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Do I Really Need to Aerate?

Do I Really Need to Aerate?

date August 21

When, how often, why should you aerate?

Living in Georgia we are lucky enough to have a very sturdy soil, red clay... While this makes building patios and playgrounds easy, it can wreak havoc on a lawn. During our hot dry summers the clay can become like concrete. Add to that compaction from people and equipment and you have a very harsh environment for grass to grow. The roots need to be able to grow and spread and they can't do that in that kind of environment. 

The University of Georgia agriculture department recommends aerating at least once per year and recommends it be done anytime during the growing season. 

Walter Reeves recommends a screw driver test to see if a lawn needs to be aerated. "Wait five days after a rain and try to poke a Phillips head screwdriver into the soil. If it only penetrates easily an inch, it's time to aerate."

Both Walter and UGA recommend a core aerator. While a spike aerator is fine in other types of sandy soils, it is almost useless on GA red clay. The purpose of aeration is to soften the soil and allow water and nutrients to penetrate. A spike can just compact the soil more. It is only recommended on freshly sodded areas to prevent pulling up new sod.

One other tip is that many people come in looking for a dethatcher, when they usually need to aerate more often. Dethatching can cause significantly more damage to the grass than aeration and in Georgia, the culprit to a patchy lawn is normally the clay not the thatch.


Benefits of Aeration

  • Greener healthier grass
  • Prevents grassless patches
  • Promotes decomposition of thatch
  • Allows water to penetrate and lessens the need to water your lawn
  • Allows nutrients to penetrate, so fertilizers are more effective

Rent one today!

Self Propelled Core Aerator

Towable Core Aerator 

Towable Spike Aerator 
Note: The only time people typically use a spike aerator is with new sod or very loose soil.