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Aeration is the process of using a machine which pushes a tine into the ground 2”- 3” to extract a core or a “plug”, creating a small hole in the surface of the sod. Why do we do this do you ask? There are several reasons, but the predominate reason is that most of the grass which grows here is bluegrass, which is a thatch type grass, which means that it produces a dead layer of root growth, or thatch year after year. This layer of thatch can become an obstacle in getting water into the lawn and to the roots if it exceeds it’s healthy thickness of ¼”- ½”. Here is where aeration comes to the rescue. Aeration accomplishes 5 things within the lawn. #1- It helps to thin the thatch and prevents it from becoming too thick. #2- It helps to fight compaction of the soil which prevents water penetration. #3- It allows water to penetrate into the soil rather than lingering in the thatch or on the surface left to evaporate. Water must reach at least 5” into the soil to be effectively utilized by the grass and to develop a deep root structure. #4- It helps air circulation to the roots. #5- It promotes new root growth around the core holes which helps to thicken up the lawn. Aeration should be performed at least once per year to promote a healthy lawn and can be done twice, especially on lawns with high traffic or lawns with thick thatch in excess of ½”.