How to - Gardening Resources

Should you aerate your lawn?

Prevent a host of turf problems by adding this step to your lawn care regimen

Core aerators are available at tool rental places and at some nurseries; you’ll need a minivan or pickup truck and at least two people to transport the equipment, so it’s both sensible and cost-effective to share the machine with your neighbours over a weekend. If you aren’t a DIYer, then hire a reputable landscaping or lawn care company to perform the service.

Why aerate?

  • Improves flow of water, oxygen and nutrients through soil.
  • Encourages grass to root more deeply, promoting healthier growth and greater drought tolerance.
  • Controls thatch by increasing the activity of micro-organisms that help in decomposition.

What to do

  • Carefully mark the location of underground sprinkler lines and heads, utility lines and cables, and septic systems to avoid damaging them.
  • Thoroughly water your lawn (two to three centimetres deep) two days before aerating so the tines can penetrate farther and the plugs fall out more easily.
  • Aerate your lawn as if you were mowing it, first moving lengthwise, then widthwise.
  • When finished, improve the quality of your soil by top-dressing the lawn with five millimetres of compost or composted manure; rake the compost over the turf to loosely fill in the aeration holes.
  • Your lawn may be reseeded or fertilized immediately after aeration (either with or without top-dressing).

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