Aeration involves removing small cores of soil from your lawn to allow air, moisture and fertilizer to get down to the root zone. It helps to control thatch, creates growth pockets for new roots, increases drying of wet areas, improves soil composition, relieves compaction from traffic and improves response to fertilization.
The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.
Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn?
One of the most common questions is, how do I determine if I need to aerate my lawn. Your lawn is a good candidate for aeration if it:
- Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
- Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
- Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
When to Aerate My Lawn?
The best time for aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. In our area, late spring is the time to aerate your lawn.
What is Topdressing?
Topdressing is the process of adding a thin layer of material over the lawn, typically 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch of sand, compost or topsoil. It stimulates the grass to produce new shoots, which results in a more dense grass cover. This helps to combat the onset of weed and moss infestation.
The main reason for topdressing your lawn is to encourage your turf to fill in bare spots naturally. It can also reduce thatch buildup, improve soil biology, and add organic matter and beneficial microorganisms.
When to Topdress My Lawn?
The best time to topdress is in the spring in conjunction with an aeration. However, topdressing alone can greatly improve thin turf areas. Waiting until summer is not recommended, because it can cause your turf to overheat.
Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. offers Core Aerating and Topdressing. Call today (850)897-3073 Niceville (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach