Aeration is the removal of soil plugs from the lawn. This is performed by a machine known as a core aerator. The process of aeration is the use of hollow tines to remove plugs of soil, thatch, and turf, 2-3 inches long, and deposits it on the surface of the lawn. The plugs should be left on the lawn to act as a topdressing for the lawn. Ideally, there are at least 8-9 plugs removed per square foot.
Aeration is used to reduce the compaction found in the soil. This compaction reduces the amount of oxygen available to the turf. Other benefits of aeration are increased microorganism activity, increased water penetration, improved root growth, and prevention of fertilizer runoff. Aeration should be performed in the fall, when the soil is moist enough for tine penetration and root growth is favored. Spring aeration can benefit your lawn as well. When these plugs are pulled, the benefits include, improved water absorption, better exchange of CO2 and oxygen, better fertilizer placement, loosened soil, decomposition of thatch, and revitalized, healthier root systems.
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