Core Aeration — ‘The Single Best Thing You Can Do for Your Lawn’


Spring is nearly here, which means planting season is upon us. While you may be gearing up to sow a vegetable or flower garden, don’t forget that spring is also the best time to start thinking about the health of your lawn.

Aside from mowing and watering, if there’s one thing you do all year to care for your lawn, Mike Bell, owner of Spring-Green Lawn Care in Lacey, says, “Periodic core aeration is the single best thing you can do.”

lawn aeration
Plugs of dirt left behind from core aerating act as nutrient-rich fertilizer for new seed added during overseeding. Photo courtesy: Spring-Green Lawn Care.

Helping to relieve stress from your lawn by unplugging areas of thatch that can build up over time, core aeration allows your lawn to breathe, grow and look its finest.

Comprised of a combination of roots, stems and other natural materials that accumulate on the soil’s surface, Bell says a little bit of thatch is actually beneficial to your lawn as it acts as a cushion, protecting the lawn from extreme temperatures. However, if too much thatch is present, it can have the opposite effect, causing suffocation and even promoting insect infestation and disease. That’s where core aeration can help.

“Certain grasses are more prone to that development, including perennial rye and bent grasses, both of which are common in our area,” says Bell. Because these grasses are more susceptible to thatch build-up, Bell says core aeration is key to keeping your lawn healthy and green, especially if you have one of these lawn varieties growing in your yard.

While Bell is a firm believer that core aeration is the best way to ensure a lawn’s health, sometimes core aeration on its own is not enough. That’s where overseeding comes in. It’s all the better if you can do the two together.

Overseeding, the process of adding new grass seed to your existing lawn, can help your lawn look its best by helping fill in sparse, bare areas with new, green grass.

olympia lawn care
While overseeding isn’t contingent on core aerating your lawn first, the treatment is often more successful when the two are done together. Photo courtesy: Spring-Green Lawn Care.

“Overseeding is not a bad practice to do annually to keep the turf filled in with healthy, new grass stock and to renew areas that have thinned out to due to drought, insects and disease,” Bell explains.

For best results, Mike recommends overseeding and core aerating your lawn at the same time.

“Overseeding is not contingent on doing a core aeration first,” he explains,” but the probability of success is greatly enhanced.”

By core aerating first, Mike says the seed will fall into the holes left behind from the core aeration, where they can germinate more easily. What’s more, the plugs left on the lawn’s surface, the result of the core aeration, will breakdown over time, acting as a top dressing for the new seed.

For a beautiful lawn year-round, Bell says the best approach is doing an annual core aeration with or without seeding. “Doing a core aeration every 12 to 18 months can prevent the need to do a mechanical thatching when the thatch layer becomes too thick to allow the continued healthy development of turf grass.”

spring-green root feeding
While overseeding isn’t contingent on core aerating your lawn first, the treatment is often more successful when the two are done together. Photo courtesy: Spring-Green Lawn Care.

Core aeration and overseeding are both great ways to preserve or enhance the health of your lawn. However, when infestation or disease strikes, there are other measures you can take to stop and even reverse damage to your lawn. For a full list of the services Spring-Green Lawn Care offers to Thurston County-area residents, visit Spring-Green Lawn Care’s website for more information.

Interested in learning more about core aeration and overseeding? Visit or call 360-438-2885 for more information.

Spring-Green Lawn Care
Mike Bell, Owner
360-438-2885 |


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