Aeration and Irrigation


Turfgrass plants absorb oxygen and emit carbon dioxide through root surfaces. An adequate amount of air space in the soil is needed to provide aeration and proper soil water movement into and through the soil. Due to heavy use, the upper 2 to 3 inches of soil may become compressed into a more dense, hard soil mass, restricting air and water movement.


Watering is one of the most often misunderstood aspects of turfgrass culture. Often, watering on turf areas is too frequent and too light. Frequent, shallow watering encourages shallow rooting, soil compaction, thatch accumulation, and weed seed germination. Enough water should be applied in one application to wet the soil to a 6-inch depth. This can be checked by probing the soil. After a few times you should develop a feel for the amount of time and water required for deep watering. If the area begins to puddle and run-off is occurring, stop irrigating and allow the water to soak into the soil. It may be necessary to repeat this cycle several times before proper irrigation is complete. Irrigating only when turfgrasses show the first visual symptoms of water need and then watering deep will encourage deep rooting. Early morning is an ideal time to irrigate.