Q: Is aeration recommended for St. Augustine grass? D.N. - Florida

Yes, you can aerate St. Augustinegrass.

When thatch exceeds 1 inch in thickness, it may be necessary to have your lawn "vertically mowed." Vertical mowing (a method of physically removing thatch) can be performed by a professional lawn maintenance company or by doing it yourself. Vertical mowing will temporarily harm your lawn's appearance because it destroys the tightly woven stolon system of St. Augustinegrass.

Lawn aeration, in combination with top-dressing, also can help reduce thick layers of thatch. Aeration is performed by punching holes in the turf to increase air and water penetration. Lawn aeration machines can be obtained from many equipment rental stores, or aeration can be performed by a professional lawn care company. Aeration, in combination with top-dressing, helps correct moderate thatch problems by increasing soil-to-thatch contact, thus speeding up microbial decay.