Why, How and When to Aerate a Lawn in the UK

Aerating a lawn in the UK

What is aeration?

Aeration is a process to keep your soil healthy in order to give your lawn the best chance of flourishing. It involves making small holes in your soil which therefore facilitates the absorption of air, water and essential nutrients into it. Aeration makes it easier for your grass roots to take up these nutrients and therefore giving them the best chance of growing healthily. Aeration also allows for the old carbon rich soil which has become compressed and dense to become light, oxygen rich soil which makes for a great base, stimulating the grass roots and encouraging them to grow.

Aeration has many benefits:

  1. Relieves surface compaction, lessening the gradual build up of thick that below the lawns surface.
  2. Stimulates new root growth.
  3. Helps with lawn drainage and absorption.
  4. Increases the uptake of nutrients.
  5. Helps create a better balance and gaseous exchange between the soil and the surrounding atmosphere.

Why do we aerate?

Because often grass or lawn thatch can become built up, aeration is crucial. If your lawn gets heavy use the soil can easily compact, it also may end up with a thick thatch. Without aeration nutrients such as fertilisers or essential water may not penetrate the soil properly and therefore will be unable to reach your grass roots. Making time to care for the soil in your garden properly can make all the difference when it comes to having a beautiful, healthy and lustrous lawn this season.

when to aerate a lawn uk

When to aerate a lawn?

Knowing when you should aerate your lawn is vital. Different weather can affect your soil in different ways and therefore choosing the right time to aerate your lawn is important in order to achieve optimum results. So when should you aerate your lawn in the UK? The best time is during the growing season, either in early or late spring or autumn, here the grass has the chance to heal and will be able to naturally fill into any patchy areas which may occur after you remove the soil plugs. Very hot weather can make aeration difficult due to dry soil, and similarly in the colder months, hard, frozen soil becomes impossible to penetrate effectively.

How to aerate a lawn

The process or aerating a lawn is simple. There are two tools you can use which will help you. Choose from a Plug Aerator or a Spike Aerator. The Plug Aerator, as expected, will remove a plug (or core) of soil from your lawn leaving a hole. A Spike Aerator will simply spike holes into the existing soil. You can easily rent either of these machines from your local garden store or home improvement centre.

How to aerate a lawn

Before you begin firstly use your lawn mower to crop the grass very short, it is also important to ensure the soil is thoroughly moist. Trying to aerate dry soil could cause further problems and compaction. Go over each area more than once, and in different directions for thorough coverage. If you chose to use a Plug Aerator remove and dry out the plugs of soil then spread them evenly over the lawn once the process is complete.

Make sure that you aerate to the right depth – simply aerating a compacted layer won’t help, you must go deeper than this to ensure the soil is penetrated properly, you are trying to make deep holes with uncompacted walls.

After you have finished aerating your lawn, you should cover it with new grass seed and then take particular care to water, fertilise and mow back the grass regularly. Repeat this process at least once a year, if not more, dependant on your garden usage and you will reap the benefits of having a strong and healthy looking lawn.

If you are thinking of growing a lawn, here at Bury Hill we have a wide selection of grass seeds and lawn turf available for all purposes, be it small gardens to sports pitches. Our team will be more than happy to help advise on the best type of turf or seed for your project, simply CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION OR FOR A FREE QUOTE.