Hello, I’ve had participants ask whether lawn aeration is a good thing.
At one point I read that it was definitely not; that aerating just compacted the soil in the places where the tines pressed down. (I do not know anything about aeration or the equipment, so may not be describing it properly.)
Then I talked to a soils expert at a workshop, a guy who was pretty sustainability-minded, and he said it was a good thing to do. I think I was told that it depended upon the kind of equipment used.
This was all a couple of years ago.
Since I get this question occasionally, I’d love some input from someone who knows about the pros and cons of aeration. (It’s not something I would ever get around to doing myself but then I don’t put much value on a beautiful lawn 🙂 I’m sure many of us feel the same)
In the best of all possible worlds, we’d recommend building soil health and tilth by incorporating organic matter over the long term, correct? But we have some pretty compacted clay with no topsoil in some parts of my county, so that’s not too helpful to the frustrated suburban homeowner.
From my view and what I know, aeration is good using the right machine. Using one that minimizes soil compaction of course. So probably talking a walk-behind type that can be rented. But aeration should then be followed up with a soil amendment – top dressing with topsoil, seeding, or some other method to improve the conditioning of the soil. The holes will allow this material to get into the tough ground.