Over time the top 2-3 inches of soil becomes compacted by water, drought, extreme temperatures and daily to extreme traffic. Compaction restricts the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrients to the roots of the plants. Limited movement of these crucial items causes root growth to be restricted, turf health decline, and turf to thin. Clay soils are especially susceptible to compaction and would greatly benefit from aeration yearly.
What Is Core Aeration?
A Core Aeration is the process of removing small cores 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter and about 2 inches deep. If the soil if very compacted and dry it is best to water the lawn to 2-3 inches for optimal results.
The cores are removed and placed on the top of the soil by the aerator, the cores will break down returning the soil and the nutrients back to the lawn. Before the cores break down, the lawn will have a messy appearance. To reduce the messy appearance the cores can be raked to break them up quicker.
For extremely compacted soils a double aeration can be done.
What are the benefits of a Core Aeration?
When done at the correct time for the turf, there are many benefit to having a Core Aeration done on a lawn.
- Removes excessive thatch layers
- Improves movement of water, nutrients, and oxygen to the soil
- Improves root development
- Improved root health
- Deeper root system
- Improved seeding results when done in conjunction with overseeding
- Reduced soil compaction
- Reduces water runoff and puddling
- Denser Turf
When is The Best Time to Aerate Lawns?
The best time to aerate a lawn depends on the type of turf that is in the lawn and when the turf is actively growing.
For lawns with warm season turf (turf that grows in the summer and goes dormant in the winter) such as Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, Buffalograss, and St. Augustinegrass, aeration is best for this type of turf when performed May through August.
Cool season turf (turf that is green year-round) such as Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Perennial Rye, aeration is best for this type of turf when performed during early fall and early spring, it is most commonly associated with overseeding of the lawn.