Core Aeration - Let Your Lawn Breathe Easy

According to the folks at the American Lung Association, most of us take about 20,000 breaths a day, filling our lungs with much needed oxygen. If you were to stop taking those breaths, you would lose consciousness in about a minute or so, and you would die in within a few minutes of losing consciousness. In addition to oxygen, you need water, food and a little space to move around, right?

Well, you aren’t the only one with these basic needs: air, water, food (nutrients) and space. Animals and plants need the same things- and, your lawn is no exception.

Annual Core Aeration Gives Your Lawn Room to Thrive

Core aeration is one of the best annual lawn maintenance services you can provide for your lawn. In fact, if your lawn could talk, it would say, “Aerate me, baby! Things are feeling awfully tight down here…” When things feel tight, roots can’t breathe and exchange gases like they need to, and that’s just the beginning of the ailments that can unfold.

Aerating your lawn provides a myriad of benefits:

It reduces soil compaction. Think about a year in the life of your lawn. In most cases, human and animals walk, run, sit, lay down and play on it. It may experience car and/or heavy equipment traffic. Maybe you camp out on it on warm summer nights or host parties and picnics on top of it. These activities all contribute to soil compaction, placing increased pressure on the grass roots, to the point that it chokes them and prevents them from being able to take up vital water and nutrients to feed the beautiful grass blades above ground.

When you run a core aerator over your lawn, it immediately removes all that pressure and allows the soil to move back into a natural, well-draining, non-compacted way of being.

More space = better breathing (aka “gas exchange”). As we mentioned above, plants and their roots breathe too. They perform vital gas exchanges in order to get rid of toxins and feed themselves. In fact, roots perform an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide just like we do. If soil is compacted too tight, the roots aren’t able to absorb the levels of oxygen they need, which can begin a slow asphyxiation of sorts.

Aerating solves this problem by making room for soil and roots, allowing significantly more gaps between soil particles and root cells, so that essential respiration can take place.

Lawn aeration increases the soil’s moisture content. There is a direct relationship between soil compaction and water drainage. The more compact the soil is, the less water can permeate the top layers and soak up into lower layers where it is accessed by roots. When your lawn’s soil is compacted, irrigation is much less effective because the bulk of the water runs right off or sits on top and evaporates – only the bare minimum actually penetrating deeper underground. The roots will then shrink and the smaller they are, the less they can do their job.

Once your lawn is aerated, water can penetrate much deeper, getting way down to the very bottom sections of those roots. The roots will soak all that water up like a sponge, exponentially increasing their surface area, which makes for a much more lush and healthy lawn on top.

Your roots will have access to more nutrients. Soil diversity is a hot topic in the landscape and agricultural world these days. While most people know that earthworms are a sign of soil health, there are millions of microbes that also live underground. These microscopic lives are vitally important for breaking down the soil – and soil nutrients - so plant roots have better access to vitamins and minerals. Some of the microbes’ byproducts are also used by plant roots. If your soil is too compacted or (literally) dying of thirst, these microbes die too.

The space created when you aerate your soil, which also increases the moisture content, will allow these vital soil microbes and mycelium (fungus) to thrive. Expanded root beds will eagerly take advantage of this and will have an easier time feeding the entire lawn.

The end of summer and beginning of fall are a great time to put “core aeration” on your calendar. Don’t have a core aerator of your own? No problem!

Contact Joshua Tree and we’ll schedule an appointment. One of our lawn maintenance technicians will stop by and run our core aeration machine over your lawns. We assure you, your grass will thank you for it!  610-365-2200.

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