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While aerating benefits lawns with shallow roots and compacted soil, your yard may not have these issues. Another option to help maintain a healthy lawn is a process known as verti-cutting.
The picture on the left shows an example of the aerating process. The grass had shallow roots and hard soil. After aerating, you can see how the ground now has access to vital nutrients like water, oxygen and nitrogen.
Compacted soil is often mistaken with pest infestations, a lack of fertilizer, disease outbreaks, or several other common lawn problems. When the compaction of the soil is to blame, the damage to the lawn may look similar to other common problems, but any treatment other than aeration will have little impact on the health of your lawn.
The arrival of September with the milder conditions helps revive the summer stressed turf. It naturally wants to grow and thrive. This is why it is important to give the grass what it needs to fully recover from the stress of summer.
Traditionally September is considered the most important month for care of our cool season lawns, bluegrass and tall fescue. September is a good time to aerate your lawn as part of a healthy maintenance program. Aeration of a lawn helps loosen the soil allowing oxygen and nutrients to enter the soil and help cultivate a suitable soil for a healthy lawn. When a lawn is not aerated, soil compaction reduces the ability of the soil to transfer nutrients to the grass.
An Aerator has tines that are forced into the soil and leaves behind a finger sized plug of soil out of the ground. Core Aeration is the best way to help reduce soil compaction. It is the compaction of heavy clay soils that halt deep root development and the movement of water and nutrients into the soil. This lack of strong, vigorous roots is what often time leads to a thin lawn which cannot stand up to the heat and drought of summer. Normally, it is best aerate in at least two directions so that the plugs or holes are about 3 inches apart.