What is Core Aeration?

Core aeration is an important part of lawn care. If you don’t maintain your lawn, your yard may have poor grass health and poor aesthetics. By aerating your lawn, you’re essentially punching holes in the ground to improve the soil under your turf. These holes give essential oxygen and nutrients to your lawn’s root system so it can grow better, stronger, and healthier. In this blog, we will discuss what core aeration is and why you should always do it.

What is core aeration?

Core aeration is the process of removing soil plugs from within the root zone of a planted area. By creating an array of holes throughout the root zone. Water and oxygen are better able to reach the soil surface. This can greatly help improve drainage, minimize compaction, enhance air porosity in low-lying areas, and help cut down on thatch accumulation. It is most effective for lawns with a sandy-loam to the clay-loam soil profile.

Core aeration is a mechanical soil treatment that serves to weaken and kill certain types of weeds that damage lawns, including dandelions, henbits, chickweed, cedar apple rust, and others. The air spikers used in aeration remove plugs of soil from an area several inches deep on every pass across the ground. Core aerators are increasingly being used by golf courses, sports fields, and other spots around residential areas where stray balls are likely to be hit.

What does core aeration do for your lawn?

Core aeration is one of the most important things you can do for your lawn. It helps to break up the soil, which allows air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. This results in a healthier lawn that is better able to resist disease and pests.

Core aeration also helps to reduce compaction, which is caused by people and pets walking on the lawn. This can lead to weed problems and make it more difficult for water and fertilizer to reach the roots. If you have a thick layer of thatch, core aeration will help to break up those layers as well. Overall, core aeration is a great way to keep your lawn looking healthy and lush.

What are the benefits of core aeration?

Core aeration eliminates thatch.

Thatch is a layer of dead and decaying grass, leaves, and other organic matter that tends to build up on the soil surface. It can prevent air from reaching the roots or water from seeping into the ground. Core aeration breaks through this layer so that your lawn gets enough oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Core aeration helps your lawn grow new roots.

When the soil is broken up, it allows new roots to grow. This makes your lawn stronger and more resistant to pests and diseases.

Core aeration reduces compaction.

Compaction happens when the soil becomes too dense, which can prevent water, air, and fertilizer from reaching the roots. Core aeration helps to break up this hard layer so that your lawn gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Core aeration improves your drainage

It helps your yard drain better, which reduces the chance of puddling after a rainstorm. In the winter, it helps snow melt faster so your driveway and sidewalks can be cleared sooner.

Core aeration also loosens up compacted soil, allowing for better water infiltration and air exchange which helps roots grow deep and strong.

Core aeration helps keep your turfgrass healthy.

It does this by replenishing the soil around the roots of the grass plants. You will enjoy a more beautiful lawn by aerating. This will also help your grass become more resilient to summer heat and droughts that affect our region. A healthy root system allows grass plants to find water when necessary, eliminating much of the need for watering during dry spells.

Things to consider before core aerating your lawn

There are various things you need to consider before you core aerate your lawn.

  • First, you need to figure out if your lawn needs it. You can do this by checking the soil and seeing how compact it is. If it is very compacted, then core aeration is likely needed.
  • Second, you need to think about when to do it. In general, core aerating in late summer or early fall is best. However, the timing will vary depending on where you live and what type of grass you have.
  • Third, make sure that your lawn is healthy before aerating it. For example, if there are lots of weeds in the soil, then wait until they are removed because otherwise, they will grow even more as a result of aeration.
  • Fourthly, know that core aeration can be done by hand, but it’s much easier to do with an electric drill attachment (which allows for less effort).

Things to consider after core aerating your lawn

Once you’ve core aerated your lawn, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, do not overwater it. You don’t want the soil to be too wet after aeration because that will prevent the roots from growing properly. In fact, watering less frequently but deeply may actually be better for your lawn after aerating.
  • Second, wait a few weeks before fertilizing. The soil needs time to settle and absorb the fertilizer properly.
  • Thirdly, mow your lawn at its normal height once it has grown back in (usually within two weeks). Don’t go too short, or you could damage the grass.

How to do core aeration?

Manual core aeration involves using a tool called a corer to remove plugs of soil from the ground around trees. This is an effective way to aerate because the plugs can be examined and any diseased material extracted with ease. The disadvantage is that manual core aeration takes more time than mechanical methods and only reaches a small area around the trunk at a time.

A machine called an auger can also be used for core aeration; it removes large amounts of soil from a hole in the ground without pulling up any plant material. The disadvantage of this method is that it does not allow for visual examination of the soil, so if any diseased material is present, it will not be found until later when the plant starts showing symptoms of the disease.

Mechanical core aeration can be done with a machine that pulls plugs of soil from the ground. These machines come in different sizes, and some are designed to work only on small areas, such as around trees. The advantage of this type of machine is that it removes a large number of plugs quickly. The disadvantage is that the soil may not be visually examined for disease, so diseased material may not be removed.

If you have a lot of weeds or moss, core aeration will help to get rid of them by removing the layer of organic matter that covers the soil and provides food for these plants.

What happens when you don’t aerate?

When you don’t aerate your lawn, you stand the risk of having a poor-quality lawn. What happens is that the soil becomes too compacted for air, nutrients, and water to reach the grassroots. It’s like your lawn can no longer breathe due to a lack of oxygen. What you end up with is thinning or dead turf which is highly susceptible to weeds, pests, and diseases.

How often should you get your yard aerated?

The best time to aerate your lawn is during spring or fall, when the grass is growing actively. Core aeration should not be needed more than once per year, but in some cases, more frequent aeration may be required to help correct problems like heavy thatch build-up or severe soil compaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should overseeding be done along with aeration?

Core aeration is often done in conjunction with overseeding, which helps to add new grass seed to the soil. Aerating prior to overseeding will help the seeds to reach the soil and improve their chances of germinating. Additionally, core aeration can help break up any compaction on the surface of the soil that may have occurred as a result of foot traffic or lawn mowing. This will help make it easier for new grass seedlings to take root and grow.

When is the best time to aerate my lawn?

The best time to aerate your lawn will vary depending on your climate and region. In general, however, late summer or early fall is generally considered the best time for most homeowners. Late summer to early fall is the best time for overseeding since this is when many types of grasses naturally go into their active growth period.

How often should you aerate your lawn?

Most homeowners can typically get away with aerating once a year at most. If you have a lot of soil compaction or heavy foot traffic that passes through your yard on a regular basis, then it may be beneficial to aerate more frequently than this. However, for most people, one annual session will be sufficient to keep their lawn looking its best and in optimal health all year long.


There is more to aeration than just stirring up the dirt. It’s all about breathing life into your lawn by reintroducing oxygen back into the soil. When you have a natural, healthy mixture of air, water, and nutrients in the soil, your grass will thrive, resulting in a stronger and healthier lawn.