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Aeration Types 

Aeration involves making small holes in the soil to allow the flow of air, water, and nutrients to the grassroots. This promotes deeper roots and creates a healthier lawn. 
The soil must be aerated if: 

  • People or pets constantly walk on it 
  • The grass has been compacted during its installation
  • It easily dries and feels like a sponge

“The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water, and nutrients within the soil.  Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.” 1

In essence, aeration stops stratification. This helps water reach the roots more easily. 

Mechanical Aeration

Mechanical aeration reduces soil compaction and allows seeds, nutrients, and fertilizer to penetrate the soil. To illustrate, think of a thin, compacted layer of only a quarter of an inch. It can greatly interfere in water filtration and gas exchange between the soil and the atmosphere. An effective solution is aerating machines, or “core aerators.” 

In essence, they remove soil chunks from the lawn, creating a system of big pores. Through them, humidity and nutrients can reach the underground. 

It’s important not to confuse aeration equipment with spiked tools or perforating machines. In reality, spiked machines increase soil compaction and increase its density. 

Considerations for aerating soil: 

  • Fall is the best cold season to aerate your lawn, while June-July is the best time to do it during warm weather. 
  • The soil must be humid, but not wet, before aerating it. 
  • Aeration can be done before supervision. 
  • Core aeration must be done every year, or two years, for lawns with a lot of pedestrian traffic. In other cases, it’s enough to aerate every two or four years.