What is Aeration?
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 is commonly called “core aeration” in the lawn service industry, and you may have heard of it as soil cultivation (coring, spiking and slicing).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AERATION?
Core aeration can help make your lawn healthier and reduce its maintenance requirements through these means:
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
- Enhanced soil water uptake.
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use.
- Reduce water runoff and puddling.
- Stronger turf grass roots.
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.
- Improving resiliency and cushioning.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be dotted with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within a week or two, they break apart and disappear into the lawn. About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the aerification holes will be filled with white actively growing roots – a sign that the turf grass is receiving additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients from the soil.
On compacted soils and on lawns with slopes, you should see an immediate difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall. After aeration, your lawn should be able to go longer between waterings, without showing signs of wilt. With repeat aerations over time, your lawn will show enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.
Remember, most lawns benefit from annual aeration. And while you shouldn’t expect miracles, especially with poor soil, lawns that receive this care will be healthier, more vigorous, easier to maintain and have fewer pest problems.
Although a thin layer of thatch is beneficial, thatch accumulation should not exceed ½ inch. Excess thatch blocks out air, light and water from reaching root zones. Core aeration reduces thatch accumulation and minimizes its buildup.
Core aeration allows air, water and fertilizer to better reach the root zone. This stimulates root growth to create healthier, stronger turf grass plants.
Turf grass in compacted soil grows slowly, lacks vigor and becomes thin or does not grow at all. Core aeration removes small cores of soil, depositing them on the surface of the turf. This improves the depth and extent of turf grass rooting. And it can help save money on your water bill.