All About Core Aeration

Core aeration is an easy, organic and economical way to improve the lawn in yards that have compacted soil from years of use, either from clay soil, kids, dogs, or just every day foot traffic. After years of being compressed by foot traffic, play and pets, rain has a hard time penetrating the ground, creating a muddy mess that only gets worse over time. Core aeration removes small plugs of grass, thatch and soil, which will allow water to penetrate the ground and water grass roots deeper, encouraging grass to stretch its roots down instead of clustering right at the soil’s surface where it can dry out easily. This will create a yard that requires much less water.

The plugs get left on top of the turf to compost the way on their own, creating its own organic fertilizer.

How do you know if you could benefit from core aeration?

If you have muddy spots where grass won’t grow and you have tried overseeding but nothing happened, there is a good chance that core aeration is for you. Clay soil makes a good candidate for needing aeration as well.

How do you get your lawn core aerated?

You can call a service to come and do this for you, as it’s relatively inexpensive and quick. The machine is similar in size to a lawn mower, and while it can be rented, it may not be worth transporting. There is also some risk of core aerating your foot.

Most people have seen the core aerating “shoes”, which are a bad idea in that they just poke the soil down and don’t remove cores, which only exacerbates the problem.

How often do you have this done?

If your lawn is only slightly compacted, you can do this once every few years. Most lawns have gone for so long being compacted without knowing what the issue was and these lawns may need spring and fall aeration until things start to look better. Muddy spots that don’t dissipate quickly or clay spots amongst your lawn are early signs that a core aeration may be in your future.