Do you need to aerate your lawn?

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Dchall_San_Antonio
Posts: 3285
Joined: December 17th, 2008, 1:53 am
Location: Bandera, Texas
Grass Type: St Augustine
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
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Do you need to aerate your lawn?

Post by Dchall_San_Antonio » September 15th, 2021, 6:43 pm

Oh, gosh! Literally everyone wants you to aerate your lawn. Well, those most adamant about it are those making sweet, sweet money off of the lawn owners they serve. But read any newspaper article, every magazine, and even university extension service articles rave on with fabulous detail about how it "opens the soil." So as to lend credibility to the concept, they quote golf course superintendents from across the country swearing to the idea of regular aeration.

I've done some reading over the years, and it turns out the golf industry has different issues from the homeowner. The main reason they run the tines over the greens every few weeks is to punch through a hydrophobic layer of fungus that likes to grow on top of grass which is 1) mowed short, and 2) watered every day. If they don't punch the holes, that water they apply every day never penetrates to the soil. They have tried watering multiple times per day, but if the water won't go through, the roots remain dry. Poking holes is one way through the barrier. Another way through the barrier is to use surfactants, but that is not today's topic. Today I'm linking to an article from golf.com. They have a series of interviews of superintendents and greens keepers meant to help the homeowner. This one asks the question, should you aerate your lawn? The article notes the very specific conditions which a golf course has which require them to open up the canopy to fresh air. Interestingly it is the opposite problem from the one the universities have been solving over the years. But anyway, it is still not a problem that homeowners complain about.

Should You Aerate Your Lawn - from Golf.com.
Spoiler alert: No, you don't need to aerate.

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