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Aeration Explained
Aeration, A Penny Practice That Saves Dollars
The practice of core aerating your lawn is an exceedingly worthwhile practice to ensure that the efforts, time and money spent on lawn maintenance throughout the year are maximized. It can easily be incorporated into any lawn maintenance program and should not be overlooked this spring. Core aeration allows roots to deeply penetrate the soil, helps fertilizer and organic matter get to the roots, allows oxygen to reach the roots and increases the absorption of water into the soil.

Core aeration is the mechanical removal of plugs, or cores, of soil from a lawn. These cores are brought to the surface of the lawn, left to compost on the lawn, and a small hole is left behind as a result. The act of creating these holes in a lawn, and soil below, serves a number of purposes. One important purpose is that it penetrates the thatch layer of a lawn. The thatch layer is where old grass blades and other organic material collect. This area is located just below the grass blades and on top of the soil surface. If left to accumulate over a long period of time, it can impede water and fertilizer absorption (increase runoff) and inhibit the gas exchange between the atmosphere and the soil (less oxygen getting to the roots). Penetrating this layer and creating these small holes allows oxygen to diffuse deeper within soil (and carbon dioxide out of the soil) and gives water, fertilizer and nutrients a place to enter the soil. The deeper the resources can get into the soil, the deeper and stronger a lawn?s root system will be. Having a deep root system gives a lawn a strong foundation for accessing additional nutrients and water located deeper within the soil profile. The more resources a lawn can exploit, the better a lawn will fare when conditions are adverse (drought, heat, etc.).

Now, as with just about every other gardening task out there, timing is everything. To achieve the maximum benefit from core aeration, it is best to perform this process while the ground is relatively soft and just before the grass begins to grow rapidly. One should always avoid aerating during the dry, summer months to avoid damaging an already stressed lawn. Additionally, the soil is much harder during the summer months. The hardened soil limits the depth with which the core aeration machine can penetrate the soil.

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Do not waste resources, and money, this summer. Schedule an appointment for an aeration procedure today with Scott Flanagan Landscape at 708-460-5884.

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Written and Edited By: Mark Jarecki and Scott Flanagan
Illustration By: Scott Flanagan

Scott Flanagan Landscape    708.460.5884    sfl@scottflanaganlandscape.com