Aerating your Lawn
March 22nd by Anthony D'Atri

What Exactly is Aerating?

Aerating your lawn (also called coring or "aerifying") is the best way to reduce thatch. This simple but effective process improves drainage and opens the thatch so water and oxygen can reach the roots. This process helps micro-organisms thrive and break down the thatch. The holes eventually fill in and grow over, but the permeability of the soil remains vastly improved. Coring aids in root growth and is particularily helpful, if not vital, to lawns with heavy foot traffic.

Above example gives you an idea of how the aerating process works.

How Do I Aerate my Lawn? 

Aerating is done with a core aerator that punches holes into the ground and removes small plugs of grass and soil. The cores create topdressing as they crumble, further enhancing the thatch breakdown. Core aerator tines make 2-3 inch deep holes 2-4 inches apart from eachother. Other types of aerators have drum-mounted tines that dig into the soil, while others have vertical tines that move up and down at a high rate of speed.

An example of proper coring.

Why Would I Aerate my Lawn? 

There are a few reasons why you would want to aerate your lawn. For example, if there is a lot of traffic walking along your grass chances are your grass is suffering from compaction, poor drainage issues or in some really bad cases, no grass at all would also require aerating. The great part about aerating is that when you punch the holes in the ground with the aerator, not only does it let your lawn funtion twenty fold, it creates a perfect environment for soil and seeding. The seeds are able to penetrate the holes whilst the quality top soil mix provides the nutrients and environment for germination, thus making the costs of soil and seeding more effective. This is the proactive way of maintaining a thick, lush and healthy green lawn for years to come while at the same time, still being able to use it.

Some Worthy Mentions on Slowing Compaction

  1. Reduce the negative effects of foot traffic by creating walkways in areas that receive constant use.
  2. Avoid driving vehicles on your lawn.
  3. Establish designated play areas, including access paths to them.
  4. Mow as often as neccessary (following the one-third rule)