What is sports turf aeration?
You may have heard the term aeration before when talking about sports turf. But what exactly does it mean? It’s the process of removing plugs of grass from the lawn in order to aerate the turf. These plugs go deep enough to core out a small section of grass and underlying soil in order to help the turf aerate (or exchange of air between soil and atmosphere) naturally. Turf aeration is best received by the grass when plug spaces are deeper and tine spacing is closer.
Why should I aerate?
Why should one aerate their soil? Because by removing these plugs of grass, the soil is allowed to breathe, promoting less compaction and therefore root growth. Both of these things equal healthier grass! When turf and soil are compacted, water and fertilizer cannot correctly reach the roots. This compaction can happen from regular use such as walking, mowing, or playing a sport on the turf.
Some other benefits of lawn aeration are:
- Better intake of water into the soil
- Improved air exchange
- Stronger roots in soil
- Less compaction within soil
- Better intake and use of fertilizer
- Less harmful puddling of water
- Less water runoff
- Higher resistance to drought and heat stress
- Better cushioning and resiliency to other possible issues
How often should I aerate?
Aeration to most turf grasses should be done annually. However, if the lawn is in heavy use, some turf can benefit from twice a year aeration efforts. In some cases for certain sports, aeration can even be needed three to five times a year.
When should I aerate?
Cool season turf grass needs can be aerated in both the Spring and the Fall. This aeration in the Spring can be done anytime between March and May, and the aeration in the Fall can be done anytime between August and November. In contrast warm season turf grasses need to be aerated in about the mid Spring through the end of Summer. This aeration should not be done until after the first mowing has been done in the Spring.
What kind of sports turf aeration equipment do I need?
Aeration machines allow for turf aeration to be done quickly and easily in large spaces. Aeration machines with solid spikes or tines will only compact the soil more, and you will want a machine that allows for the removal of tube like areas from the turf. Depending on the size of the area, there can be aeration machines that operate anywhere from walking and pushing to tractor drawn units. You can sometimes rent these machines at your local home improvement store, or you can just trust a professional to do the work for you and take away the guessing game!
If you have any further questions about sports turf aeration, please contact Commonwealth Sports Turf Services today!
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