Soil compaction is a significant problem for many lawns. Tightly packed soil with little pore space limits the movement of air, water, and nutrients in the soil and hinders root penetration. This leads to excessive thatch build up. Thatch is a layer of living and dead organic matter between the grass leaves and the soil’s surface. Too much- over 1/2 an inch thick- creates a favorable environment for pests and disease.
Core aeration opens up pore space in your lawn by removing small cores or plugs of soil, creating small holes which provide room for air, water, nutrients, and root growth. This reduces thatch accumulation and improves the depth and extent of your lawn’s root system.
After aerifying the small soil plugs that have been pulled to the surface are left on top of your lawn to act as a topdressing. These plugs will begin to break apart and disappear within a week or two. At that point your lawn will have already begun forming a stronger root system.
Most lawns will benefit from an annual aeration, either in Spring or Fall. This is especially true for lawns growing in clay soils and those exposed to heavy traffic- walking, playing, and even mowing are forms of traffic that compact soil and stress lawns. Lawns that receive regular aerations will be healthier, stronger, easier to maintain, and have fewer weed and pest problems.