Have you noticed that your grass isn’t looking its best or that water is pooling on top of rather than being absorbed into your lawn? If you said yes, then it may be time to aerate your lawn. Clay soils and lawns that bear heavy foot and vehicle traffic typically need aeration as they become compacted over time. Test to see if your lawn would benefit from aeration by digging a square-foot section of grass about six inches deep. If the grass roots in the sample extend only into the first 1-2 inches of the sample, your lawn would benefit from aeration.
Aerating increases the activity of soil microorganisms that decompose thatch, increases water and oxygen movement, improves rooting, enhances infiltration and helps prevent fertilizer and pesticide run-off. Warm season grass (preferred for Hampton Roads) should be aerated in June or July, and cool season grasses (not preferred for Hampton Roads) should be aerated in August or September.
Review the “Aerating Your Lawn” guide from the Virginia Cooperative Extension for step-by-step aerating instructions.