Lawn Care Tips

Aerate Your Lawn In the Spring And Fall

Mark Leonard

Core aeration will remove cores or plugs of soil that contain thatch from the lawn, leaving holes in the ground to relieve compaction and increase air and water circulation in the soil. A lawn that is aerated will absorb more water.

A lawn is only as healthy as the ground it is grown upon.  If the underlying soil is unable to absorb and hold water, the grass will always struggle to survive without frequent watering.

The secret to a healthy lawn is aeration

A majority of lawns are grown on compacted ground. This can be the result of improper soil preparation when the lawn was first installed or simply from the foot traffic a lawn must endure from year to year. Compacted ground is hard ground, not very porous and very difficult to keep wet. The solution is to loosen up the soil so it will hold water more efficiently. We can accomplish this through core aeration.

Aeration allows the lawn to breathe fresh air. Without enough oxygen, plants can not absorb the water and nutrients they need to maintain a healthy state. Compacted soil does not allow water and oxygen to travel through the soil where they can be utilized by the roots of the plant. The result is often sluggish growth, producing a thinner and dryer lawn, and needing more water.

Core aeration, done with a power aeration machine, will remove plugs of grass and soil leaving holes in the ground and helping to increase air and water circulation in the soil. These plugs will deteriorate over time. In areas with clay soils, core aeration should be done twice a year - in the Spring and Fall. In areas with more sandy soils, it should be done once a year. The benefits of aeration are many.

A lawn that has been aerated will help to reduce water runoff. A ground that is compacted does not absorb water allowing it to run off very quickly. A lawn that is aerated will absorb greater amounts of water before it runs off or evaporates. Therefore, it needs less water to maintain. Lawn aeration loosens up the soil, improving the soil quality and allowing the soil to breathe better.

This is very important for lawns grown in heavy clay soils and in semi-arid climates. This allows air, water and nutrients to go directly to the plant’s root system promoting healthier and stronger root growth that in turn results in a thicker, greener lawn.

Aeration helps promote the break down of thatch in the lawn by increasing the essential air circulation needed in the decomposition process. Lawn aeration promotes deeper root growth improving the lawn’s drought resistance. A lawn with a deeper, more extensive root system will need less water, less often.

The secret to a healthy lawn: aerate both Spring and Fall every year.