Cultural Practices - Core Lawn Aeration

Everyone knows the signs of a recently aerated lawn. Small, uniform plugs of soil can be seen at turf level, often exposing the different layers of soil below. Aerating your lawn has numerous benefits, including:

  • Relieves soil compaction
  • Helps manage thatch, but does not correct severe thatch problems
  • Improves penetration of air, water, and nutrients into the soil
  • Stimulates root growth

While core aeration can often provide great benefits for the health and appearance of most turfgrass species, it is not a miracle cure. Aeration will help control soil properties, although it won’t correct a severe problem unless an aggressive program is used.

Timing for Lawn Aeration

Timing is crucial when it comes to aerating lawns. And the most important factor in determining the appropriate timing for lawn aeration is your lawn’s climate and geography area.

Cool season turf -
  • Fall is the preferred time of year
  • Aerating lawns should be completed in late fall to allow for recovery prior to dormancy
  • Spring aerations may also be performed
  • Core aeration may affect the performance of pre-emergence herbicides
  • Do not perform lawn aeration during the heat of summer or during winter dormancy

Warm season turf -
  • The summer months are best after spring green-up and before fall transition
  • Do not perform during spring or fall transition or during winter dormancy

Core Aeration Equipment

There are several types of equipment that are used to aerate lawns. These units can be purchased for personal use, or lawn care professionals can bring these units to your home and aerate your lawn for you. Units may be towed behind a tractor, or operated as a walk-behind or ride-on.

The part of the aerator that does all the work is the tine. This part of the aerator creates the holes in the ground. Tines can be hollow, or solid. Hollow tines are the most common and preferred because they pull a “plug” from the ground and deposit it on the surface encouraging thatch break down and relieving soil compaction. Solid tines penetrate the soil and make holes but do not pull cores. Only a trained lawn care specialist can determine the appropriate core lawn aeration techniques and specifications that are right for your lawn.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for lawn care services available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.