How does aeration relieve a compacted lawn?

By | 27/11/2012
Lawn Aeration Diagram

In the third part of my series of posts on lawn aeration, I will explain how the process of aerating relieves a compacted lawn.

As explained in my previous post, compaction is the squashing together of the soil particles in the top surface of a lawn. This prevents gas exchange and moisture from getting to the roots and the grass suffers as a result.

An aeration treatment involves punching thousands of holes into the surface of a lawn. Solid tine aeration (sometimes called spiking) involves solid metal spikes which just make a hole in the soil, whereas hollow tine aeration uses a clever machined tube which physically removes a “core” of soil, usually around two centimetres in diameter and up to ten centimetres deep.

Both of these treatments help, although the hollow tine allows the lawn to “relax” more, giving the soil particles more space to increase the size of the air gaps within, allowing water and nutrients to penetrate more easily which all help the grass. It then thickens, grows more vigorously and the lawn improves.

Aerate to improve your lawn

Often, the speed and quality of the improvement in the lawn is really surprising, sometimes even making more of an impact than a heavy fertilisation. The grass often has all of the right nutrients in the soil, but if it has no space within the soil to grow roots and to absorb these nutrients, it will only struggle. Aeration can be the key between an average lawn and wasted money and time, and a fantastic lawn you are proud of!

There are two different methods of mechanically aerating a lawn, solid-tine aeration and hollow-tine aeration. Each one does a slightly different job in terms of how they relieve compaction, and hence when they should be used, and I will explain the details of each in a later post.

If you are concerned about a compaction issue in your lawn, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I will be happy to advise.

Kris Lord
Lawnscience (South Manchester) Ltd

Next time: When should I aerate my lawn?

 

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