Aeration is a standard practice when it comes to home lawn care – it supplies the lawn’s soil with air by creating holes in the ground with the help of a piece of equipment called an aerator, or now with a new product on the market called aerating sandals!
Not only does it help control weed growth in the lawns, it reduces the hardness and compactness of the soil that tends to cause dry areas to appear or hinders the healthy growth of grass. An aerated lawn’s water and fertilizer moves more quickly and easily through the soil and into the plant roots.
When Should You Aerate?
The best time to aerate one’s lawn is during a hot and dry period, since aeration when the ground is moist can be difficult – it’s harder to pierce moist ground than it is to poke a hole in ground that’s cracked and crusted. In general, the drier patches of a lawn will be the areas with higher traffic, and thus may need to be aerated with more frequency.
The most effective form of aeration occurs when soil cores or plugs are pulled directly out of the ground, at about two or three inches deep and at a maximum of two to four inches apart.
Even during a dry spell, water your lawn the day before so that it has some moisture – even a small amount will allow deeper plugs to be pulled out, whereas cores from a completely dried out lawn may simply fall apart when more than an inch or so is attempted to be pulled out.
In addition, before you aerate, note all cable lines, shallow irrigation lines or any other important features that are under your lawn so that they will not be punctured or damaged when aerating!
Using Aerating Sandals
Aerating sandals are used in the exact same way as an aerator is used, however instead of your arms doing the work, your legs are what’s getting a workout! The sandals strap onto your regular shoes, and tend to have steel spikes that measure around 1 ½” long.
What is most convenient about aerating sandals is that they can be work while doing regular lawn work – why not wear them while mowing the lawn, getting two jobs done at once? Mowing and aerating will ensure that you get full coverage of the lawn, and don’t miss out on any areas.
Another benefit to aeration is that it can help control surface pests such as Japanese beetles – walking around the lawn in aerating sandals is proven to remove 56% of beetle grubs after walking around the lawn 3-5 times. Talk about an excellent alternative to insecticides!
Aerating sandals prevent thatch, control grubs, and revitalize your lawn’s compacted soil – and they are available from any number of companies in shoe sizes 6-10.
They’re also relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the price you might pay for a professional aeration company to go over your lawn, or the cost of renting an aerator for the day.
After you’ve completed aerating your lawn, in most cases it’s best to leave the cores on the ground’s surface, so that they can naturally work themselves back into the soil. Seed or fertilizer can be immediately laid down after completing aeration, and given a light watering – especially if you’re in the midst of a dry spell.