A good lawn is a result of several key activities:
Correctly timed pre-emergent applications to prevent weeds before they germinate.
Applying the right amount of fertilizer to insure you have a thick and healthy turf.
Regularly scheduled mowing that only removes the top 1/3 of the leaf blade each time.
Infrequent deep watering based on seasonal need.
But, there is a 5th activity that will move a good lawn to a great lawn:
What is aeration?
Aeration is the process of mechanically removing 2”-3” cores of soil, 4”-6” apart, from your lawn.
What are the benefits of aeration?
Soil compaction is reduced.
Air movement into the soil is improved.
Fertilizer can quickly reach the root zone.
Water runoff and puddling is reduced.
Roots grow stronger and deeper.
Thatch is reduced.
Reduction of weeds that love compacted soils.
Compact soils prevent grass from establishing a healthy root system and prevents air, water and nutrients from reaching the root zone. Walking, playing, mowing (in other words everything you do on your lawn) increases soil compaction.
As Oklahomans, we are all use to having tight clay, compacted soils. Our clay soils make growing a great lawn a challenge.
Have we accepted compaction as the status quo?
Stop accepting the norm. You don’t have to have tight, compacted soil.
Golf courses typically aerate their turf at least two times per season. No wonder the fairways always have better turf than most home lawns.
Lawns with compacted soil also are more susceptible to weed development. Many weeds thrive in tight compacted soil.
Nutsedge, one of the most difficult to control summer weeds, thrives in tight soils. Our experience has shown that annually aerated lawns have far less problems with nutsedge.
When should you aerate?
Warm season lawns (Bermuda and zoyia) should be aerated any time after spring green-up and before the end of July.
Cool season lawns (fescue) should be aerated in the fall, September through October. Aeration in conjunction with overseeding will not only improve the soil structure, but it will also improve seed soil contact resulting in better seed germination.
Nothing will take your lawn from good to great more than an annual aeration!
Aeration, the most overlooked lawn practice, will give you a healthier, more vigorous, less weedy lawn.
Hall | Stewart Lawn + Landscape