Aeration is the process of poking thousands upon thousands of holes in the soil. After a years worth of the kids playing and water packing the soil down, nutrients simply can make their way to the roots. Poking holes in the soil will allow water, oxygen and other nutrients to penetrate the roots of your lawn.
There are two types of aerating devices. One with spikes and one with plugs. The devices with spikes are generally pulled by a tractor and do little to penetrate the hard packed clay over much of the southeast. Ask for a “core aerator”. These machines have hollow spoons which pull up plugs of soil as the machine moves.
The process is much like mowing the grass. Twice. Yes you’ll want to aerate your lawn in one direction and then go back over your lawn at 90º. This criss-cross pattern should give you the necessary 12 holes per square foot.
Wondering when you should aerate Bermuda?
Aerate in the fall and you’ll have a lawn full of weeds or rouge grass. This will be a thorn in your side until late in the summer when the Bermuda finally takes back the lawn by force. Therefore, aerate your bermuda grass in the early summer when your lawn is growing quickly. After aerating an application of fertilizer and a deep watering will help your lawn to recover quickly.