Benefits of Core Aeration in Turf

September 2, 2021 | By: Scott Robinson


Educating your customers is an important aspect of ensuring turf is maintained to the highest degree. One turf cultural maintenance practice – core aeration can often be viewed as an unnecessary hurdle. Core aeration, however, has many benefits. So read on to find out the key benefits of core aeration in turf so you’ll be ready to explain next time someone asks – “Is core aeration really necessary?”

Relieve Soil Compaction

Relieving soil compaction is the primary reason core aeration was developed. Pulling cores and opening channels allows the surrounding soil to decompress. And then move into the voids, relieving compaction.

  • Relieving compaction promotes:
    • More aggressive rooting
    • Water infiltration
    • Drainage through the soil profile
    • Athlete safety on sports turf

Create Pathways to the Root Zone

These channels create pathways for water, air, and nutrients to move deeper into the root zone. This benefits both turf and the soil microbes. Trials and real-world observations have shown time & again that turfgrass plants will quickly grow new roots into and down these channels, leading to many benefits for the plant.

  • Benefits of pathways to the root zone
    • Depper root mass
    • Improved heat tolerance
    • Improved drought tolerance

Reduce Thatch

A perennial coring program will help reduce thatch build-up in the turf. Since if a thatch layer becomes too thick, it becomes a barrier to water, air, nutrients, pesticides, etc., getting to the root zone.

  • A properly managed layer of thatch in turf will:
    • Provide the plants’ crowns some insulation from extreme weather conditions
    • Help retain moisture
    • Cushion the crowns from traffic

Additional Benefits of Core Aeration in Turf

  • Opened channels in the soil are a great way to make seed-to-soil contact when overseeding.
  • Topdressing and filling the freshly exposed channels is a way to modify a poor soil profile without major disruption or complete removal of existing turf.

All in all, don’t let core aeration be unclear or, even worse yet, a deterrent hurdle to the final decision-maker. Core aeration is well worth taking the time & effort to maintain your turf’s health. Additionally, anyone aware of all the positive aspects of core aerating turfgrass noted above should have no problem justifying this critical cultural practice.