What Is Core Aeration & How Does It Help Your Lawn?

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A healthy lawn is beautiful, but it also takes a lot of work to maintain. Each season brings on new challenges to combat and new needs to address. One of the most common problems lawn owners face is compacted soil. Compacted soil is a major problem for lawns, as it can prevent water, air, and nutrients from reaching healthy grass roots. This creates an ideal environment for growing weeds, which thrive in compacted soil with shallow roots. Heavy foot traffic, heavy equipment, and poor drainage are all factors that cause compacted soil. The best way to combat compacted soil and get your lawn back to its picturesque state is by aerating the soil.

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What Does It Mean To Aerate Soil?


Aerating your lawn is the process of loosening and opening up the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the healthy grass roots. This can be done by:

  • Core Aeration: This is the most common method of aeration. It involves using a machine to drill small holes in the soil. The holes allow air and water to penetrate the soil, and they also help break up the thatch layer, a layer of dead grass and organic matter that can build up on the surface of the soil.
  • Liquid Aeration: This is a newer method of aeration. It involves applying a liquid to the soil, breaking down the bonds between soil particles. This creates small spaces in the soil that allow air and water to penetrate.

Both mechanical core aeration and liquid aeration are effective ways to improve the health of your lawn. The best method for you will depend on the size of your lawn, the type of soil you have, and your budget. See our blog post on granular aeration for even more options!

What Is Core Aeration?


Mechanical core aeration is the most tried and trusted method of loosening compacted soil to create channels for air, water, and nutrients to reach healthy turfgrass roots. Mechanical core aeration uses a machine known as an aerator that has a series of hollow tines that are attached to a frame. The tines are rolled over the lawn, removing small plugs of soil from the ground. The holes left by the tines allow air and water to penetrate the soil and help break up the thatch layer.

When Should I Perform Core Aeration?

The best time to core aerate your lawn depends on your grass type. The best time for cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass and fescue, is in the fall. This is because these grasses are actively growing their roots in the fall, and the aeration will help to promote root growth. The best time for warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and St. Augustine, is in the spring or summer.

How Do I Core Aerate My Lawn Myself?

You can core aerate your lawn yourself if you have a small lawn. However, if you have a large lawn, it is best to hire a professional lawn care company to do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your lawn.

How Much Does Core Aeration Cost?

The cost of mechanical core aeration varies depending on the size of your lawn and the type of aerator used. The average cost for a small lawn is about $100, while the average cost for a large lawn is about $500.

Is Core Aeration Worth It?

Mechanical core aeration is a relatively inexpensive lawn care practice that can offer a number of benefits. If you are looking for ways to improve the health and appearance of your lawn, mechanical core aeration is a good option.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of mechanical core aeration:

  • Aerate your lawn when the soil is moist but not wet.
  • Aerate at a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
  • Aerate every year or two, depending on the condition of your lawn.
  • Follow up with overseeding and fertilizing to help your lawn recover from the aeration.

Additional Benefits Of Core Aeration

Aeration overseeding

Other than breaking up compacted soil and allowing healthy turfgrass to grow and thrive, mechanical core aeration offers many other benefits to your lawn, including:

  • Improved water infiltration: Aerated soil allows water to penetrate more easily, which can help to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
  • Increased nutrient uptake: Aerated soil allows nutrients to reach the roots of the grass more easily. This can help the grass to grow healthier and stronger.
  • Reduced thatch buildup: Thatch is a layer of dead grass and organic matter that can build up on the soil's surface. Aeration helps to break up thatch, which can improve the health of your lawn.
  • Thicker, healthier turf: Aerated lawns are typically thicker and healthier than lawns that have not been aerated.

Mechanical core aeration is a simple but effective way to improve the health of your lawn. By following these tips, you can get the most out of this lawn care practice and enjoy a beautiful, healthy lawn for years to come. If you are overwhelmed and prefer to have lawn care experts aerate your lawn, contact the professionals at Be Green Pro for top-of-the-line service.