Lawn Aeration is a critical part of maintaining a healthy, green lawn all year long. If you’re having trouble keeping your grass voluminous and green, we always check aeration and irrigation as the first culprits of a patchy or dying lawn.

Our landscaping and lawn care experts always suggest Aeration begin in and around September. In the Raleigh area, where North Carolina red clay and thick Autumn foliage can cause lawn issues. We always want to aerate before the leaves fall and before the ground gets too hard from icy Winter months.

If you have questions, we’re going to answer them all here! Let’s begin.

Why Do You Need Lawn Aeration?

Lawn Aeration allows water and vital nutrients to reach your lawn’s roots. Tightly compacted soil or NC red clay prevents a healthy lawn in two ways:

  1. It prevents grass roots from establishing a deep and complex system.
  2. It prevents water and fertilizer from reaching roots.

By Aerating your lawn, our certified aeration professionals can break up the soil to make it easier for nutrients and water to benefit your grass’ natural growth. Roots are able to grow more deeply and produce a beautiful, healthy lawn.

Furthermore, a well-aerated lawn will help save money on your water bill and time on your yard work. Less water will go much further in a lawn that has been properly aerated.

What Does Lawn Aeration Involve?

Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeper 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.

What Causes Soil Compaction?

The short answer: Everyday life.

Most lawns in North Carolina will benefit from Aeration. During construction, many newer homes lose fertile topsoil during the excavation of the basement or foundation. If your lawn has never been Aerated, we highly recommend utilizing this service before trying to grow a lawn. But even for regularly Aerated lawns, we suggest Aerating annually — usually in Autumn.

Here are just a few of the reasons your lawn’s soil gets compacted over the course of the year:

  • Raindrops – North Carolina has a rainy, humid climate. Regular rain decreases natural air pockets in the soil and erodes nutritious topsoil.
  • Irrigation – While irrigation is also necessary for maintaining a healthy lawn, the natural movement of water compacts soil over time.
  • Mowing – If you drive a heavy mower over your lawn, you’re compacting your soil.
  • Foot Traffic – Do all the neighbors or neighborhood kids hang out at your house and run around on your lawn? This regular foot traffic compacts your soil.
  • Animals – Whether you have something as small as a dog, or are raising larger breeds like horses and cows, this causes your soil to press down over time.

If it’s been a year since your last Aeration, odds are that your soil has become compacted and your lawn could benefit from professional Aeration.

How Do You Know If Your Lawn Needs Aerating?

There are a number of ways to determine whether or not a home is a good candidate to benefit from Aeration.

  • Does your lawn get heavy use? Are there a lot of children, pets, or neighborhood parties on your lawn? What about bicycles and riding mowers?
  • Is your house a newer construction project? Newly constructed projects often destroy the soft, nutrient-rich topsoil when digging up basements and foundations. Plus, large construction vehicles can compact soil.
  • Does your soil dry out easily?
  • Does water pool around your yard? This could mean you have a lot of NC red clay or compacted soil.
  • Is your soil layered? Fine-textured soil layered over coarse soil can prevent proper water drainage.

What Can You Expect During And After Aeration?

For a week or two after your lawn is Aerated, your lawn will have small, dotted plugs pulled from the soil. They will gradually break down and become mixed into the soil.

After 7 to 10 days, the additional oxygen, nutrients, and water reaching your lawn’s roots should begin benefitting your grass. You should see small white roots growing inside the Aeration holes in your lawn.

Any puddling problems caused by compacted soil should begin to resolve itself; you should find an improvement in the amount of puddles and streams caused by rainfall or irrigation in your lawn. Likewise, the amount of watering you have to do for your lawn should decrease, as your soil gains the ability to soak up water and carry it to the roots of your grass.

What Are The Benefits Of Aeration?

After all is said and done, there are many benefits to annual or bi-annual lawn Aeration. Other than having a greener, healthier lawn, you’ll also save money on your water bill, and reduce wasted water and resources.


  • Greener, more vigorous lawn
  • Increase water uptake
  • Enhanced absorption of oxygen, water, and nutrients
  • Reduced puddling
  • Stronger turfgrass roots
  • More resilient grass
  • Less water waste
  • Smaller water bill

Our Raleigh Landscape Professionals Provide Aeration And Overseeding

Autumn is the prime time for our aeration and overseeding services! Our landscape professionals can help your lawn be greener and healthier. Learn more about our Aeration and Overseeding services here, or call us at  919-554-9645 or fill out our online form for a lawn consultation!