AERATION

Lawn Aeration

Platinum Topdressing offers professional lawn aeration services to enhance the natural beauty of your lawn. From professional athletic fields to the lawn at your home, we are committed to providing our customers with the best service possible. We can help you grow a thicker, greener, weed resistant lawn.

What is Aeration?

Aeration, commonly referred to as "core aeration" in the lawn service industry, is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere.

Why Aerate Your Lawn?

Lawn aeration can help improve the health of your lawn and reduce the demands of maintenance by:

  • Improving air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
  • Heightening soil water uptake.
  • Increasing fertilizer uptake and use.
  • Forming tougher grass roots.
  • Reducing soil compaction.
  • Improving heat and drought stress tolerance.
  • Increasing resiliency and cushioning.
  • Enhancing thatch breakdown.
  • Reducing water runoff and puddling

A density in soil, known as soil compaction, inhibits grass from forming healthy root systems and prevents water and fertilizer from reaching the roots. Soil compaction in a lawn is caused by walking, mowing, and irrigation. Aeration reduces soil compaction, permitting your grass to grow deeper roots and allow better access of water and fertilizer.

How Often Should Lawns be Aerated?

For the average residential lawn, we recommend only aerating once a year. Lawns that are used more heavily and experience more stress, as well as those growing on heavy clay or subsoils, may require aeration twice a year. Commercial lawns, such as Golf fairways, sports turf, and public areas, may need aeration three to five times per year, depending on the amount of use.

When is the Best Time to Aerate?

If you have cool season turf grass such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, both spring and fall are ideal times to aerate. In spring, the best time to aerate is between March and May. Fall aeration should be performed between August and November. Aeration before or at the time of late season fertilization boosts root growth and quickens spring green up and growth.

What to Expect.

Immediately after aeration, your lawn will be scattered with small plugs pulled from the soil. Within a week or two, the plugs break apart and disappear into the lawn.

Around 7 to 10 days after aeration is performed, the holes will be filled with white, growing roots - a sign that the turf grass is accepting additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients from the soil.

On compacted soils and lawns with slopes, an immediate difference in water puddling and runoff after irrigation or rainfall should be evident. Post aeration, your lawn should be able to go longer between watering, without exhibiting signs of wilt. With repeated aeration over time, your lawn will show greater heat and drought stress tolerance.

While you shouldn’t expect miracles, especially with poor soil, lawns that receive continual aeration care will be healthier, greener, easier to maintain, and will have fewer pest problems.

Herbacides, Fertilizers & Aeration

It’s best to aerate before applying pre-emergence herbicides, rather than after. Aerating after an herbicide application can reduce the chemical barrier formed by the herbicide, allowing weeds to germinate. Applying fertilizer after aeration helps the lawn compete against weeds. Water the lawn after aeration, particularly in areas where drought and high temperatures are common.

USEFUL TERMS & DEFINITIONS

LAWN AERATION

The process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve the naturally occurring process of air exchange between the soil and its surrounding atmosphere.

SOIL COMPACTION

A condition that occurs mainly in the upper 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil. Compacted soils have less air spaces and more resistance to root growth than non-compacted soils. This can also cause water to puddle and run off. Compaction causes grass to grow slowly, lack vigor and become thin or stop growth altogether.

CORE AERATION

Core aeration removes small cores of soil, leaving them on the surface of the turf to be dissolved later. This practice improves the depth and extent of turf grass rooting, and will help you save money on your water bill.

THATCH

Thatch is the layer of lifeless and decomposing plant matter located above the soil and below the green vegetation. A thin layer of thatch is useful because it reduces soil compaction and increases wear tolerance. However, a thatch buildup of 1/2 inch or more prevents air, light and water from adequately reaching the turf’s roots. Thatch also makes an ideal breeding ground for destructive insects and disease organisms.

DETHATCHING

Most lawns are subject to thatch buildup. Core aeration combines soil with the thatch debris, so soil organisms are better able to break down the thatch and reduce its growth. Dethatching is the process of mechanically removing the thatch layer from turf using a dethatching unit or power rake.

POWER RAKE

A power rake is a type of turf equipment that mechanically detaches thatch and lifts the thatch debris to the surface for removal.

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