What Is Core Aeration?
Core Aeration is a type of lawn aeration whereby a machine (a lawn aerator) with hollow tines mechanically removes plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn.
What Does Core Aeration do?
This process reduces soil compaction, creating a channel through which oxygen, water, and nutrients can penetrate into the soil.
Why Does Your Lawn Need Core Aeration?
- Compacted Georgia clay soils impede the movement of air, water and nutrients to the grassroots.
- Roots require oxygen to grow and to absorb nutrients and water.
- When compacted, soil contributes to the accumulation of thatch because restricted oxygen levels impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms.
- Thatch accumulates faster on compacted soils and heavy clay soils than on well-verified soils.
- When thatch depth exceeds 1/2” it becomes a problem, reducing water movement and encouraging shallow, weak root systems. Thick thatch also can become a home for insects and disease.
- Many people complain about moss growing in their lawns. Lawns that drain poorly due to soil compaction are displaying a “Moss Welcome” sign.
How Does Core Aeration Work?
Core aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Known as a core aerator, the machine extracts 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-3 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart.
When is the Best Time to Core Aerate?
The best time to aerate your warm-season lawn (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine) is spring and early summer, while the best time to aerate your Tall Fescue lawn is in the fall, in conjunction with fall reseeding.
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