It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a down-to-earth solution for a variety of lawn problems.
So, what is core aeration? What are the best tools for the job, and when is the best time to do it? Let’s find out.
Benefits of Core Aeration
Core aeration is the process of removing tiny plugs or “cores” of soil from your lawn, allowing the soil to breath and creating more space for roots to grow. When used in conjunction with overseeding, core aeration stimulates healthy lawn growth.
There are plenty of other benefits to core aeration as well. When done properly, it can improve your soil’s
- Water circulation
- Overall fertilization
- Root growth
In addition to helping with your lawn growth, these conditions will make it more difficult for water to pool on your lawn and for certain insects to thrive.
When should I aerate my lawn?
Lawns require aeration when their soil has become compacted. While compacted soil is sometimes a result of high foot traffic, it’s a common problem that will occur over time. Many homeowners have a compacted lawn without realizing it.
That said, there are some warning signs that might help you decide whether it’s time to try core aeration, including thinning, off-color grass, poor grass growth, or excessive mossy patches.
As a general rule of (green) thumb, it’s best to aerate your lawn annually, typically each spring for cool season grasses and each fall for warm season grasses.
If you live in the Triad area, we recommend aerating your lawn every fall! Learn how to avoid dead patches on your lawn in between aeration sessions.
The Best Tools for Lawn Aeration
Generally speaking, lawn aeration can be accomplished with various tools, including a pitchfork or a lawn aerator. You can even wear spiked shoes and walk around your lawn. However, each method has its advantages and disadvantages. What may be easier to DIY may also lead to inconsistent results.
So, what is the best tool for aeration? Machine aerators are often ideal because they can provide more evenly spaced holes with slightly larger diameters, making your soil better suited for seeding and fertilization. Machine aerators often use hollow tines instead of spikes, which gives us the more specific term “core aeration.” Keep these differences in mind when exploring what’s best for your lawn!