Think of your lawn like your car. As the seasons pass and spring approaches, there are certain upkeep requirements that come along, like rotating tires or getting an oil change. For your lawn, one of those necessary upkeep items is spring lawn aeration. All those summer days spent running around and enjoying the yard with your kids, pets, and friends were fun, but heavy foot traffic can lead to soil compaction.
So, what is core aeration?
Technically speaking, aeration is the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere. Practically speaking, aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve natural soil aeration. It’s commonly called “core aeration” in the lawn service industry, and you may have heard of it as soil cultivation (coring, spiking and slicing). Most homeowners simply call it aeration.
Soil Compaction – Turfgrass in compacted soil (left) grows slowly, lacks vigor and becomes thin or does not grow at all. Core aeration (center) removes small cores of soil, depositing them on the surface of the turf. This improves the depth and the extent of turfgrass rooting (right), and it can help save money on your water bill.
The Benefits of Core Aeration
Improves turf health. One of the best benefits of lawn aeration is that it can improve the overall health of your grass. Core aeration works to provide the root zone with greater access to air, water, and fertilizer. This access to air, water, and nutrients improves the health of the turf, resulting in deeper and more extensive turfgrass roots.
Reduces thatch build-up. If thatch, the layer of dead grass that accumulates on your lawn, builds up to a thick layer, it can rob your grass of necessary rain and nutrients. Core aeration helps manage that build-up by introducing thatch-decomposing microorganisms from the soil to the top of the thatch layer.
Relieves soil compaction. Compacted soil can prevent air, water, and fertilizer from reaching your lawn’s root system, causing dead spots, patches and/or thinning. By removing cores in the aeration process, soil density is decreased, thus relieving compaction.