A customer asked me this question last week. True, our home lawns are not golf courses, but boy, oh boy, we (but not all) sure do like our lawns to look like golf course lawns. And therein lies part of the answer – tolerance and desire. What is your tolerance for a sub-optimal lawn? How strong is your desire for a healthy and vigorously growing green lawn?
The short answer is that one does not need to aerate annually. If your lawn is green and healthy, congratulations you are doing something right! Let’s keep it that way and integrate aeration as a part of your lawn maintenance program. If your lawn is reaching sub-optimal levels and is showing signs of weakness, yellowing or drying out, and doesn’t seem to respond to water and fertilizer, then aeration is likely needed. Aeration can help you maintain or fix your lawn.
You can think of it this way too. We really don’t need to change the oil in our vehicles, visit the dentist, or go to the doctor on a regular schedule, but we do these things for preventative care and maintenance. Sure, a green lawn isn’t needed to get to work, live your life, and probably won’t give you health issues, but there are some very real and practical considerations too. Regular aeration can help you save money and minimize or eliminate waste. Many homes are now outfitted with water meters and we must now pay for what we use beyond the initial water allowance. We also spend good money on fertilizers and other lawn products. While we are out of the drought, for now, there still exists a heightened awareness around water conservation, and this new normal, which is a good normal, is here to stay. Aeration increases the uptake of water and fertilizer, helps reduce/eliminate water run-off and can help you stave off warnings and citations from your local water police.
“So, how often should I aerate my lawn?” If your goal is to create and maintain a healthy, vigorously growing green lawn, then annual aeration is recommended, at minimum. Aeration twice per year, particularly in heavy clay soils, common in the greater Sacramento area, is recommended for optimal results. Outside of these recommendations, let your tolerance/desire quotient guide your need for aeration. Sierras Lawn Aeration is here to help when you need it.