Aerating turf is a common practice often performed in the spring and fall growing seasons. However, your lawn can benefit from aeration year-round if the turf and conditions dictate. The point of aeration is to remove some of the organic material on lawns that develop thatch of one and one half inches or more. Thatch interferes with water movement, hinders growth, and is a haven for insects and disease development.
Compacted soils and soils with poor drainage tend to accumulate thatch faster than well-drained soils. Aeration promotes better moisture and air penetration into compacted soils. It helps establish a deeper and healthier root system and also stimulates the microbial activity involved in decomposing the thatch layer.
Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Although hand aerators are available, most aeration is done mechanically with a machine having hollow tines or spoons mounted on a disk or drum. Known as a core aerator, it extracts 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter cores of soil and deposits them on your lawn. Aeration holes are typically 1-2.5 inches deep and 2-6 inches apart. Core aeration is a recommended lawn care practice on compacted, heavily used turf and it controls thatch buildup.
Performed annually, aeration significantly reduces thatch build-up and improves turf growth. Bermuda grass, both common and hybrid, needs to be actively growing before we do an aeration. Optimally this is from May to July of every year.