Why Should I Aerate My Lawn?

core aeration

If you are still asking yourself why you need to aerate your lawn this season, you have probably never experienced the benefits aeration has to offer! Aeration is used to create healthier soil and greener, fuller turf for your lawn. Tuxedo Yard Care dazzles customers every year with the effects of our aeration services, and this article will help you understand why your lawn should be next!

What Does Aerating Do?

Aeration creates healthy, lush lawns by loosening compacted soil. When lawns begin to develop thinning patches of grass and struggling greenery, among other issues, soil compaction is often the root cause. Soil that has become too hard due to excess foot traffic, low moisture, or any number of environmental factors can not provide enough nutrients for your grass, which causes your lawn to appear patchy and bare. Aeration breaks apart hard soil and thatch buildup so that your grass can easily access the water, nutrients, and airflow it needs for growth.

liquid aeration illustration
  • Core aeration is best for lawns that are severely struggling, and it involves the use of machinery to remove plugs of compacted soil and thatch. As those plugs are removed by the core aerator, small holes are left behind where the plugs were extracted. The holes allow for improved airflow and access to nutrients as the soil begins to decompress and become more permeable. The softer your soil becomes, the easier it is for your grass to absorb nutrients and develop stronger roots.


  • Liquid aeration should be performed on mostly healthy lawns, and it loosens hard soil by applying a chemical compound to compacted lawns. The solution gets sprayed on top of a lawn, and it dissolves/breaks apart compacted soil as it gets absorbed. Once the solution begins to take effect, grass will have an easier time trying to spread and sprout new seedlings. Click on this link for more information on core and liquid aeration.

When Should I Aerate My Lawn?

Diseased lawn

Between September and October is the ideal time to aerate lawns with cool-season grass. Popular turfs like tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass do very well in cooler temperatures, and you should always consider your lawn’s peak growing season when determining the best time to aerate. Aerating cool-season grass in fall, before frost arrives, is a great way to preserve turf health and prepare your lawn for the cold weather ahead. 

Between May and July is a great time to aerate lawns with warm-season turf, such as Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. Aerating shortly before peak growing season helps ensure that your lawn gets adequate nourishment when it needs it the most. Warm-season grass thrives in warmer temperatures, making early summer the most advantageous time to aerate your warm-season lawn. 

water puddling up on a lawn

The condition of your lawn will also play a role in determining when to aerate. If your lawn is constantly covered in bare spots and the soil is hard to the touch, aerating twice per year may be necessary. Severely struggling lawns can benefit from aerating in spring and fall, preferably in conjunction with fertilization and/or seeding. Aerating is beneficial to lawns in good or bad shape, but aerating too often can be harmful. Remember to limit aeration to once or twice per year, and keep an eye out for the following situations that could indicate a need for aeration:

  • Thinning grass
  • Dead or bare patches
  • Hard soil
  • Puddles and pooling water
  • Excessive weed growth
  • Presence of lawn pests
  • Excessive foot traffic
  • Consistent leaf/tree debris coverage

Benefits Of Aeration

Your lawn has to be able to absorb nutrients, water, and sunlight in order to grow. Aerating is one of the most effective ways to turn a struggling lawn into a green oasis because it allows your grass to have access to nutrition that it has desperately needed. As your lawn finally begins to breathe again, it will have room to grow and consume everything it needs to sprout thick, green grass.

Even if you can not tell by looking, everyone knows the unpleasant feel of compacted soil under their feet. Hard soil not only prevents your lawn from being as green as you want it to be, it also feels simply unwelcoming. Treating your lawn with a quality aeration service will give you the soft soil and lush lawn you have been waiting for!

Standing water is one of the major signs of soil compaction, and it leads to a host of other issues. Core aeration is a great choice for alleviating drainage issues in your yard. As the core aerator removes plugs from your lawn, water will become able to drain into the soil where it can be absorbed by grass roots and improve your lawn.

Lawn pests, such as mosquitoes, ants, wasps, etc., are often drawn to lawns with poor drainage. Standing water creates the perfect environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and perpetuate their population, which is the last thing you want for your home and family. Though it is not a directly intended benefit, the improved drainage your lawn will experience from aeration can drastically reduce the amount of lawn pests on your property. Check out Tuxedo’s pest control services for more information.

Whether using a liquid fertilizer or a granular type, all fertilizers have to be absorbed into the soil in order to have an effect. Aeration enables fertilizers to be absorbed by the roots of your turfgrass, which also helps deter harmful weed growth. As the effects of aeration set in and healthy grass emerges, those healthy roots and tall-growing grass blades can start to choke out weeds. Ask us how our fertilization & weed control service can enhance the benefits of aeration.

Patches of yellowing grass create quite an eyesore that nobody wants to have on their own lawn. If seeding and fertilization efforts don’t seem to green-up these patches, aeration may be able to help. Seeding and fertilization are necessary steps to take in curing bare spots, but they are useless if your lawn is too compacted. Aeration is key to creating a stronger, thicker lawn.

A damaging layer of thatch can quickly form on your lawn and worsen compaction issues. Thatch is a buildup of organic matter on top of your lawn’s soil, and it becomes another barrier for nutrients to have to fight through if it is not treated properly. The process of aeration, along with verticutting beforehand, loosens thatch buildup so your lawn will not suffocate.

In addition to the nutrients from fertilizers and in the soil that your lawn will now have access to, the process of aeration even provides bonus nourishment to the soil. Liquid aerator often contains micronutrients that condition the soil while aerating it, and the plugs of soil and thatch removed during core aeration can be left on top of your lawn to be reabsorbed by the improved soil. If you want a healthier lawn this growing season, aeration is the answer!

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