The final episode in our Great Lawns Made Simple series is on aeration for lawns.
Good soil means good drainage, grass needs oxygen to grow well and if the soil is compacted and hard, it can stifle growth. Soil like this doesn’t allow water or nutrients to get in that would normally reach the roots.
You can help soil ‘breathe’ by aerating it. This just means creating air pockets in the soil.
A good time to do this is during the growing season as grass can recover and get the benefit from the aeration. Spring and autumn are good times.
Aerating a small lawn
With a small area, you can do it the most basic way with a garden fork, by pushing down into the soil at least 3cm. Wiggle the fork a little to create a wider hole. The solid prongs create gaps in the ground which allow air, water and nutrients in. There are also hand tools to do this which are better as they actually remove little plugs of soil.
Aerating a large lawn
For large areas and heavily compacted soil, the best option is to hire a machine, a corer that will remove plugs of soil, usually 2 or 3 inches. This can seem like a big job but is essential as it helps drainage and prevents other problems. Work your way up and down the garden and you will see the little plugs of soil. These cores can be broken down and raked back into the surface to benefit the grass.