Lawn Aeration - What You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about lawn aeration.

What is Lawn Aeration?

Aerating a lawn means adding holes into the soil. These holes improve the flow of air, water, and nutrients into the root zone. This promotes root growth and improves overall grass health.

Core aeration is considered the best form of aeration because it removes small plugs of soil and thatch from your lawn. Spike aeration is not as effective but requires less equipment and more suited to a DIYer. Spike aeration pokes small holes in your yard.

Benefits of core aeration image via The Lawn Institute.

Benefits of Aeration

-Aeration opens up the soil around grass roots to allow water and nutrients to flow freely into the soil, promoting healthy root growth. -Compacted soil repels water and leads to problems with water runoff and standing water. Aeration opens up the soil, improving drainage. -Aeration promotes healthy root growth, improving grass tolerance to heat and drought.

Why Aerate

Grass and soil get compacted over time. Activities like sports and even kids playing compact your soil. Water from rain and irrigation also lead to compacted soil. Roots have a harder time thriving in these conditions. Poor root systems lead to an unhealthy lawn. Weeds can push out grass, thatch develops, and grass will die more quickly in drought. Aeration can help with these concerns.

How Often to Aerate

Several factors determine how often you should aerate your lawn. The first and most important is the type and amount of activity taking place on your lawn. Commercial properties with a lot of traffic may need to aerate once a month. Most residential properties can aerate once or twice a year. You may want to consider when you are fertilizing. Aerating before applying fertilizer allows it to absorb into the soil more easily.

When to Aerate

For residential customers aerating once or twice a year, the best time is the spring and/or fall, shortly before fertilization. Be sure not to aerate while grass is dormant, as this will encourage weed growth.

What to Expect from Aeration

Core aeration removes soil and thatch plugs from lawn.

Immediately after core aeration, you’ll notice soil plugs in your yard. These will break up over time and disappear completely after a couple of days. Spike aeration will leave small holes that are barely visible. You will notice an immediate improvement with water runoff and drainage as the soil is instantly more porous.