Core Aeration - FAQs

Q. How close do you get to the perimeter of the lawn when performing a core aeration?
A. We stay about 6-8 inches away from the edge of the lawn. This helps protect the sprinkler heads that are on the perimeter of the lawn.

Q. When is the best time to aerate a lawn?

A. Spring and/or fall, depending on when you had an aeration done last year. Spring aeration will alleviate compaction in the soil and stimulate air movement for the summer months. Fall lawn aeration allows winter moisture into the root zone of the lawn and reduces winter desiccation. Both spring and fall aeration will allow vital nutrients, air, and water to penetrate the soil.

Q. How often should I aerate my lawn?
A. Fort Collins and Boulder have the typical Colorado clay soils and this makes aeration necessary for lawns at least once a year and twice a year for a lawn with heavy foot traffic from pets or children.

Q. Should I get a lawn aeration done in the summer months?
A. It depends on the reason. We do not recommend aerating after the end of May unless it is for the purpose of breaking up sever soil compaction. The reason to avoid aeration in the summer months is because the sun angle is very high in the sky and the heat can bake the roots of the grass. When the grass roots get damaged the lawn will dry out fast, causing a reverse effect on getting nutrients, air, and water into the soil. Instead of aerating in the summer we recommend an application of our Humate soil conditioner and a sprinkler system audit to get the lawn looking great.

Q. Should the lawn be watered before core aeration?
A. Yes, it is important to have soft soil. If there has been rain or snow and the ground is still moist the lawn will not need to be watered. However, if the soil is dry we strongly recommend watering the lawn the night before or in the early morning the day of the lawn aeration. If the soil is moist this will allow the tines of the aerator to penetrate the soil easier and therefore the plugs will be longer, resulting in a more successful core aeration.

Q. Will the aerator machine hit my sprinkler lines?
A. If the sprinkler lines are installed properly the aerator will not damage sprinkler lines. Properly installed sprinkler lines should be 9 inches below the surface of the lawn. In the best conditions, the tines on the aerator penetrate the soil 3-4 inches deep. If the aerator hits an underground sprinkler line we do not guarantee sprinkler line damage. If you know of shallow sprinkler lines in your lawn, please let us know in advance of your aeration.

Q. My sprinkler line was punctured; is Organo-Lawn going to fix the damaged sprinkler line?
A. Properly installed sprinkler lines should be 9 inches below the surface. We can fix your damaged sprinkler line, but we do charge for the repair. It is best to contact the company who installed the sprinkler lines and have them warranty the repair since the line was not installed properly. Please understand we are not trying to be difficult but we cannot see the underground sprinkler lines and therefore do not know how deep they are installed.

Q. Which sprinkler heads do I need to mark in the lawn?
A. Mark any sprinkler head that is more than 6 inches from the edge of the lawn. If a sprinkler head that is more than 6 inches from the perimeter is hit and damaged by the aerator and it wasn’t marked, we will not replace the broken head. We can repair the damaged sprinkler head, but it will be at an additional charge.

Q. What should I use to mark my sprinkler heads that are more than 6 inches from the edge of the lawn?
A. The best thing to use is a flag, but you can use anything that is easily visible like large sticks, large rocks, cat food cans, or anything else that would be noticeable.

Q. How deep are the holes for the lawn aeration?
A. Our machines pull 1-3 inch deep plugs, depending on the compaction level of your lawn. We recommend watering the night before or early the morning of the service for about 30 minutes. A moist lawn will result in deeper plugs compared to a dry lawn. A regularly aerated lawn will get deeper plugs than a compacted lawn.

Q. What do I do with the plugs after the lawn aeration and how long until they go away?
A. We strongly recommend that you leave the plugs on the lawn. The plugs will break down by themselves within two weeks in the spring and four weeks in the fall. This soil cores are filled with nutrients and beneficial microorganisms that your lawn will enjoy.

Q. How long should I wait to aerate the lawn after putting new sod down?
A. We recommend waiting one full year. If the sod has taken well, then we can aerate sooner.