issue. If you’ve ever walked over a lawn with several little holes and tubes of dirt on top, someone just aerated that lawn!
What Else Does Your Lawn Need?
If all you know about lawn care is mowing, then aerating is new to you. But there are other things your lawn needs to be healthy. If your yard has gotten to the point that it needs aeration, it may also need more.
We frequently pair overseeding with aerating because aerating creates the perfect conditions for new seeds to grow. The extra space in the earth gives your grass seeds a home and provides a path for water and nutrients to reach the new plants.
Naturally, if you’re adding new life, you want it to grow. And to thrive, seeds need food and water. Fertilizer gives grass seeds the nutrients they need to become a healthy lawn.
Does Your Lawn Need Aeration?
Although many indicators can point to the need to aerate a lawn, landscapes are complex, and there are often more factors at play than you can readily see. Therefore, we always recommend talking to a professional landscaper before making any landscaping decisions, especially when diagnosing a problem. It’s also worth noting that aeration should not only be used as a cure but also as prevention.
Perfection is available for all your landscaping needs, from planning and diagnosis to installation and maintenance.