Aerate for a Healthy Lawn This Spring
If you have a Bermuda or Zoysia lawn, you know your warm-season grass is about to emerge from winter dormancy and return to the lush green color we associate with spring. You can help that process along by aerating your yard. Annual aeration helps to keep grass healthy in a variety of ways.
What’s the problem?
One of the most significant threats to the well-being of your lawn is easy to overlook, because it’s completely invisible. The weight of foot traffic and your lawn mower slowly compacts the top level of soil in your yard, making it much harder for water and nutrients to reach roots. Even rain contributes — not because it’s particularly heavy, but because wet soil becomes denser as it dries. Rain can also let us know when compaction gets serious, by forming puddles in indentations instead of seeping into the ground.
What is aeration?
Aeration is basically perforation of turf with one of several special tools. Whether it’s a large machine used by lawn care professionals or a smaller homeowner model, this tool has hollow tines that punch holes in the ground and pull out small columns of earth, about half an inch in circumference. Needless to say, this process is easier when the soil is slightly moist. The machine crosses the yard in two directions, side to side and front to back, removing thousands of small plugs and dropping them on top of the grass. After the plugs dry out a little, the lawn is mowed, breaking them down so they can be reabsorbed and provide nutrients.
How will aeration help your lawn?
– Soil will be less compact.
– More oxygen and nutrients can enter the ground.
– The earth absorbs more water, decreasing runoff.
– The plugs contain microorganisms that will help to break down thatch.
– Grass roots can grow deeper, making the blades stronger and more resistant to drought and other threats.
– Fertilizers are more effective.
When should warm-season lawns be aerated?
Although aeration supports a healthy yard in the medium term, it’s obviously somewhat stressful for the grass. You should wait to aerate until new growth is well underway so your lawn is resilient enough to recover and ready to make use of its new supply of nutrients. In our area, the period from late April through June is ideal for aeration of Zoysia and Bermuda lawns.
Weed Slayer offers aeration as an additional service to our lawn care treatments. Help your lawn take a deep breath of fresh air this spring! If you have questions or are ready to schedule an aeration appointment, please call 706-622-1104.