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Proper watering and fertilizing routines can help you keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. But over time, the soil in your lawn may become compacted, preventing water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots. Aerating opens up the lawn and allows water and nutrients to enrich the soil, helping your grass grow to its full potential.
Aerating breaks the soil surface by punching holes into the earth. A plug aerator removes clumps or "plugs" of soil (about the size of your finger) from the ground. Spike aerators simply push holes into the soil.
There are several important benefits to aerating:
These benefits lead to healthier grass, which means fewer weeds.
Aerate cool season grasses in the fall, warm season grasses in late spring. Self-propelled units, lawn tractor attachments and hand- or foot-powered tools are available for aeration.
Whichever tool you use, aerate your lawn using the same pattern as you would when mowing. Afterwards, rake to remove any soil plugs or wait for them to dissolve naturally. If you want, top-dress with compost or peat moss to further enrich the soil. You can also apply seed and fertilizer after aerating.