Core aeration can be a vital part of your lawn growing and maintenance process. It involves perforating your soil with small holes to allow oxygen, nitrogen and other nutrients to allow grass roots to grow deeper, stronger and more vigorous for next season. Aeration is a fundamental step to a healthy lawn because it allows water and air to penetrate built up soil, grass and lawn-thatch.
Unless your lawn suffers zero traffic and doesn’t bear any elements such as heat and cold, you probably should look into getting your lawn aerated. Typically, most residential lawns get heavy traffic and double as playgrounds, walking areas and pet havens. With all this activity it is quite likely that your lawn will benefit from core aeration. Just the build-up of thatch can make your yard a great candidate for aeration. Thatch is the layer of debris comprised of grass clippings, waste and various other elements that can keep your grass from getting the precious nutrients and oxygen is so desperately needs. Up to half-inch of thatch is perfectly fine, but if it’s more than that, your lawn needs to be aerated.
Though there are conflicting theories on when to use core aeration for cool season or warm season grasses, there really isn’t a bad time to aerate. However, the most ideal times to aerate are during cooler months and during the growing season. Another time to aerate is when you’ve noticed that your grass dries out easily or is very spongy. These are signs of a thatch problem and core aeration may be recommended. Aeration may be necessary if your grass comes from sod and still has a soil-layering problem, where the native, coarser soil beneath it has not blended with the newer, finer soil.
Core aeration will give your lawn the ability to take in more nutrients from the soil, hydrate easier and more fully and have access to more oxygen and nitrogen to help keep your grass hearty, thick and green. After all, that’s all we want from our grass, anyway.
There are two types of aeration: spike aeration and core aeration. Core aeration is considered by experts to be the better of the two, as it doesn’t compact soil during the process. Spike aeration can lead to soil compacting and could promote even more thatch problems.
Once you’ve had your yard core aerated the cores should be left to dry, then broken up and dispersed to clean your lawn and help the elements back into it. After dispersion go about your lawn business as usual. To ensure proper growth and inhibit weeds and pests, continue watering, fertilizing and mowing. If you employ a weed service or do it yourself, resume your customary treatment schedule-your pre-emergent or other treatments will not be rendered ineffective or otherwise hindered by core aeration.