Unit 4: Turfgrass Cultural Practices

Lesson 4: Aeration and Topdressing


Cultural practices incorporate all of the methods that can be applied to sustain healthy turfgrass. Proper use of cultural practices promotes overall health of turfgrass so plants can better withstand pest pressure and environmental stresses. Aeration and topdressing are cultural practices that are important for relieving compaction, improving the soil for turfgrass growth, and reducing thatch.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Define aeration and explain why it is important for turfgrass areas
  • Recognize the differences in equipment used for aeration
  • Discuss the benefits and disadvantages associated with different aeration practices
  • Define topdressing and explain why it is an effective practice
  • Outline the frequency of an aeration and topdressing program
  • Define thatch
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of thatch layers
  • Discuss ways to manage thatch


Turgeon, A. J. (2007). Turfgrass Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Simon & Schuster.

Puhalla, J., Krans, J., Goatley, M. (1999). Sports Fields. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.