Annual lawn aeration is one of the best things you can do to help create a thick, healthy lawn. Lawn aeration should be done in the late Summer or early Fall and is an essential element of a professional turfgrass management program. For best results, make sure that the soil is moist from recent rain or irrigation. Immediately after aerating your lawn, make sure that you overseed with a quality seed mix.
The roots of your grass, as well as other plants, require oxygen. Over the course of the year, your lawn can become compacted from heavy mowers and foot trafic. Soils that contain a high percentage of clay are highly suceptable to compaction.
When your soil becomes compacted your lawn can suffer. Compacted soils restrict air flow to the root zone and inhibit gas exchange. Like people, roots have to breath. Roots will not grow deep where anaerobic conditions exist.
Core aeration is an excellent way to break up compacted soil. A machine is run over the lawn that removes small, thumb size plugs of soil. This allows air, water and fertilizer to get down to the root zone where they are needed. As more oxygen is able to get deeper in the soil, roots grow deeper. Deep, strong roots are essential to a healthy grass plant. Deep roots are better able to tap soil moisture. This is of great benefit to the plant during times of drought.
The plugs are left on top of the lawn. Mowing, rainfall and foot traffic will eventually break down the plugs and fill the holes back in with UNCOMPACTED soil.