Core Plug Lawn Aeration

If you are considering a core plug aeration please take a moment to read this page to understand the benefits of core plug aeration. If you are going to have your lawn core plug aerated it’s a good idea to have an application of Holganix 2-4-3 applied at the same time. Basically, incorporating 2-4-3 Holganix along with aeration is about adding high carbon food sources, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and beneficial biology – all in a natural organic format. This product will enhance turf recovery and in conjunction with seeding will shorten establishment time.The organic phosphorus enhances rooting, organic potassium increases stress tolerance (moisture and disease), calcium helps loosen compacted soils and remediate salts on surface (inhibit germination), carbon is a food source that sustains beneficial soil biology, and Holganix inoculates soil with additional beneficial micro organisms (i.e. mychorrizae). Active biology promotes a healthy soil environment for all plants, providing greater access to nutrients and water. The other benefit is the ability to improve soil texture, gradually reducing soil compaction, increasing drainage and generally fixing problem soil. Environmentally, we are minimizing dependence on synthetic fertilizer inputs, reducing leaching potential of N-P-K.

Core plug aeration removes plugs (consisting of both soil and thatch) from the lawn and creates holes in the soil. The plugs are left on the surface of the lawn as they have micro organisms and nutrients in them that nourish the lawn. Over time, usually 2-3 weeks, the plugs will decompose and fade away. The net result of having aerated a lawn is that the root system has more access to air, water and nutrients. In addition, aeration helps to soften up compacted soil which will allow the soil to take in more water, allow the lawn to grow deeper and healthier roots and this will in turn help the lawn to with stand dry periods and hot temperature.

Soil compaction is the root cause of the need for core plug aeration. It occurs over time from traffic on the lawn (walking, playing, pets, mowing- particularly in the same pattern where the tires touch the turf). In addition, rain itself and watering mechanisms such as lawn sprinklers can help to increase soil compaction by compacting soil and eliminating/reducing air pockets where the root system of the lawn may grow. Core plug aeration ultimately results in an improvement in depth for the root system which can also result in natural breakdown of thatch- another contributor to soil compaction.

What are the benefits of core plug aeration?
1) Lawn doesn’t need to be watered as often as the root system is more open to receive water.
2) There is less of a runoff affect from water and water pooling is often eliminated or reduced.
3) Increased ability for the lawn to take in water, fertilizers, nitrogen and oxygen.
4) Increased heat and drought tolerance.
5) Improved rooting.
6) Increased, natural thatch breakdown.

Lawn aeration is often best performed in the early fall when the soil and lawn is still strong enough to withstand the equipment and the ground is not too soft to cause potentially serious rutting.


Typical walk behind core plug aerator. This model is 26″ wide.

This is what core plugs that are pulled from the lawn look like.