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Just as the "thatch" creates a smothering blanket over the lawn, high-clay soil suffocates the roots of the turf as it compacts over time. Many lawn professionals suggest you "aerate" once a season. Aeration with a "plug-type" machine removes little plugs of soil and allows water, air and nutrients down to the roots. For aeration, only a good plug type machine works well. Common "spike-type" aerators punch holes in the ground but further compact the soil around the hole reducing their effectiveness. Plug-aeration takes a specialized tool that can be purchased, rented or hired as a service from a good lawn maintenance company.