What Is Core Aeration?
In addition to mowing, fertilizing and watering, it is important to ensure nutrients can reach the soil beneath your grass. Core aeration helps alleviate soil compaction which allows air and water to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch that can starve the roots from essential nutrients.
Core aeration perforates the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots, which helps the roots grow deeper and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.
What Does Core Aeration Do?
- Opens up the soil allowing water, air, and nutrients to penetrate to the grass roots.
- Relieves soil compaction promoting root development and root depth.
- Stimulates thatch decomposition by the natural soil microbes.
- Provides excellent soil penetration for fall seeding.
Would Core Aeration Benefit My Lawn?
- If your lawn gets heavy use — children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- If your lawn was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- If your lawn dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
- If your lawn was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aeration breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.
When Is the Best Time to Aerate?
The best time for aeration is during the growing season when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Fall is a great time to core aerate your lawn!