It is estimated that over 66% of residential lawns are growing on compacted soils. Often times, there is no evidence of insect or disease activity, yet the lawn seems to be off-color, thinning, and shows signs of stress in high temperatures. If this is the case, then chances are that the lawn hasn’t been aerated in the past few years … if ever.
Compaction is a physical process where the soil gets more and more compressed so that there is a reduction of the amount of oxygen contained in the soil and movement of nutrients to the roots of the grass plant. The roots need oxygen, and, as they grow they give off carbon dioxide. Eventually the lawn thins until, to where, the soil can no longer support any turf growth.
Aeration is the removal of small cores of soil to allow air, moisture and fertilizer to penetrate down to the root zone. A core aerifler will pull one to two inch plugs of soil from the ground. These plugs are deposited on the soil’s surface where they will break down. Soil surrounding the plugged holes and the soil deposited on top will collapse and fill in the holes. A trained professional knows that it doesn’t work to use aerifying equipment that simply punches a hole in the soil. While a hole may be created, the “punched” soil merely compacts the soil surrounding the hole.