Ah, the joys of a beautiful, well maintained front lawn. If you live in the suburban stretches of Bucks or Montgomery counties, there’s a good chance your property includes a lawn. Of course, whether that lawn is something of which you can be duly proud is another matter altogether. Landscape maintenance in Philadelphia—keeping its grass an ideally bright shade of green, with a thick and healthy appearance and a shining luster—is not always an easy task.
In fact, so difficult can the chore of maintaining a beautifully manicured lawn sometimes be that we’re often asked if there’s some magic bullet that, when added to a regular lawn care regimen, might result in a lawn straight off the pages of a gardening magazine.
The answer, of course, is no. What we’re here to tell you about, however, is the next best thing. It’s called turf aeration. You may have heard it referred to by a lawn service professional as core aeration, or perhaps soil cultivation. Some people refer to it simply as aeration. Technically confusing as that may seem, the concept behind it couldn’t possibly be simpler.
What is Turf Aeration?
Turf aeration is the process of removing small plugs of soil from your lawn, which improves the exchange of air between your soil and the atmosphere that surrounds it. When air, water and nutrients can more easily enter your soil and thatch layer, they can also more easily reach the area of your lawn known as the root zone. Healthy roots, of course, lead to a healthy lawn, and aeration makes that possible.
What Are the Benefits of Turf Aeration?
Not only will the seemingly simple process of turf aeration improve the health of your lawn—it will also significantly reduce the amount of required maintenance. Ultimately, turf aeration will benefit your lawn in more ways than you can count on both hands. If you use fertilizer, for instance, it’ll do its job better with an aerated lawn. Your lawn will be better prepared to deal with extreme heat or drought if you aerate. Should you experience heavy rains, aeration will lead to less water runoff and puddling on your lawn, which will even experience an improvement in cushioning.
Can I Aerate My Lawn by Myself?
A properly executed turf aeration job is more complicated than simply yanking plugs of soil from the ground. For starters, you’ll need to know how often and during which times of year to aerate. You’ll also need to be sure you’re using the right sort of aeration equipment.
In other words, yes: Technically speaking, core aeration certainly is a job you can complete by yourself. That’s assuming, of course, that you’re willing and able to put in the necessary research, time, physical effort, and money. If you’re a busy professional, or someone who considers their time to be especially valuable, hiring a professional to aerate your lawn will almost certainly be in your best interest.
What Time of Year Should I Aerate?
As a rule of thumb, aerating just before or during periods of high growth will generally be your best bet. You don’t, however, want to aerate during or immediately prior to weather events that will stress your lawn, such as unseasonably hot weather.
To determine the ideal time of a high-growth season during which to aerate, you’ll first need to figure out what sort of grass lives on your lawn. Do you have cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue, or perennial ryegrass? You’ll want to aerate during the early spring or fall. If you’re working with warm-season turfgrass, however, such as zoysiagrass or bermudagrass, the period from mid-spring through summer will be your best time to aerate.
How Often Should I Aerate My Lawn?
Thankfully, the average Bucks County, Montgomery County or greater Philadelphia landscape doesn’t need to be aerated more than once a year. Although that’s not necessarily to say that you can’t aerate more often. If you have a heavily used lawn—if you frequently host lawn parties, or have kids or grandkids that are especially tough on the grass—twice-annual aeration might not be a bad idea. Golf fairways and the turf at sporting facilities, for instance, tend to be aerated as many as five times a year.
Will This Year’s Unpredictable Weather Affect My Aeration Schedule?
In a word: Yes. Along with much of the Eastern Seaboard, Southeastern Pennsylvania has experienced an unusually warm winter this year. Thus, determining the best time to aerate has become increasingly complicated. The uniformed and certified professionals at Realty Landscaping, however, are highly trained to protect your investment and maximize the potential of your residential landscape.
Our pros arrive in clean, clearly marked trucks and are courteous and professional throughout your project. Regardless of the oddities in today’s weather that make turf aeration a frustratingly tough task for the average homeowner, our employees will get the job done right, on time, every time. To request a free consultation, contact us today.