Aeration Methods: Which One is Right for Your Lawn?

Do you want your grass to thrive in challenging conditions like heat and drought? Well, just like us, grass needs to breathe. When soil becomes compacted, it restricts the flow of vital air, water, and nutrients, leaving your lawn struggling to survive. But don’t worry, there’s a simple solution: aeration.

The Importance of Aeration

Activities such as walking, playing, and mowing can compact the soil, while rain and irrigation further exacerbate the issue. This is especially problematic for those of you dealing with heavy clay soil (you Georgians know what I’m talking about). But fear not, because aeration can come to the rescue.

Aerating your lawn annually, particularly if you have warm-season grass like Bermuda or Zoysia, has numerous benefits. It reduces soil compaction, prevents thatch buildup, and allows the grass roots to grow deep, absorbing the essential elements needed for a strong and healthy lawn. For best results, aerate your lawn in the spring or summer, after the spring green-up when your grass is actively growing.

Aeration Methods: Spiking vs. Coring

Now, let’s delve into the different methods of aeration: spiking and coring.

  • Spiking: This method involves using solid tines to create holes in the soil. While spiking helps the grass spread better and allows nutrients to reach the soil, it doesn’t remove any soil, which can actually contribute to further compaction. So, while it’s effective to some extent, spiking is not the best option for proper aeration.

  • Coring: On the other hand, core aeration does more than just create holes. It uses hollow tines to remove plugs of soil, which are then deposited on the surface of your lawn. By cutting the underground roots of the grass (rhizomes) and removing soil, core aeration significantly reduces compaction. This technique enables better nutrient absorption, encourages new grass growth, and helps break down thatch debris.

Aeration before and after pictures
Photo from Lawn Institute.

At Rowe Organic, we opt for the core aeration method and perform a “double pass aeration.” This ensures maximum coverage and allows us to pull deeper plugs, especially when the lawn is well-watered.

After Aeration: Reaping the Benefits

After aeration, your lawn will be covered with small plugs of soil, but fear not, they will naturally break down and disappear. In just a couple of weeks, you’ll notice actively growing roots in the holes. With improved aeration, your lawn will require less frequent watering and demonstrate better tolerance to heat and drought. Aeration can even alleviate small thatch problems and reduce runoff.

Aeration Methods - There Is A Difference
Aeration Methods - There Is A Difference

While aeration might not be a miracle solution, lawns that undergo core aeration are undeniably healthier, more robust, easier to maintain, and less prone to pests, diseases, and weeds.

So, if you’re interested in improving the health of your lawn with our core aeration service or simply want a free lawn evaluation, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help your lawn flourish!