Aerating helps minimize the effects of soil compaction on a lawn. When lawns are under heavy use or experience poor drainage, the soil can become compacted and reduce the amount of space between soil particles. The air pockets between soil particles that normally occur provide the roots with oxygen and help the roots absorb water and nutrients in the soil. When the soil becomes compacted and the spaces between soil particles are lost, you may notice yellowing turf, decreased turf growth, and thinning of the turf or bare spots in the lawn. Aeration can help alleviate the problems associated with soil compaction by creating more air spaces in the soil. Aeration can be accomplished on a large scale by operating mechanized aerators that use tines to cut into the soil or hollow spears to remove small cores from the soil.
Opening the spaces in the soil allows increased oxygen, water and nutrient movement near the roots. Root and plant growth are enhanced with increased access to water and nutrients. For cool season grasses in our area, late August and September are good times to aerate as the plants are beginning to grow aggressively with the onset of cool weather, minimizing the recovery period for the aerated lawn.