Core aeration is the mechanical removal of small cores or plugs of soil from a lawn using an aeration machine. Leaving the cores on the lawn allows them to break down over time. As a result, they return valuable nutrients and microorganisms to the soil. If you notice areas of compaction from foot traffic or standing water after a rain, this is a great option. However, even a healthy lawn can benefit from annual aeration.
The best machine for core aeration is a hollow tine machine. This removes small plugs of lawn which eliminates the possibility of the soil becoming more compacted. The cores should be approximately 3″ long and it is best done when the soil is moist, but not wet. Your lawn will benefit from aeration every 1 – 5 years in the spring or late summer/early fall for the best results, depending on foot traffic and how heavy the soil is.
Benefits of Aeration
Air pockets are found throughout healthy soil, which allow Oxygen to travel through the soil. These pockets also allow water and nutrients to pass through the soil to the roots of your lawn. Soil compation is a decrease in soil porosity, this means that the grass cannot breathe and isn’t getting enough nutrients. Aeration is the answer to this issue.
Aerating your lawn is one of the most beneficial things you can do to create a lush and healthy lawn. It increases water absorption, stimulates root development, reduces soil compaction, enhances thatch breakdown, and increases the tolerance to heat and drought stress. If your lawn is bumpy due to poorly leveled soil or wildlife/pests, aerating it can help smooth it out. The majority of lawns will also respond well to overseeding or fertilizer application after aeration.
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