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Lawn aerating service

Most lawn care companies offer ‘aeration and overseeding as an add-on service instead of as part of their regular turf maintenance program. While this can make yearly service more affordable, it can make aerating (and overseeding) appear less important to your lawn’s long-term health than other lawn maintenance activities. This is far from true! Core aeration should be part of a continuous program that’s best completed during the last five weeks of summer through mid-fall. It shouldn’t be a one-time event or done sporadically with the hopes of seeing immediate results and feeling instant gratification. The effects of aerating, as well as turf and soil science in general, simply don’t work this way.

Lawn Aeration Illustration

What happens when we aerate your lawn?

Proper aeration (i.e., hollow tine coring) replaces ‘soil air’ with air from the atmosphere. This is critical in supporting adequate soil oxygen for root development and turf growth. One of the main reasons for poor aeration is compacted soil often caused by foot or vehicular traffic from mowers or other equipment. This alters the physical properties of your soil, which can cause major, lasting turf management problems that are difficult to overcome.

Some turf management problems caused by compacted soil include the following:

  • Decrease in macropore space: Soil is made up of thousands of critical pore spaces. Compacted soil decreases macropores, which are critical channels for root growth, water drainage, and air exchange. And it increases micropores, which actually increases water retention; however, most of this water is not available for the turf to use to its benefit.
  • Decrease in soil oxygen: Like any organism, roots need oxygen because it’s a critical part of root respiration and growth. Compacted soil contains less pore space to hold that oxygen. And without oxygen, roots can’t take up and use vital nutrients from fertilizer. This quickly decreases your lawn’s vigor, density, health, and appearance.
  • Loss in vital nutrients: The term ‘denitrification’ means the loss of nitrogen in the soil due to waterlogged conditions. Soil that can’t properly drain will quickly lose the fertilizer nutrients you apply.
  • Reduction in water infiltration and irrigation rates: Have an irrigation system? Think about all that money you spent installing it and how much you spend on water. If the water can’t uniformly penetrate the soil to your turf’s roots, the system isn’t helping all that much.
  • Waterlogged soil: Yes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Waterlogged soil can delay spring green-up by postponing how quickly your soil warms. Turf doesn’t like to grow in really cold soil. On the flip side, dry compacted soil in the summer acts like concrete; it warms up faster and promotes high soil temperatures. Not only does this slow root growth, it creates the perfect conditions for crabgrass and other summer annuals to fester! Crabgrass doesn’t just reduce the aesthetics of your property, it can also harm desirable turf.
  • Increase in soil strength and density: Compacted soil can cause roots to retreat to the surface in search of water. Shallow root systems force you to water your lawn more often which can dramatically increase your water bill. On the other hand, deep root systems do a much better job at keeping grass from drying out during the summer.
  • Product run-off: The term “run-off” means as it sounds. Nutrients need water to penetrate the soil and be taken up by roots. Nutrients are less likely to penetrate compacted soil and more likely to sit on or close to the surface. This can result in run-off, which means your turf won’t receive the right amount of nutrients. In turn, your lawn’s health and appearance suffers. Run-off can also be extremely costly and dangerous to the environment.
  • Disease and weed development: Poor soil conditions can reduce turfgrass vigor, which makes it more susceptible to being affected by disease and weeds.

How can core aerating help your lawn?

What’s below the soil’s surface impacts what you see above it. Hollow tine core aeration enables your turf to take full advantage of a fertilizer program. It increases the flow of oxygen and water to roots, which aids in turf health and establishment.

The healthier and deeper your lawn’s roots are, the better it will fair during stressful times of year. After you’ve aerated, overseed your lawn. Overseeding helps fill in thin, bare, or weak areas (even spots that aren’t visible but that can quickly expand or fill in with weeds). Overseeding also introduces new turf cultivars to your property which can help your lawn better withstand seasonal stressors, insects, or disease.

When does GreenAce Lawn Care aerate?

We begin core aerating the last five weeks of summer through mid-fall to help fix or prevent the problems described above. We don’t recommend aerating or completing other stressful cultivation practices in the spring or summer. Why? These processes cut your lawn’s shoots and lateral stems. While doing so will increase root density over the long run, it will stress lawns for a period of time after completion.

Aerating in the spring also pulls weed seeds to the surface that otherwise would have remained below the soil. This can exacerbate weed problems and make you more reliant on using weed control. It’s best to avoid cultivation as lawns head into the hot, stressful New England summer (or during the summer). Instead, move these processes to the fall when conditions are more favorable for your lawn to quickly and completely recover.


Your trusted lawn care provider and lawn pest exterminator

We Service Areas of Norfolk and Bristol County, Massachusetts Including, Foxborough, Mansfield, Wrentham, Walpole, Plainville, Franklin, Norfolk, Sharon, North Attleborough, and Parts of Attleboro, Stoughton, Canton, Norwood, Norton and Medfield. Learn more about our Complete Lawn Care program.