What is aerifying?
Aeration is an important cultivation practice for any healthy field or lawn! Compaction from foot traffic prevents root penetration and can contribute to poor drainage. Even the best fields will need aeration to keep the field at high quality.
When our team is aerating, they are essentially poking holes into the turf grass to help de-compact the soil and allow for better drainage and root growth. This allows for stronger grass plants as well as longer play in inclement weather. There are different types of aeration depending on what exactly is trying to be accomplished.
Core aerification is the most versatile method because it addresses several turf and soil issues at once. Core aerification creates open channels that improve soil gas exchange as well as surface and internal soil drainage. During this process, the soil is cored out and then top-dressed to prevent any buildup of non-grass plant organic matter. It is important to remove the cores to ensure the root zone does not have build-up causing more compaction.
Solid tine aerification is a more specialized practice that enhances gas exchange between the root zone and the atmosphere by creating channels without removing cores. This practice works best in cool season fields during summer when the roots are most thirsty for oxygen causing a backup of carbon in the root zone. Solid tining stresses turf less than coring, meaning it can be done throughout the growing season.
Deep-tine aerification can go up to 12 inches using both solid and hollow tines. This form of aerification is a way of breaking through the deep layers of compaction and improving drainage deeper into the soil profile. Deep-tine aerification is very good at getting down into the deeper layers of compaction that can be created from a mixture of heavy use as well as heavy equipment such as the mowers, being on the field. It is important to de-compact as many layers as possible when aerifying.
Here at the Plex we try to aerify our fields often because of the high usage they undergo throughout the year. Aerification is an important practice we do that allows us to host as many events as we do while still providing the highest quality fields.