How To Combat Lawn Thatch This Spring With Aeration

If you know you’re going to be facing a serious thatch problem this spring – meaning thatch will be greater than ½-inch high on your lawn – then it makes sense that you’d want to dethatch this spring. But what if we told you there was a better way, which was much gentler on your lawn because it puts less stress on the grass?

Aeration is a service we offer at Valley Green Companies which both helps thatch dissolved naturally into the earth, while also helping your lawn receive more of the water and nutrients it needs to survive.


You may have heard aeration referred to as coring, but they are the same service. An aerator pulls soil plugs out of the ground and deposits them on top of the thatch layer. We typically go for about 40 plugs removed per square foot of lawn, which sounds like a lot but is necessary.

The removal of that soil lets a few things happen:

  1. It allows the soil – which can be compacted from foot, pet and lawn mower traffic – to loosen and more readily absorb moisture and nutrients;
  2. The holes themselves allow additional moisture and nutrients to reach deep down to the roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger lawn;
  3. The plugs which lay on top of the thatch layer begin to break down, and help the thatch break down quicker, reducing the level of the layer down to a manageable amount, which in turn allows more air, water and nutrients to make it past the thatch layer and to the roots of the grass.

When To Aerate

We recommend that aeration be done in Minnesota in the spring, usually around May and after the first two mowings have taken place. This allows the grass to recover throughout the year after the long winter.

If needed though, aeration can also be done in the fall in preparation for the following spring.

If you have high-traffic areas and heavy thatch, you might want to aerate every year or 2. If your lawn looks great, you can cut back to every 3-5 years.

Why Aerate Vs. Dethatch?

While dethatching will remove thatch quickly, it can be very stressful on the grass as it requires a lot of rough handling of the blades.

Aeration does not require stressing the blades, and in addition it creates more opportunities for relieving soil compaction and allowing extra air, water and nutrients down to the grass’ roots.

Call Valley Green Companies today to schedule your post-winter aeration to take care of your thatch problem!