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Make aeration part of your fall lawn fix-up plans
Following a summer of heat, mowing and foot traffic, your lawn’s soil may be badly compacted and in desperate need of help this fall. Aeration can provide just the pick-me-up that your lawn needs.
Your lawn should be aerated regularly – as often as once every year. Ideally, your soil should be made up of 50% solids, 25% water and 25% air. When it becomes compacted, there is little room for the air or water. So if you know you have a dense heavy soil like clay, or you can see water pooling up or running off the lawn, chances are that you need aeration.
Aeration also reduces the amount of thatch buildup on your lawn by helping it to decompose more quickly. Thatch is the dead material that builds up between the blades of grass on your lawn and the soil. When thatch accumulates to more than 1/2", it causes problems.
The best time to aerate is when the grass is actively growing. Fall is best, because turf roots grow more in the fall than any other time of year. There are different ways to aerate, but by far the most popular is core aeration. This is done with a core cultivator or power aerator that pulls thousands of soil plugs from the lawn. By removing these cores, aeration allows water, air and nutrients to easily reach the lawn’s root zone, and helps develop new and stronger roots.
Aeration works with fall fertilization and your watering to thicken the lawn and build up good food reserves in the roots through the fall months. So plan on aeration for a thicker, greener lawn this fall and healthier turf next year.
Rejuvenate Your Turf with Aeration and Overseeding
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of core aeration as part of a good overall lawn maintenance program. Combining aeration with overseeding in the fall is a great way to thicken up a thin lawn while giving your turf a great head start on next year’s growing season.
Here are some points to keep in mind:
• If your lawn has been seeded, the soil should be kept moist with light, frequent sprinklings (at least twice a day).
• New grass should be mowed several times before top growth slows down for the winter, but don’t let your lawn grow too long between mowings.
• New turf should be well-fed throughout the fall to promote as much growth as possible.
• If a few weeds pop up, it’s nothing to be concerned about. This is normal, and the weeds will best be controlled in the spring.
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