A+ Lawn & Landscape provides expert aeration services in Des Moines and surrounding central Iowa cities.

You know those little cylinders of soil that you see scattered on lawns sometimes? That’s the result of core aeration. If you’ve had your lawn aerated, you may feel that these plugs are unsightly and be tempted to rake them away or remove them from the lawn. After all, they were just taken out of the ground, right?

Those aeration plugs are vital to the health of your lawn. Resist the urge to “clean” the lawn after it’s been aerated, and whatever you do, don’t remove the plugs. We promise, it’s good for the lawn. Here’s why.

Why is it beneficial to leave aeration plugs on the lawn after an aeration service?

Before we get into why the plugs are important, let’s talk about the purpose of aeration.

Over time, soil becomes compacted due to walking, mowing, and weather. This makes it more difficult for grass to get nutrients, air, and water, and your lawn may start to wither. Core aeration helps your lawn because plugs of soil (cores) are separated from the ground to loosen the soil. This loose soil can now take in more water, air, and nutrients for a healthier lawn. Aeration also helps strengthen the root system and makes watering more efficient.

Lawns create what is known as the thatch layer under the grass, which is created by microorganisms breaking down organic matter. This organic matter is full of nutrients, meaning when you pull aeration plugs from the soil, those little plugs are full of nutrients.

Leaving the plugs where they are means the plugs will break down, microorganisms stay in place, and the nutrients from the plug soil will return to the soil below.

So what do I do with the plugs?

As we’ve established, don’t remove aeration plugs. It takes approximately one to two weeks for the plugs to break down on their own, but there are some things you can do to help the plugs break down faster to tidy up the lawn.

You can hope for rainfall, but you can also water the lawn to help the plugs break down. Another tactic is to simply mow the grass. The lawn mower will break up the plugs and leave the broken up soil behind. If your lawn was overseeded make sure that you don’t mow until the seeds have started to sprout approximately 2-3 weeks after service.

Let’s also talk about raking. You can do some strategic raking only as a means to help integrate and break down the plugs—don’t rake for the purposes of removal.

Ready to rejuvenate your lawn? Call today to set up a consultation.

In Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and other areas of central Iowa, A+ Lawn & Landscape provides a wide variety of services for your lawn and landscape. If you are thinking about aeration, seeding, or any other lawn service, call us today at (515) 289-2020 to schedule a consultation!