1. Treatments
  2. Aeration


Lawn Treatment


What is Aeration?

Aeration is the most effective way of reducing sub-surface thatch and compaction in lawns. Aeration is the process of punching thousands of cores out of the lawn. Its benefits include:

  • Thins out sub-surface thatch
  • Relives compaction in the soil.
  • Promotes root development,
  • Reduces moss loving environment.

Aeration is a typical part of an annual lawn treatment programme and is included in our Enhanced and Complete Treatment Packages

What is Sub-Surface Thatch?

There are two types of thatch. Surface and Sub-surface thatch. Thatch is a layer of living and dead organic matter, found between the grass leaf and the root zone. In severe situations the grass root zone can be found in the thatch layer. Sub-surface thatch is a dense matted thatch layer typically found between the base of the grass plant and the top of the soil line. It acts as a barrier between the grass leaf and the soil. Sub surface thatch can have a devastating effect on a lawn; it makes a lawn dry out very quickly, makes the lawn subject to moss invasion and prone to disease.  If you would like to know more about surface-thatch and scarification.

What is compaction?

Simply put, it is the result of soil particles being pressed together. There are a variety of soil types found in the UK and many believe the only time you will get compaction on the lawn is when something heavy is left on the lawn or increased footfall. Although this is a possibility it is not the main reason for compaction.

All soil types become compacted. However, the main one we find suffering with compaction on UK lawns is clay.  The soil particles for clay are very small which makes it easier for them to become compacted. Other soils with larger particles can become compacted too, but less frequently.

Lawns which suffer from compaction need to be Aerated for a variety of reasons:

  1. Difficult for water to drain through thus causing poor surface conditions
  2. It makes for poor root development
  3. Wetter soil means lower soil temperatures
  4. Compaction has a negative impact on microbial activity and root respiration
  5. Encourages surface thatch

Aerator Machine
Lawn Treatment


How does GreenThumb know if my lawn needs Aerating?

We check the lawn by taking a number of cores samples in a variety of places over the lawn. The process of taking a core sample allows us to take a closer look at the levels of Sub-surface thatch and what the soil is like. We will be able to tell how compacted the soil is by examining the conditions of the roots and how tight knit the soil is. This evidence provides us with enough information to recommend Aeration for compaction. Likewise the thickness of sub-surface thatch tells us if Aeration is needed.

How often does my lawn need to be Aerated?

GreenThumb take an analysis of the soil conditions of your lawn and we will recommend aeration when it is required. Aeration is a regular feature of a good annual lawn maintenance programme and is included in our Complete and Enhanced packages.

What do you do to collect the cores left over from Aeration?

We don’t like to leave the cores on the lawn following the Aeration. Although some experts suggest going over the lawn with a rotary mower without the collector would mean the mower would turn the cores into a form of dressing. Your local GreenThumb might also offer a service to collect them. Ideally, for a lawn, Aeration should be immediately followed by Scarification which includes waste collection and the cores would be collected too. Aeration and Scarification is included in our Enhanced and Complete programmes.

How much does it cost for my lawn?

If you would like to know how much this service costs for your lawn right now, why not try our lawn measuring tool.

Which programme is this treatment included in?