What is Core Aeration and How Do I Know if I Need It?

May 6, 2022

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Core Aeration

Lawns can take a lot of effort – you’ve got mowing, watering, and fertilizing. But have you ever heard of core aeration?

 

If your lawn isn’t looking its best these days, it could be because you’ve missed a key step. Aeration is vital to keeping your soil and lawn healthy.

 

Read on to learn all about core aeration, its benefits, and how to do it. Your lawn will thank you!

What is it? Core aeration

Core aeration is the process of removing small plugs of soil from the lawn. This is done to improve drainage, increase oxygen levels, and promote a healthy growing environment for turfgrass. Aeration should be done every year, or every other year, depending on the severity of your lawn’s condition.

Signs your lawn needs core aeration

There are several signs that indicate you should core aerate your lawn. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to break out the core aerator!

-Thinning turfgrass: If you notice your grass is thinner than usual, it may be due to compaction. Core aeration will help alleviate this issue by breaking up the compacted soil.

-Brown patches: Brown patches are often caused by a lack of oxygen in the soil. Aeration will help increase oxygen levels, which will promote a healthier lawn.

-Water puddles: If you notice water puddling on your lawn after a rainstorm, it’s a sign that your lawn needs better drainage. Core aeration will help improve drainage by creating holes for water to seep through.

-Moss growth: Moss is often an indicator of compacted soil. By core aerating your lawn, you can help reduce moss growth.

Benefits of aeration

There are many benefits to core aerating your lawn! In addition to improving drainage and increasing oxygen levels, core aeration can also:

-Promote root growth: By breaking up compacted soil, aeration allows roots to grow more easily. This results in a healthier lawn overall.

Reduce thatch: Thatch is a layer of dead grass and organic matter that can build up over time. If left unchecked, it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your grass. Core aeration helps reduce thatch by breaking up the compacted layers of soil.

-Improve fertilizer absorption: When core aerated, lawns can better absorb fertilizers and other nutrients. This leads to a healthier lawn that is better able to withstand pests and diseases.

Best time for core aeration

The best time for core aeration depends on the type of grass you have. For cool-season grasses, the best time is in the fall. For warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass or Zoysia grass, the best time is in the spring. Aerating before fertilizing will help the lawn better absorb nutrients.

How to do it

Core aeration can be done with a manual or electric core aerator. If you have a small lawn, a manual core aerator will suffice. For larger lawns, an electric core aerator may be necessary. Core aerators can be rented from most hardware stores.

To core aerate your lawn, simply follow these steps:

-Water your lawn thoroughly 24 hours before aerating. This will help make sure the soil is soft enough to plug.

-Mark any areas that should be avoided, such as sprinkler heads or garden beds.

-Position the aerator over your lawn and start core aerating! Be sure to overlap each pass to ensure even coverage.

-Once you’re finished, remove any plugs of soil and dispose of them properly.

Takeaways

Core aeration is the process of removing small plugs of soil from the lawn. This is done to improve drainage, increase oxygen levels, and promote a healthy growing environment for turfgrass.

Core aeration should be done every year, or every other year at most, depending on the severity of your lawn’s condition. Signs that you need aeration include thinning turfgrass, brown patches, water puddles, and moss growth.

Check out this blog for more information and tips on aerating your lawn.

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