Core Aerating and Dethatching
This service should be done late summer or early fall and may need to be done every 2 – 3 years depending on your location.
The machine used will pull plugs roughly two inches long. These holes allow for air, rain, and nutrients to penetrate the soil better, and gives roots room to grow. The lawn will look rough for a few weeks until these cores dissolve. The soils core contains millions of microorganisms that help digest thatch naturally, creating a healthier lawn.
Core aerating encourages deep rooting, increases air in the soil, improves water and nutrient penetration, and encourages growth of beneficial microorganisms. The only down side of core aeration is that it brings up weed seeds from the soil. You may want to consider a pre-emergence herbicide the following spring to minimize the weed growth.
Thatch is a layer of debris, usually made up of grass clippings, leaves, and things that accumulate between the blades of grass laying on the top soil. A healthy layer of thatch is good. This protects the grass crowns of the plant, it provides protection from droughts, and also provides nutrients to the lawn. Dethatching can be accomplished by raking back and forth, deep into the lawn or an aerating machine can also be used, if you have a deep layer of thatch.
Thatch can be beneficial to your lawn but unfortunately too much thatch can be a bad thing. If your property has excessive thatch and it’s over ½” in thickness, the thatch can begin to cause problems. Excessive thatch can prevent water, fertilizer and air from penetrating to the roots and can also harbor insects and diseases, making the lawn more susceptible to damage and drought turning the lawn brown.
The best time to dethatch is middle to late spring or early fall. It is best to sign up for this service while grass is in a growing stage, so the grass can quickly recover from injury. If your lawn has a bouncy feel when you walk on it, thatch is probably built up. A general rule is thatch should not be more than ½” deep. To determine the thickness, remove a small square of your lawn to a depth of about 3” and measure the brown layer between the grass blades and the soil surface. If you are not sure, please feel free to contact AMC and we will come to your property to assess the thickness of thatch.