What Do You Do With the Plugs After Aeration

Without a doubt, leftover aeration cores can leave your lawn looking unkempt. While some homeowners choose to remove them by raking, others opt to let them remain on the lawn. So, what is the optimal approach to manage this issue?

Experts recommend leaving the plugs on your lawn after aeration. The plugs will break down naturally after a few days and return nutrients to the soil, thus improving the soil’s fertility and overall health. You can aid the breakdown by deeply watering your lawn or aerating it just before it rains.

If you are still confused about what to do with the soil plugs after aeration, this article will give you all the answers you need.

should you leave the plugs on your lawn after aeration

The main aim of lawn aeration is to break up the soil to reduce compaction and allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate better into the soil. As a result, your lawn becomes healthier and lusher.

After aeration, the plugs left behind may make your lawn look unsightly. As much as you may want to remove the plugs from your yard, it is best to leave them. Here is why:

1. Plugs have essential microorganisms

The soil plugs contain many essential soil microbes and nutrients that are paramount for the soil’s health. The microorganisms find it safe to hide within the plugs and the thatch layer of grass and promote aeration as they move within your lawn. This allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate easily.

Allowing soil plugs to decompose naturally helps return the nutrients into the soil, thus improving the overall health of your lawn.

2. They are part of your yard’s topsoil

The soil plugs are actually topsoil where fertilizer and manure have been applied. By getting rid of the plugs, you are throwing away the fertile topsoil and robbing your lawn of its natural nutrients.

Over time, the grass will thin out, and the general health of the lawn will deteriorate.

3. Maintain lawn level

The soil plugs are part of your lawn’s dirt. Throwing them out may cause low spots on the lawn, causing the ground level to sink over time. The soil plugs help maintain and improve your lawn’s level. Raking the plugs into the low spots can help level out the ground.

4. Prevent the soil from being compacted again

Aeration reduces soil compaction by breaking down the hard top soil in the lawn. Removing the soil plugs or using harsh methods such as lawn rolling to disintegrate them faster can make the soil become compacted again, in which case the aeration process will be a big fail.

5. They will break down on their own

When left undisturbed, soil plugs will eventually break down within 2–6 weeks. The breakdown will be faster if it rains after aeration. You can also water your lawn to speed up the process.

If you choose to remove the plugs, then get rid of those that have found their way to the walkways, roads, and far edges of the lawn where you can easily rake, taking care not to step on the lawn as this will make the ground compact again. This prevents the buildup of soil or dirt on curbs and walkways.

After aeration, it is good practice to fertilize, overseed, and water the lawn to make it fuller and healthier.

Benefits of leaving soil plugs on the lawn

Benefits of leaving soil plugs on the lawn

Soil plugs left after core aeration have many potential benefits. These include:

  • Soil plugs can be used to fill low spots in your yard. Raking the plugs from high to low areas can help level the lawn. This can be a better option if you do not want the hassle of shoveling new topsoil into the low spots.
  • Plugs help prevent water from stagnating or flooding in low areas by filling up the spaces.
  • Plugs can fill holes left behind after removing fence posts or tree stumps.
  • The cores are loaded with lots of microbes and fertilizer. Therefore, they give back these crucial nutrients to your yard.

The goal is to have a healthier, fuller, and more beautiful lawn. If you can achieve all these benefits by leaving the soil plugs on your lawn, why spend more time and money raking away the plugs or shoveling in new topsoil?

How long do plugs take to decompose?