There’s a reason that those aeration machines are criss-crossing the grounds of Arrowhead Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, and the Kansas City golf courses during the fall. Fall aeration is essential in Kansas City, and the top groundskeepers around here know it.

Back in July, Chief Ambassador Patrick Vogt and a team of us from By The Blade headed over to Arrowhead to learn some more about the topic (above).

Sports groundskeepers are always aerating. The top sports fields are aerated 6 to 12 times a year.

But sports groundskeepers favor the fall. In autumn, aeration happens every two weeks on these competitive fields.

And fall aeration is great for your lawn too.

What Is Aeration?

Aeration is the technique of puncturing the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass.

There are two types of aeration: spike aeration and core aeration.

Spike aeration involves driving spiked points into the ground. This technique is not recommended because it simply pushes dirt aside and does not make a lasting impact.

Core aeration removes plugs of sod at a depth of 2-3 inches and deposits the plugs on the surface of the soil. This method is recommended because it more permanently decreases the density of the soil.

Why Aerate?

The clay soil of Kansas City becomes compacted easily, and this compaction makes a poor environment for the roots of most grass types.

In compacted soil, water runs across the surface of the ground instead of soaking down to the roots, and air and nutrients have trouble reaching underground.

Heavy traffic can increase soil compaction. High-traffic areas like sports fields are especially susceptible and need to be aerated several times a year. Residential lawns, on the other hand, should be aerated once a year.

Other factors endanger the root system of a lawn, including thatch build-up on the surface of the ground. Thatch can present a barrier to water and air just as much as soil compaction.

Aeration solves these problems by increasing the porosity of the soil–essentially creating corridors through which air, water, and nutrients can travel to the roots system of the sod.

Why Choose the Fall?

Like any treatment, aeration is necessary for the long-term success of your lawn, but in the short term it is a challenge for your lawn to cope with.

The fall is a good time to aerate in Kansas City because our cool-weather grasses thrive in these temperatures and are able to bounce back quickly from the stress that aeration puts on them.

In short, aerating in the fall puts your lawn in a position to succeed in the spring.

For Additional Help

To for more assistance with getting your lawn to perform at its peak, contact By The Blade’s helpful Ambassadors using this form: http://www.bythebladekc.com/contact/.