Thatch – Aeration

Q: Do you know if aeration shoes work on zoysia? Our lawn is thick with thatch. I’ve been raking like crazy, but wondered if aerating with these shoes will work?

A: The aerator sandals will have no effect on thatch. Or, for that matter, on aeration of the soil. The thin tines of the sandals do not penetrate deeply enough to make an appreciable difference. A rented aeration machine with hollow tines can help diminish thatch by inoculating it with soil fungi that decompose thatch. Aeration should be done after a good rain that makes the soil soft enough to allow full penetration. Run the machine over your lawn three times at different angles.

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