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Arification

       January 1, 0000    582

 

It is also called Aeration. It is done by removing a block of soil and making holes in the soil or cutting channels in the soil. Equipment, which has hollow tines or spoons, arranged on a drum or disk is used. It removes blocks of soil 0.25 to 0.75 inches diameter and 2 to 4 inches deep when used on the lawn. Such machines can be rented from lawn/garden centers or hardware shops. A commercial aerator is very costly. Hence it is not economical to purchase one. There are also hand held and manually operated units, which need plenty of time and effort for a moderately sized lawn.

Types

There are two types of aeration. In Core aeration the equipment removes nearly 20 cores per square feet of the lawn and leaves them on the surface. The open holes make it possible for the soil and roots to expand. Core aeration is highly advocated. In Spike aeration holes are made in the surface soil with spikes. Its disadvantage is that the soil in between the spikes gets compacted. But the roots still get fertilizer and water in a better way as compared to not aerating.

Uses

Lawns having more clay and silt or heavy traffic, compaction of soils is a difficulty. Due to compaction the soil hardens and root growth is affected. Also the water penetration is slow and air in the soil is less. The availability of oxygen for the roots is affected. Wherever there are these problems, Arification must be done atleast once or twice a year. The soil compaction near the surface is reduced and thatch enhancement restricted. It has to be done when the lawn is growing. When the lawn is recovering from the summer stress and starting the growth period it is time for Arification. After Arification, it is suggested to add lime in the holes or channels to enhance the efficiency of lime application. The other uses of Arification are a more efficient use of fertilizers and reduction of the need of watering while possessing a healthy lawn. The holes, which are created, make it possible for the undesirable carbon dioxide to escape. It also avoids contamination of lawns with ferry ring mushrooms.

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