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Aeration refers to two different types of lawn treatment – hollow tine aeration and spiking. Both of these treatments are designed to allow water, air and nutrients to more easily penetrate the soil in order to feed your lawn’s roots.

Hollow tine and spiking – what’s the difference?

As the name suggests, hollow tine aeration works by using a machine to drive hollow spikes into the lawn which remove small plugs of soil and thatch. These thousands of tiny cores combat soil compaction and cover the lawn with a network of channels that allow water and nutrients to be absorbed deep into the root layer.

While the principle of spiking is the same, it is a less intensive method of aeration. Using a lawn spiking machine, small solid needles punch holes that permit water and nutrients to reach the grass root more easily.

What are the benefits of aeration?

For lawns to look truly spectacular, the soil needs to allow water, air and nutrients to move quickly down into the root layer. However, the soil particles that the earth beneath your lawn is composed of will compress together over time, which can stop grass from growing and lead to poor drainage or even waterlogging. At the other end of the weather spectrum, aeration can also be a useful treatment to cope with periods of prolonged heat, since it allows water from sprinklers or rain to be absorbed quickly before the hot sun evaporates it from the lawn.

How often is aeration needed?

At Greensleeves, we take the view that it’s impossible to ever ‘over-aerate’ and recommend that most lawns have a hollow tine aeration annually as part of our comprehensive lawn treatment regime. Of course, some lawns become compacted more rapidly than others, usually because of increased usage. If your  children play on the lawn daily, you use it for an exercise space or frequently host parties, this will cause greater levels of soil compaction. It’s also why you may notice waterlogging around areas such as clotheslines or near steps, since these areas see increased footfall.

Aeration treatment – what should I expect?

Your lawn manager will arrive on the pre-agreed date to perform your treatment and we can arrange to complete the work in your absence.

Regardless of whether you have opted for hollow tine aeration or spiking, your lawn manager will move the aeration machine back and forth across your lawn. Obviously, the amount of time each treatment takes depends on the size of lawn – but your lawn expert has done it many times before, and so they’ll be able to give you an accurate time estimate.

Hollow tine aeration removes about 45 cores per square metre of turf and at the end of the treatment, we’ll sweep up as many of these as possible. Don’t worry if we miss a few that are left on your lawn – they’ll either naturally break down into the soil within a few days or be collected the next time you mow the lawn.

Once the treatment is completed, your soil will have more space to breathe and drainage should improve. While aeration can be carried out at any time of the year, it’s most effective in spring or autumn.

Does my lawn need aeration?

Does your lawn look a little listless or has it started to get waterlogged after heavy rain? Aeration is one of the best things you can do to improve your lawn’s health and its appearance. Get in touch with Greensleeves today for information and advice on how we can help you.


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