What is the difference between aeration and dethatching?
Aeration refers to the process of poking holes into the soil to allow water, oxygen, and
fertilizer to better penetrate the root zone of the grass. Aeration is done most typically in
spring or fall, on mature lawns that are growing in heavy, compacted soil. Spike aeration
simply pokes holes in the soil, while core aeration actually removes cores of earth and turf
that are left on the surface to naturally decompose.
Dethatching is the process of removing the dead layer of stems and roots that are naturally found just between the native soil and growing base of the grass. If this dead layer is more than ˝ inch thick, it can interfere with the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrients to the roots. Dethaching is performed with power equipment in spring or fall and tears out both living and dead grass tissue. It is much more stressful to the turf than aeration, and should only be performed if the lawn is thinning due to the presence of thick thatch.