If you had to choose between aerating and applying fertilizer…
Actually, both! But sometimes to make our point on how important aeration is, we’ll say “If we had to choose between one mechanical aeration and one application of fertilizer for your lawn, we’d do the aeration every time!”
What is Aeration?
Why is Aeration so Important?
The process of aeration pulls a core of the soil and turf grass to the top of the ground, alleviating compaction and thatch:
- The new gaps in the soil profile allow a direct and immediate path for air, water and nutrients to reach the roots.
- Soils need pore space to hold water, increase oxygen, and allow room for biological activity within the soil-food-web.
- The cores break up thatch immediately by creating holes in the turf, and also over time as the redeposited plug breaks down and the dirt-sand aggregate sifts through the thatch layer like sand paper.
Best Timing for Aeration
There’s generally not a “bad” time to aerate a lawn that needs it, but our preference for Treasure Valley / Boise aeration is early September. This timing alleviates thatch and compaction from heavier summer use but still allows the grass to recover from the process before it goes dormant. Also there is less overall weed pressure at this time of year. And because the aeration process disrupts the soil profile, we also recommend putting down fertilizer at the same time.