Aeration can be one of the most important things you can do for your lawn. It is the process of removing thousands of plugs of thatch and soil approximately 2 inches deep and 5/8" in diameter from the lawn to improve soil aeration.
Core aeration helps the lawn's health and vigor, and it reduces maintenance requirements.
In many home lawns, the natural soil has been seriously distributed by the building process. Fertile top soil may have been removed from the landscape site, leaving soil that is more compacted, higher in clay content and less desirable for healthy lawn growth.
Thatch is a tight layer of living and dead roots and stems which accumulate at the soil surface. If thatch is left unmanaged it can lead to greater drought stress, increase incidence of disease and poorer nutrient and water uptake by your turf.
The aeration process reduces thatch build up, minimizes its accumulation, and modifies its make up by incorporating soil with the thatch. As soil is combined with thatch debris, soil organisms are better able to break down the thatch and reduce accumulation. If your thatch layer is over 1/2 inch thick then it's time to aerate.
An Important note!!
Mechanical aeration may not be needed at all!! Many lawns come with a natural aerator! THE EARTHWORM! Many times I've been asked to aerate a lawn and noticed it was not in need of it. No compaction, nor a significant thatch accumulation AND signs of earthworms, not encouraging us to aerate a lawn. Save that money and take your spouse to dinner instead!!
Essentially, to help relieve compacted soils and reduce thatch in the lawn.
Annual aeration is beneficial for most lawns. Lawns growing on heavy clay or subsoils, and lawns exposed to intense use can benefit from one or two aerations each year. Aeration can be done spring or fall, or when the turf is in a healthy condition and soils are soft enough for the plugs to be "pulled".
Immediately after aeration your lawn will be dotted with small plugs of soil. Within a few weeks, these small plugs of soil will break apart and disappear into the lawn.
Improves air exchange between the soil and the atmosphere
Enhances soil water uptake
Improves fertilizer uptake and use
Improves turf grass rooting
Reduces soil compaction
Enhances heat and drought stress tolerance
Improves resiliency and cushioning
Accelerates thatch break down