Aerate Your Lawn How and Why

Skip Orth:
Hi. This is Skip Orth with Father and Son Pest and Lawn Solutions. Today, I'm going to be talking about aerating. This is an aerator. Now, there's different types of aerators. This particular aerator is what's known as a core aerator. The reason is called a core aerator is because the tines are hollow. They're like hollow tubes. When they go into the ground, they'll actually pull out little cores of soil, which we'll see in a few minutes that are going to be about the size of my finger. We're going to aerate over this area and after we do, you'll see the holes and you'll see the cores that these tines pull out. This is actually the best type of aerator to you. The other type of aerator is called a spike aerator. Instead of having tines that are hollow like this, they just are solid spikes. All they do is poke holes in the ground versus actually pull cores of soil out like these do. This is the best hype to use.

Skip Orth:
Now, let's take a look at this area that we're going to be aerating. This is actually an area of my lawn, and it's an area that has struggled for a long time. As you can see, it's not as green, and it's not as vibrant as the rest of the lawn. What I'm going to do is I'm going to aerate this area probably once a month over the growing season and add a little bit of fertilizer to this area in order to perk it up. What aerating does, it actually loosens the soil so that micro pockets of air, and moisture and nutrients can get in around the root system of the grass and allow it to take those elements up and grow and be healthier.

Skip Orth:
This area is probably struggling because it has all these trees around it. These trees compete for water, nutrients, sunlight. Whenever you're growing grass and trees in the same general area, the trees are always going to compete with the grass and the grass is going to suffer for it because the trees are bigger and stronger than the grass is. What we have to do is we have to do things like aeration in order to help the grass, give the grass a competitive edge against the trees, the root competition, and so forth. What I'm going to do, I'm going to go ahead and start up the aerator and make a few passes along this area and show you what aeration looks like.

Skip Orth:
What I'm going to do, I've started the aerator and I'm going to lower the tines by doing this. What that does is that puts the tines in the ground. The aerator is actually self-propelled, so when I pull this lever, it's going to start moving on its own, so here I go. Now, once I've made the first pass with the aerator, I want to turn it around and go the other way, but in order to do that, I need to lift the tines back up because if I try and turn the aerator without lifting the tines, I'll tear up the grass, so I lift the tines, turn the aerator around and lower the tines again. Here I go again.

Skip Orth:
Here are some of the cores of soil that the aerator has pulled up. You can see the holes about the size of my finger, and these are the cores. We'll just leave these cores on the ground and they'll eventually just fall apart and go back into the soil. Now, you want to make sure that you don't leave any gaps between the rows that you're aerating you want. You want the rows to be right on, or even a little overlap is okay. Even if you want to aerate one direction and then come back and aerate the other direction, that's fine. It's really hard to aerate too much in one session, so just make sure that you make the passes close together and that you get a lot of these cores out of the soil.

Skip Orth:
Now, as these holes begin to fill in and collapse, it just causes a chain reaction in the soil and creates micro pockets of air that that will hold oxygen, and nutrients and fertilizer for the grass to just be healthier. That's how you aerate. That's how you air rate a lawn. Usually, you want to aerate a lawn that's weak like mine, is a good example of wind to aerate, or if you have soil compaction, maybe an area that's not draining real well, areas with a lot of root competition. Those are all examples of when you need aerate. Okay. Thank you very much.