Lawns, especially in areas like ours with dense, clay soil, need aeration on a regular basis. Lawns everywhere need dethatching occasionally. The one thing lawns don’t need is rolling.
Homeowners who believe rolling is necessary definitely need to follow up rolling with aeration. Rolling presses down on the soil, causing it to compact even more than it does naturally. Notice that landscape and lawn care professionals don’t own rollers and they don’t offer rolling service. That’s because they know the harm rolling can do.
Aeration is one of the best things for your lawn. An aerator is a machine with spoon-like tines that penetrate the soil, pull out plugs of sod and drop them on top of the lawn. These holes give the soil particles space to spread out, leaving wider gaps between particles for retention of the water and oxygen that the plant roots need. Leaving the soil plugs on the surface allows them to break up and return organic matter to the soil to nourish the plants.
Dethatching removes dead grass plants that accumulate on the soil surface. These dead plants form a mat that restricts the amount of water that can penetrate the soil surface. Contrary to popular belief, thatch is not grass clippings left on the lawn surface after mowing. Clippings are good for your lawn. They decompose quickly and return organic matter to the soil. Thatch is actually dead grass plants that don’t decompose fast. A special dethatching machine is used to pull the matted material up from the surface and deposit it into a receptacle attached to the machine.
Aeration and dethatching machines can be rented at equipment rental outlets. However, they are big, heavy, cumbersome machines that can really test your strength when operating them. You also need a truck or tailer to transport them to and from the rental store. When you add up the rental cost, the transportation cost, your time and the wear and tear on your body, you’ll most certainly be further ahead leaving either or both jobs to our lawn care professionals.