Liquid aeration is gaining momentum in the lawn care industry. But, how does it compare to the traditional and well-known core aeration? 

To fight against soil compaction’s harmful effects, lawn aeration is an essential strategy that you should consider implementing in spring and fall to revitalize your lawn. 

Oxygen, water, and nutrients are essential for any form of life to thrive. It’s no different for your lawn. 

Therefore, if you create a healthy environment for your grass to grow, guess what happens?

The plants of your lawn grow stronger and healthier. 

Yep, life on Earth is “that” simple.

That said, you sometimes need to help Mother Nature just a smidge. This is where lawn aeration comes into play.

Why Lawn Aeration?

Folks, we spent more time on our properties this year.

You do not need to be a stud in national statistics to know that.

For many families in Chester County, PA, in 2020, people have spent more time on their properties. 

With the quarantines, social distancing and working remotely from home meant more yard time with the family.

Let’s be honest; there was not much else to do.

Yet, playing ball with the kids, and kids running around playing with the dog is an incredible sight and a fantastic way to build happy memories. 

The only issue in this lovely picture is what happened to your soil.

What happens to your soil, you might ask?

Well, it suffered foot traffic.

Foot traffic! Is that it? Is that why I need lawn aeration?

Actually, not really.

It’s your foot traffic and that ugly thatch layer that was not removed in Spring or for a few years that impact your soil negatively.

The thatch layer is composed of dead layers of grass that can accumulate on your lawn over time.

With soil more compacted than usual, water, nutrients, and air cannot penetrate deep enough. 

If air, water, and nutrients cannot feed the plant, your plant is weaker and more prone to disease and natural aggressions.

What’s Lawn Aeration?

In a nutshell, lawn aeration helps to deal with the above.

In the end, addressing compaction will allow more water and nutrients to reach your soil, where the grassroots will absorb them.

There are two types of lawn aeration: 

Mechanical and liquid. 

Most people are familiar with the mechanical core aeration, where small plugs of dirt are pulled out. These plugs are called “cores,” and they create a small hole of 2 inches deep and ¾ of an inch in diameter in your soil.

After mechanical core aeration, “plugs” or “cores” lay around on the lawn. Although the process works well, it can leave your yard looking messy. 

Many people see the benefit of core aeration, but do not like the sight for the first few weeks after the aeration. It looks like a gang of dogs pooped in your yard. 

With all due respect to centuries of American poetry, there is no better way to describe it.

Also, before running a core aerator on your property, you’d be wise to mark your sprinkler system heads, invisible fences, underground utilities, or cable lines with flags or cones to avoid destroying a costly system.

Typically, a core aerator pushes holes in the ground. So, imagine what that can do to an underground system that costs a fortune?

If you need to get the benefits of lawn aeration but you are unsure if you will like your lawn’s short-term appearance the first few days following your core aeration, you should consider liquid aeration.

What’s Liquid Aeration?

Here’s the difference with your old good mechanical core aeration: 

Liquid aeration does not leave plugs on your yard and offers more even and more in-depth coverage of the area you want to treat. The liquid aerator is sprayed on your turf, and that’s it.

These are the main differentiators.

In essence, liquid aeration offers the same base benefits as core aeration with some attractive advantages:

  • Breaks up the thatch layer.
  • Penetrates clay deeply, which is ideal in Southern PA.
  • Improves water penetration more evenly.
  • Promotes air penetration.
  • Softens soil to allow the plant’s roots to grow better.
  • Improves the absorption of nutrients in a more systematic manner.
  • Can be done anytime during the growing season.
  • Uses bio-degradable materials, safe for kids and pets.
  • Preserves the integrity of all your in-ground systems.

Ultimately, liquid aeration can be more effective than core aeration. 

If you are more a DIY person and you do not plan to contact a lawn care company, a good tip is to pay attention to the ingredients of the products you can find at your nearby retail store.

Always check out the wetting agent, preferably made from a natural organic compound. 

Then, make sure there is food in the ingredient list like enzymes, humates, and bacteria. It is essential for microbial life development that will attack the thatch layer. You may have to buy a separate product to add the missing elements in the formula.

Heck, What Should I Choose? Core or Liquid Aeration?

Your liquid aeration will not have an immediate impact on your lawn like core aeration. So, you will need to be a little more patient.

That said, the choice between core and liquid aeration will depend on the lawn condition. So, you need to do some assessment first.

Is your lawn heavily compacted?

How thick is your thatch layer?

For instance, if you’ve never taken care of the thatch layer of your lawn, and if that layer is over ½ inch thick, you might consider the following strategy:

  • Go for core aeration in spring.
  • Add liquid aeration during the summer season.
  • Finalize the season with core aeration before mid-October.

If you think the above is overkill, then always do core aeration first. The core aeration will help the liquid aeration and fast-forward the process.

What’s Your Choice? Core or Liquid Aeration?

Core or liquid aeration is effective in helping achieve a beautiful lawn. 

Both have advantages, and it sometimes comes to preferences based on the elements we have described. 

Before forming an opinion about the subject, we would recommend anyone to:

  • Assess your lawn condition while specifically focusing on the thatch layer.
  • Determine if “cores” or “plugs” are visual nuisances that you want to avoid, knowing that cores disintegrate naturally after a few weeks.
  • Know that core and liquid aeration can team up and play a beneficial role conjointly. You can have the best of both worlds. 

Have you ever thought about combining core and liquid aerations before?