When spring arrives each year, homeowners in Minnesota take a look at the damage and assess the maintenance steps to get a lush, green yard for the summer. For many, an important yard maintenance step is core aeration.

What is Core Aeration?

Core Aeration is the process in which a specialized machine removes diameter-sized plugs from your yard’s soil. These plugs are then scattered on the surface of the lawn creating holes that reduce compaction and allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn. This strengthens the roots and makes your lawn thicker and stronger. Adding a top layer for soil also helps break down leftover thatch from the winter.

Thatch is a layer of decomposing organic material (dead leaves, twigs, etc.) between the soil’s surface and the grass. As thatch accumulates and gets to be more than ½ inch thick, it can add to soil compaction and prevent the flow of air, water, and nutrients to your lawn’s root system.

Does My Yard Need Core Aeration?

So, how do you know if your yard would benefit from core aeration? There are a few tell-tale signs. If your grass looks stressed out, thin, or has bare patches, your soil might be compacted and in need of aeration. Often, puddles will form over hard compacted areas– a sign that your lawn isn’t absorbing water the way it should.

You can check this for yourself by conducting a “screwdriver” test. Stick a regular screwdriver in your lawn’s soil. If it slides in fairly easily, your lawn is in good shape. If you meet resistance and find it difficult, your soil is compacted and aeration can be a beneficial step.

You might also consider the type of soil surrounding your home. Clay becomes compacted quickly, so if the soil surrounding your home is comprised in part or mostly with clay, regular aeration is important.

When is the Best Time to Aerate My Yard?

The best time to aerate your yard depends on where you live and the type of grass around your home. In Minnesota, the best time to aerate is typically fall, but early spring aeration can be helpful as well–especially when you need to break down thatch. For warmer seasoned areas of the country, late spring to early summer is the ideal time to aerate. Overall, the most popular time to aerate is fall.  This prepares your lawn for winter dormancy and gets your yard ready for a green spring.

If you are looking to improve your lawn with core aeration, contact the experts at Land Concepts. We can help you get the beautiful, full lawn you’ve always dreamed of having.