Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 Benefits of Core Aeration to Lawns

There are many ways that Core Aeration benefits lawns. 

Watch a quick video demonstration of Core Aeration on the new CrabappleLandscape YouTube Channel. 

1. Core Aeration loosens up compacted lawns, improving resiliency and cushioning

2.  Increases soil pore space and oxygen needed for good growth of turf, improving air exchange between the soil and  atmosphere

3. Removes thatch, a physical barrier to nutrient uptake and water infiltration  

4.  Improves root growth, creating stronger turfgrass roots

5. Limits run-off or puddling of rain and irrigation water, with up to 25% water savings

6. Provides better fertilizer penetration, delivering it right to the rootzone 

7.  Increases effectiveness and distribution of lime and gypsum 

8. Stimulates new root development 

9.   Provides evenly spaced seeding holes for reseeding 

10. Enhances tolerance of the lawn to heat and drought stress

What is Core Aeration anyway?
Core aeration is the removal of small cylinders of soil called "cores" from compacted lawns to control thatch buildup, allowing the rain and fertilizer to soak in and the roots of the turf to breathe and expand. An aeration machine pops out ½ inch tubes of soil and deposits them on the lawn where they soon dissolve.

What is thatch?
Thatch is a build up layer of cut grass clippings, dead roots and miscellaneous debris that settles at the soil level  of the  individual grass plants that make up a lawn, and is most common with warm-weather creeping turf varieties such as Bermuda and Zoysia. 

When should I aerate? 
Crabapple LandscapExperts can evaluate your turf and recommend this procedure if needed:

1. If turf is only shallowly rooted

2. If the lawn is heavily used, causing thin areas

3. If the thatch layer is thicker than ½ inch   

4. If the soil is heavy clay

5. It is best not to aerate newly-seeded lawns

When is the best time to aerate warm season lawns?
Right now (March) and through June or July, when warm season grasses are coming out of winter dormancy and beginning a vigorous period of growth as the soils warm up. Lawns will recover quickly from aeration at this time.

What are the best practices for Core Aeration?
1. Soil is moist but not wet

2. The aeration machine is run in two different directions over the lawn for good coverage

3. Lawns can be aerated once a year, especially under heavy use

4. Soil cores are are best left on the lawn surface; they typically work back into the
      grass in 2-4 weeks

5. Lawns may be fertilized and seeded immediately following aeration with or  
      without further soil top dressing 

6. Crabapple LandscapExperts will mark sprinkler heads, shallow lines from
      sprinkler, underground utilities, cable, and septic lines before aerating to make sure
      they will not be damaged.

To get the lawns on your properties looking lush and green without shelling out a lot of money, the answer is core aeration. It only takes a day or two to complete and the results can be staggering! 

Don't miss any of the new  short landscaping demos and best practices on the CrabappleLandscape YouTube Channel. Subscribe now to be notified when a new video comes online!



  1. Aeration in Georgia is so critical. Due to the compacted clay soil, turf simply has a difficult time thriving without core aerating each year. For higher quality lawns, twice a year is vital. The golf courses aerate monthly in season, why not a home lawn?

  2. Hi GeorgiaLawn, thanks for the comment! Home lawns are great candidates for aeration, and receive the same benefits.