Does Liquid Lawn Aeration Work?

lawn aeration benefits

Fall is an excellent time to aerate your lawn in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area, but what method of aeration will you choose this season? Most homeowners are familiar with the traditional core aeration method. 

Still, a lot of curious attention has begun to grow around the liquid lawn aeration method. It’s toted as being easier to use, quicker to apply, and even cheaper. Sounds pretty great, right? But does it work?? 

Follow along as we discuss what liquid aeration is, whether it’s been proven to be effective, and why you may want to stick with core aeration.

What is liquid lawn aeration?

Liquid lawn aeration is basically exactly what it sounds like – aerating your lawn using a liquid solution. This process is generally accomplished by mixing the product with water and spraying it all across your yard using a garden pump sprayer or a hose-end attachment. The product must be spread as evenly as possible across the lawn, but otherwise, the process is relatively straight forward. 

The products sold and used as liquid aeration solutions vary greatly across the board in their design and composition. This makes it challenging to know precisely what may be contained in the product, but some common ingredients are surfactants and liquid humates. 

After being sprayed, these products’ ingredients are meant to stimulate microbes and start breaking down dense and compact soil. While the soil particles are being broken down, it will reopen the soil pores and openings that are a part of natural, healthy soil makeup. 

About 50% of healthy soil’s makeup is pores and air pockets, and the other half is solid soil particles.

There are a few reasons that people decide to try out liquid lawn aeration. One of the main reasons is that it claims to be faster to apply, a simpler process, and doesn’t involve the tools that other aeration methods require. With liquid aerator products, you’re not poking holes in the ground, so all you really need is a spraying hose-end attachment. Liquid lawn aeration is toted as an “easy and quick to apply” way to aerate your lawn. 

And this is the main reason people question if they should try it instead of the conventional core aeration method. The idea of a simple spray working to aerate your lawn really does sounds pretty good…it just may be a little too good to be true.

Does liquid lawn aeration actually work?

So basically, with liquid aeration, all you need to do is mix, attach, and be sure to spray evenly across the lawn… It sounds like an easy process, doesn’t it? Of course it does – that’s the whole point! The fundamental idea of liquid lawn aeration is to be a “shortcut” to traditional core aeration. However, quicker, cheaper, and easier does not mean better.

Of course, a liquid shortcut would absolutely be fantastic, but do the products actually work?

Most experts agree that these products are not effective. The experts state that liquid lawn aerator products have not been proven to successfully break down dense soil to alleviate compaction. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension says, “There is no evidence any of these products have been scientifically evaluated for effectiveness. Bottom line – it’s wishful thinking to believe such a solution will have any effect on compacted soil.” The article continues on to say, “There is no chemical substitute for core aeration in relieving soil compaction.”

Another reliable source, the Colorado State University extension office states, “A typical claim is that conventional aeration or core cultivation – where plugs of soil are pulled from the lawn – can be replaced by a product sprayed on the lawn… 

There is no indication that any of these products has ever been scientifically evaluated for effectiveness.” The article summarizes their point by saying, “Simply stated, there is no “chemical” substitute for physical remediation of soil compaction – namely the traditional core cultivation techniques that have been used for years on all types of turf areas.” 

One of the most considerable issues with liquid aerators is that the products used to break down compact soil work in part by stimulating microbes to get the job done. 

Why is that an issue?

Because it is an incredibly slow process that can actually take many months or years (that’s right, years) to potentially see results. And continual applications of liquid aerator products are generally necessary.

That is a lot of time and energy spent with very little (and potentially nothing) to show for it.

Why you should choose core aeration.

The coring method is the popular, standard choice when it comes to lawn aeration. During core aeration, an aerator machine (similar to a lawnmower) is run over the lawn and pulls up small plugs (or cores) or soil as it moves. The machine is actually digging tiny holes in your yard and depositing the soil plugs on the surface. 

The holes that are dug allow the soil to expand to reduce compaction and increase airflow. The cores left on the surface break down, and provide extra nutrients to the grass. While there is little proof to support liquid lawn aeration, there is no doubt that core aeration works. Core aeration is considered the most effective method for loosening compact soil. 

The fact is that core aeration is recommended by most lawn care professionals and most lawn research organizations as the most effective method for reducing soil compaction. 

According to the Colorado State University extension office, “Aeration is most effective when actual cores or plugs of soil are pulled from the lawn.

Expert Core Aeration with Gecko Green

Many factors are working against your lawn in Texas – heat, dry weather, lack of moisture, foot traffic, disease, pests, and weeds…oh my! These all have an impact on the health of your lawn. 

The good news is that with Gecko Green’s help, you can alleviate your grass from stress and prepare it for thicker, healthier growth with our lawn aeration service! Fall is an excellent time to have your lawn treated with a core aeration session, so call us today for a free quote!

Learn more about core lawn aeration