Benefits of Spring Aerating

Most people are familiar with fall aeration. However, many people do not know that spring aeration is beneficial, too! Spring aeration helps alleviate compaction in Maryland’s clay soil. Spring in the perfect time to encourage thicker turf growth, increase nutrient exchange, and promote the health of your lawn.

Why you should consider spring aeration after Winter?

First, if you are not familiar with aeration, read this article to get a better grasp of the service and its benefits. Have you heard that aerating isn’t a spring service? This article is dedicated to debunking that myth and giving you facts along with our opinion. Winter is a tough season for lawns.

In Maryland, we typically get at least one decent snowfall per year. As the snow slowly melts, the soil becomes saturated and compacted from the wet conditions.

Although the grass appears to stop growing in the winter, we only observe 1/2 of the plant. Below the surface, the grass is storing nutrients and developing a robust root system.

So, as winter progresses nutrients are slowly depleted from the soil and the earth becomes compacted.

 

What does grass need in the Spring?

Spring is a time of revitalization.

Once the ground thaws and temperatures rise, plants use a tremendous amount of resources to break out of dormancy. They take advantage of the moderate weather and abundance of rain.

Grass thrives when the soil is loosened, and roots can plunge deeper into the earth. Grass needs an increased amount of nutrients during the spring to sustain vigorous growth.

 

How does spring aeration help?

Aerating solves compaction issues that develop in the winter. As a result, nutrients become more accessible to the lawn.

Maryland soils are clay based. Compaction will always be an issue. As you can see below, most lawns have some topsoil or organic matter. But, you can clearly see where the fertile top layer ends and the dense layer of clay begins.

Example of compacted clay soils and why aeration is crucial
Removing cores during aeration allows the soil to soften and expand into the vacant holes. Grass’ roots can also grow uninhibited by the dense layer of clay.

In addition to alleviating compaction, grass has more direct access to the resources it needs. Water and nutrients can freely travel to the roots. Vigorous growth can continue through the spring especially when a proper nutrient program is in place.

Spring aeration is not a silver bullet. It only solves one issue, compaction, and acts as a catalyst to fix a nutrient depleted lawn. But, in conjunction with other procedures, it is a valuable tool to have in your tool belt!

You can also try overseeding in addition! For info on overseeding and choosing the best seed click the respective links.

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