Aeration is the process of disturbing the soil in a controlled fashion to relieve compaction and allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Aeration is one of the most important cultural practices for maintained turfgrass areas. A field that is not aerated regularly will often be characterized by poor turfgrass growth, compacted soils, and high levels of thatch.
Topdressing is an application of soil to the turf surface. The particle size of the topdressing material should always match the predominant particle size in the existing rootzone. If it does not, problems such as layering can occur. Topdressing benefits turfgrass areas by leveling uneven playing surfaces, gradually amending soils, improving drainage and rooting, and assisting with the breakdown of thatch.
STMA Technical Bulletins (you must be a member to view the following resources):
8 Steps to an Easy Field Facelift
Football Practice Techniques that Help Minimize Field Wear
Strategies for Managing Heavily-Used Fields
Athletic Field Renovation Tips - Webinar presented by Jeff Fowler
Preventing Compaction on Athletic Fields - Iowa State University
Compaction and Cultivation - University of Massachusetts
Management of Compaction: Coring - University of Massachusetts
What is Thatch? - University of Massachusetts
Cultivating - Cornell University
Topdressing - Cornell University
Managing Thatch - Cornell University
Aeration of Turfgrass Areas - Penn State University
Sports Turf Traffic - How Much is Too Much? - University of Kentucky
Cultivation - University of Tennessee
Thatch - University of Tennessee
Topdressing - University of Tennessee
Aeration/Topdressing Sessions featured at STMA Conferences
2015 - Cultural Practices & Guidelines for Low Budget Athletic Fields - Brad S. Fresenburg, Ph.D.
2014 - Aerification Today…Methods and Styles to Help Improve Playing Conditions – Michael Hileman