Lawn Care

Lawn core Aeration

What is  core aeration?

Soil aeration is the mechanical removal of small cores of soil from the lawn using an aeration machine. It is often described as the most important thing you can do to create a healthy, thick and robust lawn. Aeration is recommended once or twice a year.

 

Why Should You Aerate Your Lawn?


Control Thatch Layer Development

As your lawn grows, it can accumulate a thick layer of thatch on the surface of the soil. Thatch consists of a tight network of roots, rhizomes and/or stolons and looks like a thick fiberous mat. This thatch layer acts as a barrier, blocking the movement of air, water and fertilizers into the root zone.

By aerating your lawn annually the thatch layer is routinely broken up and the soil cores that are pulled up break apart on the lawn surface. The cores break down and blend with the thatch modifying it into a mixture of topsoil and thatch. The soil cores are also full of microorganisms that help to accelerate the decomposition of the thatch layer.

 

Reduce Insect & Disease Incidence

The thatch layer is the perfect environment for fungi, disease organisms, and insect pests. Chinch Bugs thrive in a thick thatch layer, and a variety of pathogenic turfgrass fungi can be found within a thatch layer.

By keeping your thatch layer to a minimum you will reduce turf damage from insects and disease without the use of any pesticides.

 

Reduce Soil Compaction

Thatch accumulation can also be dramatically accelerated when the soil of a lawn is compacted. A compact soil results in the water and fertilizers sitting on the surface of soil, and this causes the roots, rhizomes and stolons of the lawn to grow on the surface, rapidly creating a thatch layer problem. Aeration breaks up compacted soil allowing water, fertilizer and air to penetrate deep which results in deep rooting of the lawn. A lawn with deep roots will better survive drought, disease, insects, pet damage, foot traffic, and other forms of stress than a lawn with shallow roots.

 

Reduce Summer Drought Damage

In a lawn with a compacted soil, most of the root growth occurs close to the surface, and this creates a lawn that is highly susceptible to summer drought damage. Aeration opens up the soil so water, fertilizers and air can penetrate further, encouraging roots to grow deep, resulting in a lawn better able to tolerate the periods of summer drought.

 

More Efficient Irrigation

Compacted soils or a thick thatch layer inhibit the penetration of  water into the soil. Thatch layers can become hydrophobic, repelling water and making it almost impossible to get water down into the root zone. On compacted or thatched lawns that have a slope, irrigation water may run down the slope rather than enter the soil. Aeration opens up the soil and allows irrigation water to penetrate deep into the root zone rather than running down the hill or into the storm sewer.

 

Reduce the Incidence of Weeds

Many weeds can tolerate compacted soils better than turfgrass. A compacted lawn results in an environment that is more conducive to weed growth than turfgrass growth. By aerating a lawn and alleviating any soil compaction, the weeds that perform well in compacted soil lose the competitive advantage and the turfgrass thrives. By creating an environment ideal for turfgrass, your lawn will choke out existing weeds and resist the germination of new weed seeds.

 
Before and After Care for Aerations

Your lawn must have adequate moisture content in order for aeration to be effective, so we may ask you to water in advance of aerating if seasonal conditions make it necessary.

The aeration process will leave plugs of thatch and soil on the lawn but these will decompose in a few weeks. Mow and water your lawn normally. Do not remove the plugs of thatch and soil. In doing so you will be removing valuable topsoil from your lawn and will defeat the purpose of cycling the soil and microbes into the thatch layer.

 
When Should You Aerate Your Lawn?

Normally, an annual aeration is sufficient for good healthy turf. Heavily compacted soils may require additional aeration. Our turf specialist can advise you on what is needed for your lawn. Aeration can be done anytime in the season as long as the ground is not frozen.