Aerating and applying compost to your lawn are excellent ways to improve its overall health. Both reduce the amount of irrigation needed by increasing the soil’s ability to hold and receive water. In other words, these activities create a bigger and better soil sponge.

Although not all soils are alike, they all benefit from the addition of organic matter. Compost is completely decomposed residue of plant and animal material and mulch is the partially decomposed residue of plants.

Unfortunately, compost breaks down rather quickly in our climate so thin, rocky soil tends not to build up over time even with frequent additions of compost. To increase its water-holding capacity, a small amount of a similar soil may be added.

To achieve maximum benefits from aeration and composting:

  • Spring and early fall are the best times to aerate and compost your lawn.
  • Multiple applications are best, or at the very least once a year.
  • Be generous; this is one landscape activity where more is actually better.

Many landscapers are eager to assist you with both aeration and composting, or consider working with your neighbors to rent a core aerator for a day.