To know the exact reason why you need to aerate the lawn, it is important to know what exactly the process of lawn aeration entails. And to know what exactly lawn aeration entails, it is important to know what a machine called an aerator is.
An aerator looks almost exactly like a lawn mower, except that the former is a bit wider, heavier, and shorter. It has an undercarriage composed of a cylinder that has rotating coring spikes. These spikes break up any compacted soil, which causes grasses grown to weaken and, eventually, die.
When compacted soil is broken down, the following things are expected to happen:
* Enhanced transfer of nutrients, water, and oxygen to the soil
* Promotion of microorganisms which help in breaking thatch down
* Reduction of pesticide and fertilizer runoff
* Helps to encourage the growth of root systems
In other words, the process of aeration helps grass and other plants thrive. Hence, this is considered as a garden maintenance procedure.
Most aerators are powerful machines, and as such, it should not take you half an hour or even more to accomplish the task in your own yard. However, this only happens if you exercise caution when using the machine.
The machine can be quite heavy, so make sure to push it the right way when operating it. Additional traction can be achieved with the two removable weights that come with the machine.
When turning the machine, you will need enough force as it is difficult to turn. And as you maneuver through the yard, make sure to avoid soft spots—these machines can get stuck in soft spots.
Be mindful of the locations of sprinkler lines and electrical wires buried in the yard. Aerators can create deep holes and damage these lines, resulting in waterlogged soil and electrocution.
Lastly, when moving the aerator into a vehicle, make sure it is supported by a stable ramp. The same follows when moving the machine from vehicle to the ground. Keep in mind that the machine itself is heavy, and trying to lift it yourself will severely injure you.
Other aeration methods for a lawn supported by a large rainwater tank are highlighted below:
* Get a garden fork. Drive this garden fork several centimetres deep into the soil. Rock back and forth so the soil gets sufficient amounts of oxygen. This method takes requires a good amount of time and energy to finish but is just as effective as using an aerator, not to mention that this approach is not as troublesome as the approach mentioned above.
* A manual plug aerator can be used. This type of device removes plugs of soil so it can ‘breathe’ properly and hold more nutrients and water.
Before doing either of the two approaches, make sure that you already know where the sprinkler lines and electrical wires are located in the yard. Damage to either can result in waterlogged soil and electrocution.