We have all seen the goofy looking shoe accessory you're supposed to wear on your walk to pick up the Sunday newspaper; unfortunately, that method just won't cut it for the Southeast's tough soil.
What does aerating your lawn do?
Just as potted plants need to be repotted allowing their roots to grow and expand, your lawn's roots need to grow and expand. Heavily traveled on soil or soil with high clay content can make it difficult for your lawn's roots to generate new growth. The evident problem is your lawn cannot be repotted; therefore, we aerate. The process is designed to penetrate the lawn's turf and root system. There are multiple methods to aerate a lawn, but the most effective method is "core aeration."
As the name suggests the machine will roll over your lawns turf removing small (quarter sized) cores of grass, soil, and root. The end picture is alarming and can leave you thinking what have I just done! There is no need to worry, these plugs of soil can either be raked up or left to quickly break up and dissolve back to the soil below.
The holes left in your turf breath new life to the surrounding roots. Growing roots now have direct access to oxygen, water, and fertilizer.
Why should I aerate my lawn?
Maybe the most important thing to do this season is aerate. One thing these heavy rains do is cause our red clay to stick together. This eliminates pore space and leaves no room for roots and oxygen in the soil profile. Aeration this season will be essential in allowing the soil structure to get back into balance.