Core Aeration and Top Soil

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Core Aeration

Core Aeration and Top Soil

In order to achieve and maintain a beautiful lawn, you should employ basic lawn care practices such as properly mowing, fertilizing, and watering. It is also important to ensure that nutrients can reach the soil beneath your grass. Core aeration and topdressing treatment can be an extremely vital element to a healthy lawn because it allows air and water to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch.

Get rid of thatch and make way for a beautiful lawn with this quick guide to core aeration.

What is Core Aeration?

Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.

The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements. Let A Cut Above Landscaping give you a quote to perform core aeration.

Core Aeration

Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn?

One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for core aeration if it:

  • Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
  • Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on the subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
  • Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
  • Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.

When To Core Aerate Your Lawn

The best time for core aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, aerate the lawn with cool season grass in the early spring or fall and those with warm season grass in the late spring.


Topdressing a lawn is accomplished by spreading a thin layer of soil with fertilizer and nutrients over the grass. Here are a few benefits:

  • Helps to create a smooth surface. Topdressing can help level out any low spots in your lawn.
  • Helps in controlling lawn thatch. High-quality topdressing can introduce micro-organisms which can help in the decomposition of dead grass roots, old clippings and others that cause lawn thatch to build up.
  • Improves soil structure. Repeated applications help add nutrients back into the soil.

Why apply topdressing after aeration? Once the lawn has the aeration holes, applying top dressing means that the nutrient-rich materials can add an extra layer to the soil while also seeping into the holes to help the soil and plant growth in both places. This is especially helpful if your soil quality isn’t ideal. It is best to do it in August when the grass is actively growing, right after a core aeration.

Top Dressing