To increase water, oxygen, and nutrient movement through the soil, you can create space by removing small cores of soil from your lawn.
This process, called core aeration, reduces soil compaction, manages thatch, and improves microbial activity—all of which is important for building healthy soil.
For those willing to take on the task, core aerators can be rented, or you can hire a landscape company to aerate your lawn for you. If renting, consider splitting the rental with neighbors, family, or friends to keep costs down. In the upper Midwest, core aeration should ideally be completed in the spring or fall when cool-season grasses are actively growing. However, for those yards with transitional grasses like Zoisiagrass, early to mid-summer is an ideal time to aerate.