Removing small 3" cores of soil from your lawn (aerating) can help make your lawn healthier and reduce maintenance requirements. We recommend aerating once a year for general maintenance and at least twice a year if you are trying to correct soil compaction issues resulting from new construction or other compacting conditions.
The benefits of aeration go on-and-on. In short, you will see aeration doing the following in your lawn:
- Improves air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Enhances soil water uptake
- Improves fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduces water runoff and puddling
- Strengthens turfgrass roots
- Reduces soil compaction
- Enhances heat and drought stress tolerance
- Improves resiliency and cushioning
- Enhances thatch breakdown
Please note: we do not recommend dethatching a lawn except in certain, very specific conditions. Removing thatch in such a violent way typically does more harm than good. Additionally, if your goal is to reduce thatch in the lawn, aeration is what you should do to actually treat the problem (soil compaction), rather than simply treating a symptom (thatch removal).
Most lawns benefit from annual aeration. The best times to aerate are in late March or April or in September and October. In the spring it is best to aerate before you apply pre-emergence weed controls, rather than after. In the fall it is best to apply a starter fertilizer prior to aeration to help your lawn recover. Water the lawn after aeration, particularly in areas where drought and high temperatures are common.
What You Can Expect
Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within two weeks, the clumps break apart and disappear into the lawn (especially after mowings).
About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the aerification holes will be filled with white, actively growing roots; this growth is a sign the turfgrass is receiving additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients from the soil.
You will see an immediate difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall. After aeration, your lawn should look healthier between waterings.
After incorporating aeration into your annual practice, your lawn will show enhanced heat & drought tolerance.