(BPT) - Sometimes we need to take a breather, and your lawn is no different. Aeration — the process of extracting cores of soil, thatch and grass from the lawn surface — lets your lawn breathe and gain access to essential nutrients, so it can continue to look and grow its best.
While aeration is arguably the most important lawn maintenance task, it's often overlooked or misunderstood. TruGreen, the nation's leading lawn care provider, shares common myths around aeration and how you can incorporate it into your lawn maintenance to reap its benefits.
Lawn aeration and seeding basics
There are several benefits of aerating your lawn. The treatment provides access to the roots, which gives your lawn the oxygen, water and nutrients it needs for optimal health and thickness.
Aeration also helps manage the buildup of lawn thatch and soil compaction, the layer of mostly dead grassroots and stems. While this normally breaks down and decomposes on its own, too much thatch can be detrimental and make your lawn more susceptible to insect and disease problems.
For cool season grasses, overseeding is equally important, as it thickens turf. This can dramatically improve your lawn's appearance by filling in bare spots and addressing thinning areas. As a bonus, filling empty spaces also helps crowd out encroaching weeds.
If you're looking to set your lawn up for success in the year ahead, aeration and overseeding in late summer heading into the fall — August through October — can help ensure a healthy, thicker lawn that naturally helps prevent weeds.
Common misconceptions about aeration
Most homeowners know that mowing, weeding, watering and fertilizing or mulching are essential for a healthy lawn. Yet, according to a recent survey by TruGreen (in partnership with Opinium), only 25% of homeowners have aeration and overseeding done.
Among those who do choose aeration and overseeding for their lawns, many do so in the wrong season. More than half of homeowners surveyed believe that it needs to be done in spring to prepare for the summer heat and clean up the dregs of winter. In fact, only 12% of homeowners correctly know the best season for aeration and overseeding is actually late summer and early fall.
"Summer can stress your lawn with extreme heat, drought and foot traffic activities, however, aeration can provide some needed oxygen to get those turf roots growing again," said Brian Feldman, senior director of technical operations at TruGreen. "By addressing soil compaction and thatch buildup in late summer, aeration gives your lawn a chance to recuperate and improve its resiliency."
As a homeowner, you have dozens of responsibilities and tasks on your to-do list. To make sure your lawn is aerated and seeded correctly, it's best to partner with a lawn care provider who can save you time and provide expert advice.
Leave it to the professionals
Homeowners take pride in their homes, and their lawns are no exception. As one of the more strenuous lawn chores, it's best to consult a professional service for help with aeration and overseeding for quality results. Nine in ten people who have outsourced lawn care tasks to a pro are satisfied with the results.
For answers to all your lawn care questions, consider consulting a professional with lawn care expertise, such as TruGreen, so you can spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces.