Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. Many people do this to alleviate compacted soil in their lawns. Although it isn’t necessary, it can be very beneficial to your grass. Below we have listed some reasons to help you figure out if your lawn is a good candidate for aeration.
Soil is Heavily Compacted- If you get very heavy traffic on your lawn, it should be aerated during the growing season. If you have children or pets running over your yard, this can cause soil to be heavily compacted.
Newly Constructed Home– If you just moved into a newly constructed home, usually the construction equipment has caused the soil to become heavily compacted. Normally the topsoil from a newly constructed lawn is stripped or buried, and the subsoil is destroyed by the construction taking place.
Dries Out Easily– If your lawn dries out easily and feels spongy, you should aerate. Sometimes this means that you could have a heavy thatch build-up. You can always test this by digging out a piece of your lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch build-up is greater than ½”, you should aerate.
For Zoysia, the best time to aerate is in the late spring. This way, the grass will be able to heal and take over the parts that you removed from the lawn. You should also make sure that the ground is soft and moist before aerating. It is normally efficient to aerate the day after a nice rain. You can either use a spike aerator which pokes little holes in the ground with a fork-like tool or a plug aerator which removes larger pieces from the ground for better results. Plug aerators are usually more successful for a lawn. Remember to continue the normal care for your lawn after you have aerated. Aerating is not necessary, but it can be very helpful in the long run.