Aeration explained


Aerating is, without question, the most important thing for a lawn (besides mowing and watering).  There are two different kinds of lawn aeration; solid tine or hollow core (plugging).

Solid Tine Aerating

Solid tine aerating is a bit like traditionally forking over the lawn but is done using a machine.  The machine punches holes in the lawn (much deeper and more powerfully than using a hand fork!) The holes can be up to a depth of 4 inches.  This method can be used at any time of year but is particularly beneficial in spring and autumn.

The Benefits

  • Enabling oxygen, nutrients and water to reach to root zone. A healthy root zone means good strong, healthy, growth above ground.
  • Relieving compaction – also stimulating healthy growth as water can more easily soak into the soil helping the lawn retain moisture following a dry period
  • Aiding natural drainage if the lawn has become wet/waterlogged – this will also help combat the growth of moss.

When can this be done?   Typically, twice a year during spring and autumn – but can be more if needed.

Hollow Tine Aerating

Hollow tine aerating involves metal tubes being pushed into the ground all over the lawn to a depth of about 3 inches (so not as deep as solid tining).

The Benefits

  • As above for solid tining


  • Relief of heavy compaction – when a lawn is heavily compacted – regularly walked or played on – hollow tining greatly reduces compaction and will help restore the natural balance in the turf.
  • Removal of ‘cores’ or ‘plugs’ means there is an opportunity for some degree of soil exchange, for example, sand or a top dressing mix can be brushed into the holes left which can help to improve a clay soil.

Cores should always be collected and disposed of as left on the lawn they can take a long period of time to break down and form the perfect seed bed for weeds and even moss!

When can this be done?  Once a year or in a healthy maintained lawn every two years, again, during spring or autumn.

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