Green Team Blog

All About Aeration: When and Why to Aerate Your Lawn

Does it seem like no matter what you do, your lawn looks like it is struggling? Let’s be honest, you may have done everything right and after regular watering, fertilization, and mowing, you are downright frustrated. No one wants an ugly lawn.

Luckily, there is one more tool in the toolbox to help you revitalize your lawn. Aeration! We know that aeration can sometimes seem like an unnecessary add-on (and for certain lawns it is), but performed at the right time, aeration can truly turn around a stubborn lawn. Let’s explore what aeration is, how it benefits your lawn, and when to try aerating your turf.

What is aeration?

Aeration, or sometimes called core aeration, is a process performed by a machine that punches cores or plugs systematically out of your grass. These cores pull out grass, built up thatch, and compacted soil. While pulling out grass sounds alarming if your goal is for a healthier more lush lawn, it is key in providing the needed nutrients, air, and water to your struggling grass.

Many times aeration is combined with overseeding. This task is not appropriate for all lawns. Overseeding can be a great option if your grass is thin or patchy. After the cores are punched out of your turf, a landscape technician uses a walk-behind spreader to evenly distribute grass seed. This seed then goes directly into the holes left from aeration and can help to thicken your turf.

How does aeration benefit your lawn?

Just like any plant, grass needs water, air and nutrients to grow well. Unlike your other plants, grass is often played on, walked on, driven on by equipment, and more. All of this action your lawn receives means that the soil holding the roots of your grass gets compacted. Dense, compacted soil blocks your grass from getting the proper amount of water, air, and nutrients it needs to thrive.

When aeration is performed, it breaks holes in this compacted soil, alleviating the compaction and allowing the good stuff to get the roots of your grass. This is why even after proper watering and fertilization, sometimes lawns still struggle.

Not all lawns need aeration every year. The sandy soils of our area tend to allow for better drainage than more clay filled soils. Usually, your grass will signal when it is time for aeration. You may see puddling of water on your grass, decreased green color, or thinning grass. To test if you soil is compacted, you can simply grab a screwdriver and press it into your turf. If you meet much resistance, your lawn needs aeration.

aeration visual

When should I aerate my grass?

This is a question we hear all the time! Aeration in Northern Michigan is always best performed in the late summer or fall. The cooler temperatures of these months combined with the time before grass goes dormant make it the best time for your lawn to fully recover before the harsh winter.

We do NOT recommend aerating your lawn in the early Spring or during the growing season. Your lawn is already under stress during the hot temperatures of summer, and aerating then can cause damage or allow disease to break in. The extra moisture during Springtime creates a recipe for lawn disease as well.

Selecting a Lawn Care Company to Perform Aeration

Aeration is a lawn care task that you can complete yourself, however, you need the right equipment. It may be wise to consult with a lawn care company to confirm you grass does need aeration and if it may be beneficial to also overseed after aeration. If you are unsure of exactly what you are doing, it is wise to hire a professional for aeration, so your lawn is not further damaged!

Ready to call in the Green Team to care for your lawn? Every lawn deserves a great team. Get started today by filling out our contact form.

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