Aerating the lawn is essential for maintaining a healthy lawn – or so we hear. The theory makes sense – we need air, and so do the microorganisms and plant roots in the soil. My neighbours are all doing it, the lawn care experts are advising it… but…I have the voice of my soil science professor ringing in my ears – “don’t aerate when the soil is wet, especially with finer textured soils, because the tines will smear the soil and there is no net benefit to the soil….the best time to aerate is in the summer when the soil is dry” So… I have never aerated our lawns, nor have I ever recommended it.
On my morning walk, I stopped at one of our neighours who had their lawn aerated 5 days ago. I poured some of my water into the hole created by the aerator to see how the aeration had improved the soil porosity. It took more than 60 seconds for the 25 ml of water to drain away – which was not very impressive. It seems as if my soil science professor was correct – there is little or no benefit from aerating when the soil is wet….
We have been promoting the use of compost to increase the activity of the soil microorganisms. We then let them do all of the hard work of aerating the lawn – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No charge!
You can watch this little movie below to see how fast the water goes down the hole created by the lawn aerator!