Find out how to ventilate your garden

Ventilation can help you see a greener and healthier lawn this year. Our ventilation guide shows you how to best aerate your lawn. Adobe Stock, © Dziurek

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Does your grass look a little unhealthy? In this case, it may be time to aerate your lawn. Ventilation strategically inserts holes in your lawn to reduce the build up of compacted soil. This practice allows the roots of your grass seeds to absorb more water and nutrients from the surrounding soil, making them grow healthier and more effective. We will show you how you can aerate your lawn this year so that your lawn looks optimal.

Keep in mind that you may be able to buy all of the equipment to aerate your own lawn. However, it can be unrealistic to invest so much in devices that you are likely to only need once a year. To save yourself these costs, it is best to contact a professional lawn care company. You can get out with professional equipment and get the job done at a fraction of the price of buying the equipment yourself.

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If you need ventilation, we recommend renting TruGreen, our top choice across the country. TruGreen is a full-service lawn care company that provides core ventilation services in 48 of 50 states.

Call today to receive your individual offer from TruGreen 1-877-386-6512 or fill in a simple online form.

How do I ventilate my lawn?

Ventilation is a very simple process. It's about making holes in a pattern around your lawn. These holes allow more air to move near the grass roots. It also enables better drainage, more water absorption and more nutrients to reach your grass. It may seem too simple to be effective, but it really works and helps improve your lawn's health. If you don't aerate your lawn regularly, you may find that your grass has difficulty growing or filling in brown spots.

There are a few steps that will result in the ventilation of your lawn. Here is a breakdown of the workflow.

  • Prepare – First water your lawn. You want the grass and soil to be wet with at least an inch of water so that the aerator can drive over the compacted soil more easily.
  • Let the aerator run – Next, run the aerator over your lawn. This machine pokes holes in the lawn. You should only go through each part of the lawn once. Therefore, be sure to trace every line along which the aerator runs.
  • Apply compost – Once your lawn is aerated, put compost in the ground. This increases the nutrient content and helps grass seeds to take root and grow healthily.
  • Apply grass seeds – Once your lawn is properly ventilated and composted, you need to plant the right type of grass seed for your garden. The type of seeds you need depends on where you want the grass to grow (shade, full sun, partial sun, etc.).
  • Apply fertilizer – To ensure that your grass seed grows as strong and healthy as possible, apply fertilizer to the ground. This allows the grass roots to absorb the nutrients as the grass grows, and it looks and feels nice and thick.

How to tell if you need to ventilate your lawn

If you notice any of the following signs in your lawn, it may be time to ventilate.

  • Your lawn has layers of soil – If you see multiple layers in your floor, this is a good indicator that you need to ventilate. If you notice a layer of straw or a layer of grass that has died with living shoots, you must also ventilate your lawn.
  • Your lawn feels spongy – This is common for heavy clay, since it tends to be compressed more than conventional topsoil. If your lawn feels spongy, it may not drain properly.
  • Your lawn is part of a recently built house – In many new buildings, the lawns have to be ventilated. Many large machines went back and forth when building the house. This often leaves a layer of compacted soil that is several centimeters thick.
  • Your lawn dries out easily – If your lawn dries out immediately after watering or rain, you should have your lawn aerated. This often means that the water has no time to reach the roots, which will lead to problems with lawn straw.

Why do I have to ventilate my lawn?

Many things can lead to compacted soil that needs to be ventilated. Simple pedestrian traffic is enough to compact the soil a little at a time. Having children or animals that regularly walk across the grass can speed up the process.

Another problem that can lead to ventilation is simply clay soil. This type of soil is less likely to drain properly and cause compaction problems. If you don't rake up the layer of straw on your grass in spring, this can also lead to problems that require ventilation to remedy.

What is ventilation?

The soil in your garden can breathe through ventilation. If you aerate your lawn, puncture holes and break up compacted soil. Water can flow through the new holes and nutrients can move in the soil as needed. It keeps lawns and landscaping healthier by making it easier for your plants and grasses to absorb the nutrients they need to create deeper and stronger roots.

There are two main types of ventilation: spike and plug. They are used for several reasons, depending on the condition of your lawn and the size of the area you want to repair.

  • Plug / core ventilation – When ventilating plugs, a ventilation machine is run over your lawn and several dirt plugs are removed. These plugs stay on the lawn when the aerator is over your lawn. This is ideal for larger areas that need ventilation because the remaining plugs can fall back into the soil required for your garden.
  • Spike ventilation – When spikes are ventilated, the spikes are pressed into the ground without removing soil or turf. They push holes in the lawn to allow better air and water circulation. This is usually used on smaller areas and is often done with smaller tools such as a pitchfork.

When should I ventilate my lawn?

The right time to aerate your lawn depends on where you live and what types of grasses you grow. The goal is to ventilate as early as possible in the growing season. If you are trying to aerate grasses in the cool season, you want to aerate in early autumn. If you want to aerate grasses during the warm season, you should aerate them in early spring.

You never want to ventilate at times when your lawn is at rest. This could damage the grass and prevent regrowth. On average, you aerate your lawn once a year. However, if your floor is made of clay or is heavily compacted, you may need to do a second ventilation every year. If you are not sure what type of grass you have, you should definitely hire a lawn service company to do the ventilation for you.

Why professional ventilation can be right for you

You can aerate your lawn yourself, but this takes a lot of time and effort. Instead, consider hiring a lawn care company to do the work for you. Lawn care companies have already invested in the equipment and products required for this task. This means that you only pay for the time you need for it.

You get the benefits of a fantastic looking lawn that you can enjoy all year round without spending hours on your property and thousands of dollars on professional tools. Your lawn care company can also help you determine what type of grass you have and tell you the best time of year to aerate.

Top recommended national ventilation provider: TruGreen

We recommend TruGreen for your ventilation and lawn care needs. TruGreen is a full-service lawn care company offering a wide range of professional and affordable lawn care services.

Call today to find out more or to get a free quote 1-877-386-6512 or just fill it out Online form here.

The company currently offers two different plans that include ventilation services:

  • TruComplete lawn care plan – The TruComplete plan includes ventilation and a visit abroad per year. It also includes eight general service visits per year, fertilization, targeted pest control, pre-emergence and targeted weed control, and an analysis of the pH and quality of your soil.
  • TruSignature Lawn Care Plan – The TruSignature plan is the most comprehensive offering from TruGreen. It includes ventilation and a visit abroad per year, as well as eight general service visits. It also includes seven tree care visits per year, fertilization, targeted pest control, pre-emergence and targeted weed control, and an analysis of your soil.

Every TruGreen plan includes lawn care services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

frequently asked Questions

What is the best way to aerate your lawn?

The best way to aerate your lawn depends on your lawn size. If you have a larger lawn, the plug ventilation may be right for you. If you have a smaller lawn, the spike ventilation provides a manageable way to insert holes in your soil.

How do I manually aerate my lawn?

If you have a small lawn, you can manually aerate your lawn with a sharp tool such as a pitchfork using the spike method. If you have a larger lawn, you usually need to invest in a special manual aeration tool to effectively aerate your garden.

Is it necessary to aerate a lawn?

Certainly. Aeration of your lawn breaks up compacted soil and your roots can absorb water, oxygen and nutrients more effectively. This means you will see a healthier and thicker lawn all year round.

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