When you go outside to enjoy your yard, you might find yourself looking at a thin, worn-out mess. And this might make you feel a little confused. It might even make you feel embarrassed if your lawn seems to be the worst one on the block.
We understand. A thin, faded lawn naturally stands out next to one that’s thick and green, beaming with dew in the morning like it has stars twinkling on it.
Maybe you’ve even watered properly and mowed your lawn regularly and fertilized correctly, but your lawn still seems a bit sad.
There are quite a few things that contribute to your lawn’s success. And you might think you are doing most of them and that your lawn should look just fine. But when your lawn is still suffering despite everything you’re trying to do, then you might be missing an important piece to the lawn care puzzle: lawn aeration.
In fact, lawn aeration might be a great lawn’s best-kept secret.
Lawn aeration in Northern Virginia could be what your lawn needs to get to the next level of positive health and thick, rich color.
Let’s learn more about why your lawn needs to be aerated and the cost of lawn aeration so you can understand why your grass may benefit from this important annual service.
What is Lawn Aeration?
As you're looking at your lawn and noticing some patchy areas or thin spots and wondering what you can do to improve its consistency, you might want to learn more about aeration as a solution for your grass-related woes.
When asking yourself, “Does my lawn need aeration?” you want to make sure you understand what it is and what it can do for you.
Aeration is a process of removing small soil plugs that are about ½-inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long throughout the entire lawn. This enables oxygen, water, and nutrients to get into your soil and down to your turf’s root zone where it’s needed the most to improve the look of your lawn. The plugs are deposited right on the lawn surface where they will naturally decompose with continued mowing and watering, enriching the soil.
To do this, we use a machine called an aerator.
Why Your Lawn Needs to Be Aerated
Clay soils, like we have in Northern Virginia lawns and home landscapes, will naturally become more compact over time.
Aeration relieves this compaction to ensure your lawn roots get the nutrition they need to grow, as well as necessary water and oxygen. In other words, the process allows your lawn to breathe.
A big perk on the list of why your lawn needs to be aerated is the extension of your turf’s root system. Deeper roots mean greener, thicker, and overall healthier grass. Not a bad trade-off.
Additionally, lawn aeration breaks up thatch, which is a naturally occurring mix of living and dead organic matter that can build up on your soil up to a half inch, limiting your lawn’s ability to soak in water and nutrition. Thatch also can encourage diseases and pests – additional problems you don’t want in your landscape.
Hate weeds? Then aeration will be your best friend because it helps limit these lawn invaders by encouraging thick, green grass. That’s a big perk when you think of how hard weeds are to combat once they take over.
Aeration also ensures your lawn responds better to fertilization and other services because it opens it up to receive this positive care versus wasting it on a lawn that isn’t able to operate fully because it’s being choked by compaction.
Does My Lawn Need Aeration?
Now that you know what lawn aeration is and what it can do, you might be wondering if your lawn needs the service.
The answer for Northern Virginia lawns is, “Yes.” It’s ideal for lawns to receive aeration. Our clay soils will naturally compact excessively if left to their own devices. So annual aeration can help increase the positive results of taking good care of your lawn roots to ensure they receive the inputs they need to thrive.
When is the Best Time for Lawn Aeration in Northern Virginia?
Turf’s Up recommends fall as the ideal time for annual aeration services should you aerate your lawn.
This is because the weather is a bit cooler and not as severe as the heat and humidity summer brings. This makes the conditions ideal for growing seed post-aeration, increasing your chances of thickening up your lawn so it can better handle heat, drought pressure, and fight off weeds.
What Does Lawn Aeration Come With?
In Northern Virginia, Turf’s Up provides overseeding with its aeration services. This is another reason why your lawn needs to be aerated.
This is the ideal time for seed germination and aeration created the perfect holes necessary to maximize seed-to-soil contact.
We include it because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to not include it at this time. It’s a perfect time to thicken your lawn and boost its quality.
Another service we like to add to aeration and overseeding is topdressing. This is where we topdress the lawn with a thin layer of compost. The compost gets into the holes we made while aerating, creating a better soil structure and boosting microbial life in that soil.
Is DIY Lawn Aeration as Good as Professional Lawn Aeration?
You might want to test out lawn aeration on your own versus hiring a professional to help you with this service, thinking it’ll save you some money.
We have to warn you that, should you aerate your lawn using DIY methods, it’s actually a lot tougher to do than it looks.
First of all, you will probably rent an aerator, which will be subpar compared to the equipment that the pros use. It’s also likely pretty beat up from constantly being rented and used. So it will be a bit tough to operate. You also have to be able to transport that equipment from the rental yard to your home.
Next, you have to know how to perform the service correctly. For instance, if you aerate when your lawn is wet, you could be damaging your lawn instead of helping it.
Finally, you are also taking on some risk. What if you accidentally hit an irrigation line or lighting wire or damage your hardscaping, vehicle, or yourself? This isn’t an easy piece of equipment to operate so some training and education is needed to do it right.
When you look at the cost of aeration with a professional compared to DIY, this is where the professional choice starts to look pretty good. First, of all, we bring our own professional, clean, reliable equipment. Next, we know how to safely transport and operate the equipment. Then, we know what we’re doing on the job to ensure no harm comes to any part of your landscape and that the job is done right. This reduces your risk and ensures your lawn reaps all of the benefits.
How Much Does Lawn Aeration Cost?
For as much benefit as your lawn gets from aeration, you’d be surprised how little it actually costs.
The cost of lawn aeration starts at $159, which includes overseeding. Topdressing is an additional charge.
Let Turf’s Up Show You Why Your Lawn Needs to Be Aerated
If you want a thick, green, healthy lawn that can soak in nutrients, water, and oxygen, as well as repel weeds, insects, and diseases, lawn aeration could be for you.
You might not expect it, but it’s one of those services that makes an instant improvement in your lawn.
You might not have the time to figure out what’s going on with your lawn or research all of the possibilities and potential issues. That’s OK. You’re not superhuman, after all. None of us are.
If you read about all the lawn aeration benefits and costs involved and are still asking yourself,’ Does my lawn need aeration?” give Turf’s Up a call. We’d be happy to answer all of your aeration, overseeding, and topdressing questions and show you the differences between an aerated lawn versus one that lacks this service.
We’d love to be your choice for lawn aeration in Northern Virginia. We do a double pass aeration, quality overseeding, and premium topdressing to ensure your lawn gets the treatment it needs to look its best the following year. We can take your lawn from bland to glam in a jiffy. Let us help you eliminate bare spots, thin areas, weeds, and an overall nasty looking lawn and give you the grass that you want to sink your toes into.
Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for lawn care services in Loudoun County or Prince William County, VA? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you have the best lawn on the block. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your lawn.