About Aeration

Aerate Texas
Putting Holes in Texas Lawns

Aerate Texas Frequently Asked Questions  (click here for .pdf of FAQs)

Q. What is core aeration?
A. Also known as plug aeration, it is the process of making finger-sized holes in your lawn and depositing the removed material (aka core or plug) on the lawn to break down.  This allows fertilizer, water and oxygen to get to the root which creates a healthier, not to mention greener, lawn.

Q. How much does aeration cost?
A. For many lawns (up to .25 acre lot), the cost is $80 and includes flagging of sprinkler heads.  Larger lots (as measured by your county's appraisal district) will cost a little more.  For a free and fast quote, please go to our Contact Us page or text 817-845-4646 with your name and address.  Additionally, depending on where your property is located, a nominal travel charge will apply.  Any quote received will include that charge.

Q. How do I know if my yard needs aeration?
A. While any yard can benefit from annual aeration, some of the tell-tale signs of a yard needing aeration are yards composed of heavy clay soil (NE Tarrant County is abundant with clay soil), yards experiencing heavy foot traffic (Got kids?), yards with ½” or more of thatch, yards that have standing water after normal irrigation or moderate rain, or any lawn that browns easily in heat.

Q. How often should I aerate?
A. Problems lawns, like those with signs noted above can greatly benefit from aeration done twice a year.  Lawns in sandy or loamy soils that are generally healthy can benefit from annual aeration.  We recommend annual aeration for Bermudagrass and bi-annually (every 2 years) for St. Augustinegrass

Q. Will spiking do the same thing?
A. No.  While spiking does put holes in the turf, it furthers the problem of compacted soil around the hole since it does NOT remove material from the ground.

Q. Is aeration a one-time fix that can be discontinued when the lawn has improved?
A. No.  As with any other preventive maintenance, lawn aeration needs to be a part of any lawn care program just like fertilizing, weed and pest control, irrigation and mowing.

Q. How long will it take for the cores left in the lawn to disappear?

A. Depending on the weather, soil conditions, watering and mowing frequency, the cores will break down and disappear in about two weeks.  Allowing the cores to breakdown naturally will add valuable nutrients to your lawn; therefore, it is important not to rake up the cores as that reduces aeration effectiveness.

Q. Is it important to aerate close to obstacles such as driveways, sidewalks, and plantings?
A. Yes.  These areas are often the most compacted spots on your lawn.  Irrigation systems are also less effective in these areas.  Our machines are easy to maneuver around the tightest areas.  If you can get a regular lawnmower in there, we can aerate it for you.

Q. How wet should the yard be for best aeration results?
A. If the ground is too dry, the cores depth is reduced as is the aeration effectiveness.  While wet, muddy ground will allow for deep aeration, the soil in the hole is crushed thereby reducing access to the roots for fertilizer and other nutrients.  Plus, it makes a mess.  Normally, aerating 24 hours after a ½” rain or normal watering is the best.

Q. Should aeration be done in times of drought and high heat?
A. No. While not the best for business, especially with our brutal Texas summers, it would also be unwise to do for your lawn.  Generally, north Texas lawns react well to aeration from mid-March into late-May and again from mid-September into late-October.

Q. Should newly seeded grass or sod be aerated?
A. No. Sod should be given time to get established.  This generally takes about 12 months.  Newly seeded lawns can generally be aerated in the second season of growth.  Multiple pass aerating is a wonderful preparation to both seeding and sod placement.

Q. Can aerator tines damage sprinkler heads or other items in the lawn?
A. Yes.  The tines on our aerator will destroy any items that they encounter.  This includes sprinkler heads, light housings on the surface of the lawn, conduit, irrigation covers, etc.  The tines are so powerful that they can pull a core from a tree root.  All items that don’t need or want holes in them should be flagged. 
Aerate Texas is not responsible for any damage done to any items not flagged in your yard including utility lines below the surface (this includes but is not limited to cable lines, low voltage lighting wires, and sprinkler system wiring/piping) .

Q. When should the lawn be fertilized?
A. Immediately after the aeration, while the holes are still exposed, is the best time to fertilize your lawn.  This provides the greatest return on your fertilizer investment, both financially and aesthetically.

Q. When should pre-emergent for weeds be applied?
A. Pre-emergent can be applied 4-6 weeks before aeration or immediately after the aeration process.  Doing it immediately after aeration reduces the chance of weed invasion in the yard while grass is spreading to the exposed holes.

Q. Is reseeding after aeration a good practice?
A. Yes.  If the soil temperature is consistently above 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), broadcast seeding immediately to two weeks after aeration will improve germination.  This timing allows the seeds to mix with the deteriorating plugs and have direct access to non-compacted soil in the holes in the turf.  Do NOT use pre-emergent if you plan on overseeding.

Q. I’ve heard that dethatching (power raking) is necessary in addition to aeration.  Is that true?
A. Only in cases of extreme thatch is this necessary.  Power raking only removes thatch but does not improve soil compaction.  Aeration does both in one process.

Q. Should the lawn be watered after aeration?
A. Yes.  Water helps to breakdown the cores left in the yard and is very effective on the newly exposed root system.  It may be necessary to add 1-2 days to your weekly irrigation schedule for up to two weeks after aeration.

Q. Should I mow my lawn prior to aeration?
A. It is recommended to mow a day or two before aeration to allow for the deepest cores to be taken during the process.  This is especially true for St. Augustine lawns since their blades are generally thicker than bermudagrass and zoysia grass lawns.  Also, clearing your lawn of other debris, such as leaves and twigs, makes for a more effective aeration.

Q. How soon can I mow my lawn after the aeration?
A. You can mow the lawn any time after it has been watered thoroughly.  It is important to deep soak your lawn prior to mowing.  This will breakdown the fertilizer into a water-soluble form so that it may enter the root zone and not be pulverized or displaced by mowing.

Q. What type of machines do you use?
A. Aerate Texas uses exclusive, golf course type aerating machines that are cam-driven.  This means that the tines penetrate the soil in an up-and-down motion producing almost twice as many cores as a drum-driven roller type of machine.  Those machines rely on the weight of the machine to penetrate the soil, making them bulky and difficult to use, not to mention not as efficient in producing cores as our cam-driven machines.

Q. How do I schedule my aerating service?
A. You may either call/text Cory at (817) 845-4646 or email at cory@aerate-texas.com.  Aerate Texas can generally schedule your aeration services within 7-10 days and will work with your preferences on day and time.