Setting the Gold Standard in Landscaping

Lawn Aeration, Aerating & Dethatching – Portland Oregon, West Side

After a while, certain varieties of grass tend to build up thatch faster than they can decompose it. This layer of thatch, or dead grass, creates a layer under the turf that makes it hard for water, fertilizer, or beneficial microorganisms to get to the root systems of the grass. To penetrate this layer of thatch and restore health to your lawn landscapers either Aerate or Dethatch the lawn.


Even if your variety of grass isn’t prone to thatch buildup, there is always a concern with soil compaction. Our clay soils become highly compacted over time. Compacted soil makes it hard for nutrients and water to penetrate down to the roots of the turfgrass. This is the other main benefit of Core Aeration.


Core Aeration is when we use a big rolling power tool to create perforations, or holes, in the lawn (as pictured). The cores, or plugs, are redeposited onto the top of the lawn and work as a beneficial top dressing. This is the preferred method for many landscapers because there is less risk for damage to the lawn and the lawn can recover faster than it does with dethatching.

We no longer do Core Aeration as part of our services. But there are many small companies in town who do offer these services. The one we recommend the highest is Ace Aeration. They’ve been around for 25+ years and are a good reliable service and service the Portland West Side, as we do. However, a few recommendations when using any aeration company:

  1. Check your sprinklers afterwards. Sometimes sprinklers can get damaged by aeration machines. They should fix it or else they’ll recommend our company to fix it, with one of our sprinkler technicians.
  2. Don’t let them talk you into De-Thatching the lawn. For the reasons listed below.
  3. Don’t let them over-seed your lawn. First, because they may not be able to accurate identify what variety of grass you currently have. You’ll end up with a different kind of grass if they don’t match the grass seed properly. Second, if you have us doing your maintenance service that’s already included in your service, if needed. And finally, it’s usually not necessary, unless your lawn already has open bare spots.


Dethatching a lawn is where a big tool called a Power Rake goes over your lawn and uses a rake like blade to pull up all of the old thatch. Then the landscaper rakes the thatch up and hauls it away. This is a much longer process and has more potential to do damage. Typically, we do not recommend dethatching unless you have a variety of grass that is prone to creating large amounts of thatch. Instead, we recommend aerating.

Timing / Frequency

Local experts on turf maintenance, recommend aerating twice per year for optimal results. This is because of our heavy clay soils that are native to the Northwest. If this isn’t practical or affordable, we recommend aerating it at least once per year.

The best time to aerate lawns is in the spring time. It can be done in the summer but the lawn must have ample irrigation in order to recover properly. Fall is the second best choice to aerate.


Cost of lawn aeration is generally around $65-$75 for most suburban homes in this area. But check with the company we recommended above for exact pricing for your home

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