Most people know that their lawns need fertilization, water, and sunlight to stay green and healthy. What most people don’t consider, however, is that their lawn may need to be aerated. The number one enemy of a healthy lawn is compacted soil, and aeration helps to reduce that compaction.
Lawn aeration is a mechanical process in which a machine is used to pull plugs of soil out and drop them on the lawn. Aeration serves to decompact soil, reduce thatch, and promote the flow of water and nutrients. Thatch harms your lawn by preventing sunlight and nutrients to reach the soil. Overly compacted soil harms your lawn by stifling the flow of water and nutrients. The plugs that are dropped on the soil will break down, fertilizing the lawn and encouraging thatch breakdown. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the plugs to biodegrade, and you can mow the lawn during this time.
If your lawn suffers from bare spots, you can also follow-up aeration with overseeding. Grass seed requires contact with soil in order to germinate. Core aeration prior to overseeding allows the seeds to stick in the holes, causing greater contact with soil and preventing the seeds from being washed away when it rains or when the lawn is watered.