Lawn core aeration is an essential practice for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn, but many homeowners are not aware of what it actually is and of its importance. In this blog, we will explore the question “What is lawn core aeration and why is it important?” in-depth, and provide you with all the information you need to understand the benefits of this crucial process. We will explain the actual process of aeration, from removing small plugs of soil to using various machines. From improving soil health to promoting healthy root growth, we’ll dive into the various ways that lawn core aeration can help you achieve a beautiful and thriving lawn. Whether you’re a seasoned lawn enthusiast or a first-time homeowner, this blog is your guide to the fundamentals of lawn core aeration.
What is Lawn Core Aeration?
In the spring and fall, many homeowners request lawn aeration, but what does it entail? As you walk behind the machine it removes small plugs (or “cores”) of soil and grass from your lawn up to three inches long to enhance the natural air exchange between soil and atmosphere. Lawn care companies utilize different machines, such as drum-type or reciprocating machines, to extract these plugs. If you’re renting a machine, you’ll likely receive a drum-type aerator, which can be challenging to move in and out of your vehicle due to its weight. Usually you’ll see a walk behind, self propelled unit on a residential lawn. Bigger stand-on machines or pull-behind units are for larger lawns like acreages.
After the machine removes the plugs, your lawn might look like it’s covered in dog poop, but that’s nothing to be concerned about. These plugs will break down, returning nutrients back into the soil within a few weeks. Ultimately, aeration is a critical process that promotes healthy root growth and nutrient uptake, leading to a lusher and more appealing lawn.
Why is Aeration Important?
Soil compaction can prevent grass from establishing a healthy root system, as well as make it difficult for water and fertilizer to reach the roots. Over time, walking, playing, and mowing can contribute to soil compaction, and it can become worse due to rain and irrigation. The most affected area is usually the upper 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil.
To help relieve soil compaction, aeration is a process that can be used to promote deeper root growth and allow better water and fertilizer absorption for your grass. Homeowners should typically aerate their lawns once per year in the spring or fall. However, if your lawn is older (10+ years) or experiences frequent heavy traffic, it may require aeration twice per year to maintain its health and vigor.
In closing, lawn core aeration is an essential practice for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn. By removing small plugs of soil and grass, it improves the natural exchange of air between the soil and the atmosphere, leading to healthy root growth, nutrient uptake, and a more beautiful and thriving lawn. There are various types of aerator machines available. Most lawn care companies use drum-type or reciprocating machines for this purpose.